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The emerging alliance of design and customer service

Ryan Donahue, VP of Global Design, Zendesk

According to Gartner, by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. In this talk, Ryan Donahue, VP of Global Design at Zendesk, argues that the future of design organizations and customer support organizations will become increasingly interconnected within the modern business and that designers and support professionals will become powerful allies on the front lines of customer experience innovation.

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The emerging alliance of design and customer service

  1. 1. #RelateLive The emerging alliance of design and customer service
  2. 2. Ryan Donahue Zendesk VP Global Design @rydonahue
  3. 3. Designed with Service The Emerging Alliance of Design and Customer Service
  4. 4. Peter Thiel Billionaire Investor, author of Zero to One Elon Musk Founder of Tesla, Spacex, SolarCity
  5. 5. Peter Thiel Billionaire Investor, Contrarian, Author of Zero to One
  6. 6. “By 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago.” - Gartner Research
  7. 7. Technology Drives Commoditization Commoditization driven by tech: It has never been easier to start a company (e- commerce, web hosting, social media, google, etc.) Cheaper, scalable storage (Moore’s law, AWS). Lower barrier to entry for software development. Customer experience is one way of defending against look-a-likes
  8. 8. Customer Experience as Innovation Customer experience innovations are typically cheaper and easier to create than “zero to one” leaps in technology or product. Design and service are two of the most important layers of CX. Can be done quickly and relatively cheaply. Add great design to your support experience and stand out from the crowd
  9. 9. Design and Support are Disconnected But they must be aligned to compete on customer experience
  10. 10. Part One Why designers really need support people
  11. 11. Design Needs Love From the Support Team Asking a support team to “live the brand” requires lots of trust and buy-in For a brand, support personnel are the critical human layer of the brand. Great support people speak, act and listen like the brand would do if it were human. Brand managers can provide direction for how the brand personality should come across.
  12. 12. Designers Need Constant Validation of Their Ideas Interactions with customers are coveted and necessary to designers Getting in front of real customers with new ideas is part of the everyday function of a user- centered design team. However, access to customers is often challenging.
  13. 13. Artificial Customers are Costly and Lack Value Paid respondents (in place of the real customers) is often the norm Design teams spend lots of time and money working with customer proxies when they could be talking to the real thing.
  14. 14. You’re Swimming in Customer Data Support organizations are immersed in what designers need - customer insights Support organizations are swimming in data that could be used to drive innovation, but it is rarely leveraged to its full potential.
  15. 15. Part Two Why support people really need designers
  16. 16. Cost Center Innovation Center Profit Center Value Perception of Support Organizations By aligning with design, support is more likely viewed as an innovation center
  17. 17. Value Perception of Support Organizations By aligning with design, support is more likely viewed as an innovation center Cost Center Innovation Center Profit Center When support orgs align with design
  18. 18. Support Teams Need to Align With the Brand If your support personnel aren’t on-brand, you’re hurting the business Service orgs are hurting brands everyday by not having a brand team available to design the service experience.
  19. 19. Design and Support Must Align To compete on customer experience these teams must join forces
  20. 20. Here’s How to Get Started Make Designers Provide Service Have designers work as customer service advocates for a day (or longer). First hand experience is invaluable. 1 2 3 Let Service People Design Customer service people are always invaluable in design thinking workshops. Tag Your Data Train and incentivize your agents to tag and route insights to design stakeholders. 4 Design Your Service Make the brand design of your service experience a top priority for your design team.
  21. 21. Designers as Part-Time Support Advocates For just a day, or on a regular basis, allow designers to work as support advocates Irina Blok, a designer at Zendesk, started her first week on the job by working as a support advocate.
  22. 22. Your Design Thinking Needs Support People Support professionals strengthen the design process Support people bring an informed perspective to customer-centered design thinking. Sadly, their knowledge largely goes untapped.
  23. 23. Tag Your Support Data with Designers in Mind If scientists can tag a butterfly, you can tag an email First response time and CSAT are critical metrics but there is so much more.
  24. 24. Design a Unique and Branded Service Experience Great brands invest their creativity in serving customers well, and uniquely Warby Parker advocates all wearing Warby eyewear, whether their eyes require glasses - or not.
  25. 25. Its Time to Align 89% of companies plan to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience 1 2 3 Support and design are at the center of customer experience, but are deeply disconnected within the org By aligning, both teams benefit greatly
  26. 26. Thank You
  27. 27. #RelateLive