Cult of volume destroys customer experience

“We don’t want to make it easy for people to find stuff, because we want people to stay on our site.” So said George Bell then CEO of search engine Excite, back around 1998. This is how so many traditional managers think. It’s the cult of volume. The obsession with more. Success is about more… Read More »

Support and service is the digital brand

When I think of SMTP.COM, I don’t think about their logo, their corporate colors, their tone, their mission statement or their advertising. Instead, I think of great service. It’s so amazing to find great service today. So amazing to find a company that actually cares about its customers. I just got an email from Alex,… Read More »

Qualitative research: the third essential customer research input

Qualitative research, involving talking to customers in groups or individually can add depth to an understanding of customer behavior and psychology. However, it needs to be framed by quantitative and observational research because, for a variety of reasons, customers can mislead. Some years ago, Norwegians hospitals did a Top Tasks analysis to understand what were… Read More »

Observational customer research

The purpose of observational research is to understand what people are doing. The purpose of qualitative research is to understand what people are thinking or feeling. Only when you combine observational and qualitative research with quantitative data do you get a truly comprehensive understanding of your customers. Service industries have long made customer observation a… Read More »

The three essential sources of customer insight

To truly understand customers it is essential to combine insights from the following research methods: Quantitative Observational Qualitative Quantitative data will tell you what is happening but only if it is configured properly, which often it is not. Bots and other sorts of unpredictable activity can seriously undermine the credibility of the statistics. For example,… Read More »

Quick Links, Slow Links and bad navigation design

Just because something is used doesn’t mean that it is useful. Design decisions can create the wrong expectations and can send people on journeys that will end up in failure. “To simplify the process for advisers, we introduced a ‘quick links’ box on the landing page of our benefits content,” Katherine Vaughan writes in an… Read More »

Agility cupcakes and the rise of the customer as designer

Embracing the new opportunities of print, including the fact that it allowed other cartographers to give feedback, Abraham Ortelius brought out more than 28 editions of his Theatrum atlas between 1570 and 1598. On a daily basis, Google staff will make hundreds of changes to their maps based on thousands of pieces of feedback. Just… Read More »

Customer feedback drives the agile organization

Customers are changing far faster today than organizations are. Customers are setting the agenda. Their expectations are rising in direct proportion to their declining trust in and loyalty to organizations and brands. You cannot deliver quality customer experience if you don’t understand the needs of your customers and create products and services to meet those… Read More »

Principles of humility

Humility begins with an outward focus. You are not the center of the universe. The customer is. Humility is about gathering evidence, about listening intently without prejudice. It is not about what you think. It is not about what you feel. It is not about what your gut tells you. Whether you like the design… Read More »

Humility: developing an old skill for a new age

Humility is not weakness. The opposite of humility is arrogance. And arrogance is a trait nurtured in traditional leadership. However, in the more networked and artificial intelligence societies that we are on the verge of, arrogance will be much less useful. In 1999, I published my first book called The Caring Economy. Its hypothesis was… Read More »