Service design that gives you an enduring edge

It’s time to advance from service design focused on sheer customer orientation and simplification. Only unique brand experiences can build long-lasting competitive advantages.

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Services are increasingly business- and brand-critical

When it comes down to it, customers aren’t interested in you. Studies show that consumers wouldn’t care if three out of four brands disappeared today. They’re interested in their own lives, experiences and needs. It’s up to you to make yourself relevant and accessible at each point of contact in order to be given some of their precious time. This is increasingly done through extra services or expanding the core service experience.

Skjermbilde 2014-04-07 kl. 17.34.57The customer experience is the sum of all impressions a customer has with an organisation, product or service. As the digitisation of customer experiences continues at high speed, the borders between product, service and marketing are increasingly becoming blurred. In this context, many have realized that the service aspect of the customer experience is more important than ever, because it is often services that best offer the value that customers want. Over the past years this has fuelled the increased popularity of customer orientation and service design. Continue reading

15 common web pitfalls and how to avoid them

Many of the mistakes organisations make in their work with their website are recurring. Here’s a list of what I see as the 15 most common pitfalls and some simple advice on how to leap across them. 

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I’d love your help to develop and refine the list further, so please pitch in with your views in the comments area.

1. Failing to prioritise strictly. Failing to prioritise and focus sufficiently is the most common and most destructive pitfall of them all. Many businesses seem to put as much content and functionality as possible at the top of their site. This will distract users from what you most want them to do and what they came to your site to do. Continue reading

How ‘social intelligence’ can guide decisions: Great report by McKinsey

Analysts typically spend 80 percent of their time gathering information before they begin to analyze it. Social intelligence radically alters this process. Numerous tools allow analysts to create dynamic maps that pinpoint where information and expertise reside, and to track new data in real time, specifically via social media.

Read about how GE employed Twitter last year to crowdsource ideas about what it called a “social” airplane, offering prizes with Virgin Airlines for the best insights. The company enlisted a community of more than 100k people who follow its @Ecomagination account and organized conversations around key topics using hashtags. Find more examples from industry “social media toolkits” in the latest piece from McKinsey on Business Technology. It’s a hyped subject, but this piece is recommended!

Social media monitoring for beginners

Fredrik Johnsen and I did a breakfast seminar at Creuna about how businesses can start quick and easy with social media monitoring, a prerequisite for optimally utilising the business potential of social media. Check it out, but be ware, it’s in Norwegian! Also check out this blog post I did preceeding the seminar about the same topic, but more into the nitty gritty (also in Norwegian).

The video couldn’t be embedded (darn wordpress.com), but you’ll find it here and the slideshare below:

Get foxy or get dumped

At Creuna where I work we talk a lot about why firms should become truly customer-centric and improve customer experiences across touch points continuously and holistically. Because “at the end of the day, customers no longer separate marketing from the product – it is the product. They don’t separate marketing from their in-store or online experience – it is the experience. In the era of engagement, marketing is the company,” as McKinsey perfectly puts it. Learn more about the principles of Customer Experience Management in this brilliant video by my colleague Torbjørn.

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The power of foxy thinking

I recently read this article and saw this video by Vikram Mansharamani, a Yale professor, and decided I needed to write a blog post about its awesomeness.

Vikram (I’ll use his first name for obvious practical reasons) makes a brilliant case for why society and business need more generalists in addition to the many specialists.

“Corporations around the world have come to value expertise, and in so doing, have created a collection of individuals studying bark. There are many who have deeply studied its nooks, grooves, coloration, and texture. Few have developed the understanding that the bark is merely the outermost layer of a tree. Fewer still understand the tree is embedded in a forest.”

The classic description of broad knowledge vs. deep knowledge is the saying from an ancient Greek poet that “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. The fox is a generalist and the hedgehog is a specialist.

Continue reading