Quick Case in Design Thinking

By Duncan Troup on Friday, January 12th, 2018 in Product Design, Service Performance, Transformation.

I posted on linkedin earlier in the week and had a vent about the service I experienced at a major brand. That made me feel better (until I felt bad for the company) so I thought I would write a case on where I would start to fix the issue. below is the post from last week to set the context….

“BRAND X call the TT team… YOU NEED SERVICE DESIGN HELP! Terrible self serve photo experience…read on for a laugh. And BTW I mean REALLY BAD. Buggy system (3 retries), no paper to print docket so join the queue you would have been in….(10 min wait), no water in complimentary water fountain, no ink in self serve printer (5 min wait), and home style 6 prints per minute for 100 prints from a printer I have to stand next to as its public access! Can’t even pop to Anaconda or chill in the furniture section. Sorry then the printer ran out of paper (5 minute wait) and need to reboot (a merciful 2 minute wait) . And you have my money so I can’t bail. Please bring to the attention of someone at BRAND X (the interest level in my constructive feedback in store was low) . PS I hope this brings joy to your days to compensate for a hour of my life lost.”

Here are some thoughts informed by design and lean thinking.

1) Start with the principle that self service should always be implemented to benefit the customer AND the provider – and sometimes just the customer!! Self service solutions that reduce operational costs but annoy the customer are doomed. My sense is that the self serve option in this case was to reduce queues and load on the counter staff not because it was AUTHENTICALLY good for the customer.

2) Work on reliability issues with improved instrumentation of the status and early interventions. Much of the poor experience in this case was from failures in the system causing wait and rework waste. eg Make sure the paper and ink are in good shape then that’s half the battle. We all have quality service at our fingertips so you need to match that in store. Also hard plumb the water for the same reason. Who uses those bottles now anyway!

3) Allow the user to collect once the whole job is complete with SMS notification (the number was collected in the process) rather than standing next to the machine. That’s probably the biggest Design Thinking issue here. If that feature existed I could just about forgive the print speed (and browse Anaconda).

4) Fix the print speed to meet the expectation that I will be through the store faster in self service rather than at the counter.

5) Set expectations for completion time in the console, including a suggestion to use the f2f if the queue is small. i.e. give me the information to make an informed choice on my schedule. They appeared to have good queue management tech there so that integration would be easy. That way I can leave the store and collect from a electronic locker or similar with a code sent to the phone.

6) OVERALL (AND THE MOST IMPORTANT)…make sure that my identity as a someone short of time and tech savvy enough to self navigate is reflected in the service experience. BIG LESSON there – you don’t reflect the users identity in the experience they WILL be disappointed. The best way to understand that is to spend time with your users.

That’s all…i feel better now for being part of the solution!!!!

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