The Design Of Little Things
August 30, 2010 4 Comments
Large companies regularly spend 10s of millions of dollars to improve their interactions with customers on projects like revamping their websites, deploying new CRM applications, replacing IVR systems, and can spend even more on redesigning their stores.
Do companies get the full benefit from those efforts? Absolutely not.
Companies obsess on major milestones like deployments, but don’t aggressively fine-tune those efforts once they go live. As a result, they don’t add the finishing touches that make things much easier or more memorable for customers. An example of this is the Marriott Marquis elevators; a $12 million system that completely confuses many guests. The hotel could use simple techniques, like signage, to significantly reduce the confusion.
What companies are missing is what I call the Design Of Little Things (DoLT); the small changes that can dramatically improve the customer experience of much larger investments. These are the ongoing adjustments that can have a huge impact. I’ve evaluated hundreds of interactions for companies and just about always find these types of opportunities.
Companies can use the Temkin Group SLICE-B methodology to uncover opportunities for DoLT; paying special attention to the “Start” and “End” categories. Here are some rich veins of DoLT to explore:
- Provide a clear path for users to start in IVR main menus and Website homepages
- Confirm next steps and reinforce value on confirmation Web pages for purchases and applications
- Teach front line employees to keep from using negative words
- Develop clear signage to help route customers to the right place
- Eliminate jargon that customers won’t understand — from everything
The bottom line: Sometimes little things can make a really big difference