What Is Customer Experience Design?

When you walk into Starbucks, you are immediately greeted by their clean and modern interior design. Starbucks has a signature aroma that is present at every store, which provides you with a sense of familiarity. You are greeted the same way by every Starbuck’s Barista, and the music is similar in every one of their locations.

If you are traveling, you may use their website or mobile app to find your nearest Starbucks. Your cup always looks the same, your drink tastes almost identical from location to location, and you may use their Starbucks mobile app to preorder a drink for pick up, pay for it all and to earn loyalty points.

That is Experience Design.

 

You could purchase coffee almost anywhere for far less than it costs to purchase it from Starbucks. The average cup of coffee costs just $1 at McDonalds or any gas station, and sometimes it’s really good quality coffee. That doesn’t stop people from lining up, all day every day, in every corner of the globe to hand over an average of $2.70 per cup to Starbucks for just a basic 16 ounce coffee.

We are talking about a 170% increase in what customers are willing to pay for a cup of coffee. That’s before we throw in the extra $1 or $2 to create our favorite Latte or Cappuccino drink. Most of us are actually paying around $3.75 for a small coffee.

Why would otherwise sane people pay three to four times what they have to? The answer is that they are paying for their customer experience, not just a cup of coffee. They are paying for the privilege of walking into the store, enjoying the aroma, being treated well by the Starbuck’s Baristas, walking around with the world famous Starbucks logo on their cup, and enjoying the craftsmanship of coffee created by experts just for them.

7 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for companies who deliver an amazing customer experience.

American Express Survey

When they are holding and enjoying that coffee, they are part of the brand community or ‘tribe’ that Starbucks has created around their products. They are not selling coffee anymore. Starbucks is in the business of selling a certain lifestyle, and coffee just happens to be their particular commodity.

The Age Of The Customer

The way that businesses used to operate was to come up with a product or a service and then try to have the best product or prices in that market. That was then. This is now. We are in the age of customer experience. We are an experience driven economy now.

Customers no longer look at the lowest cost vendor or the highest quality manufacturer. They actively search out businesses that have a good balance of price, product, a community around their brand and a well thought out and engaging experience design.

What Customers Care About Now

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Experience

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Community

Plain and simple, customers are willing to pay more money for similar products if the overall experience has been well designed.

Elle Robertson

Customer Experience Designer, Your Customer's Shoes

Companies Who Have Benefited From Focusing On Their Customer Experience

Does It Matter For Your Small Business?

Everyone’s Customers Have Customer Experiences

How Do I Create Your Customer Experience Design?

On a cold day last December, I asked the hardware store owner that I was working with if he wanted to know how I created his customer experience. He responded, “When I take my car to the mechanic to have the alternator and the timing belt replaced, I don’t ask the mechanic how they did it. I get in my car, grateful that it works so that I can get where I need to go.”

I guess he said it better than I ever could. Business owners are busy, they barely have the time that they need to run their businesses, let alone have a deep level of understanding about the inner workings of every person that their business works with.

I would say that 10% of my clients really want to understand the different types of design that are involved in creating their customer experience design. The other 90% simply want me to bring my expertise and skill set to their business and create a unique and addictive customer experience, which helps them to grow their brand, increase their revenue, and help their customers to choose their business over the competition.

Every Experience Designer has to understand the theory and application of each of these disciplines, and then really focus on what they are passionate about. I design everything from the vantage point of the customer, hence the name, Your Customer’s Shoes. I am well versed in all of the disciplines below, and hold a B.A. in Behavioral and Social Science, the study of what and why people do the things that they do.

I use elements from all ten of the design disciplines listed below when I conduct your research and when I create your customer experience design. All ten of these disciplines overlap at many points during your customer experience design journey. These disciplines work collaboratively to create, implement, test, and refine your entire Experience Design. 

I have been a business owner myself for the last 15 years, so you are in good hands. I speak Entrepreneur. I understand what you need as a business owner, and I use my Customer Experience design skill set to make it easier for you to grow your brand, connect with your customers, and reduce any strain or stress on your business that we can.

I love introducing people to the world of Customer Experience Design, as it is the great passion of my life. I don’t do this because I am good at it. I do it because I am great at it and there is nothing in this world that I would rather do. If you are curious about the world of Experience Design, you may learn more about each of the different design disciplines listed below. If you are ready to get started on your Customer Experience Design, simply tap the check availability button below or tap here to learn more about me.  I hope my explanation helped to clarify what I do and what Experience Design is. Thank you for spending a bit of time with me and welcome to a world of better experiences.

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The 10 Disciplines Of Customer Experience Design

HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN ENGINEERING DESIGN (HCDE)

Human Centered Design Engineering focuses on developing customer-centric products and services. This would include understanding what the customer sees as valuable in the businesses product or service, how the product could be made more valuable to the customer, designing or redesigning a product to cater to those customer desires, and integrating that customer-centric knowledge into the design process from the beginning.

An example would be to understand how to design a stroller to make it easier to close with one hand while holding your baby. This would increase the value of the product to a customer who is trying to hold their baby, while closing the stroller with their free hand.  This is a common problem for parents, so creating a working solution would give your company a competitive advantage over other strollers.

INDUSTRY INFLUENCER DESIGN (IID)

Industry Influencer Design deals with the research and understanding who has great influence within your industry. This includes identifying any natural partnerships with other business that should be explored, identifying YouTube, Instagram and Blogging influencers who have a loyal and dedicated following in your niche. This is done to have a deeper connection to your target customers by naturally aligning your business with the individuals who have substantial influence over your target customers.

An example would be to have a high profile blogger or YouTuber review or recommend your business to their loyal followers.

 

BRAND POSITION DESIGN (BPD)

Brand Position Design is the process by which a business clarifies their value proposition to their customers. This includes deciding on what product or service a business will offer, what prices that business will charge, the businesses competitive advantage over their competition, which target customers that the brand will focus on and the overall plan for bringing those products and services to market.

An example would be identifying your company’s specific competitive advantage over your competitors.

SERVICE DESIGN (SDN)

Service Design deals with creating the overall flow of how a business operates. This would include specifying what employees deal with which functions of the business, what the protocol is for managing customer challenges, how products are packaged and shipped, how stores are laid out, etc.

An example would be how a grocery store is physically designed to maximize efficiency for the customer and employees.

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (ED)

Environmental Design deals with the planning of products and physical structures for optimum sustainability and responsibility. For the purposes of Experience Design, this includes considering how a business may purchase and dispose of their materials, trash, etc. This discipline looks at making sure that your packaging and recycling initiatives are as eco friendly as possible and that your business is considering how it impacts the environment as a whole.

An example would be for a coffee company to encourage their customers to upcycle their coffee cans into something useful after it had been consumed.

 

 

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE DESIGN (EXD)

Employee Experience Design deals with the identification of different types of employees, understanding their wants and needs, clarifying their responsibilities to the business, and designing a plan to make sure that they can achieve their personal and professional goals. This deals with training, employee workflow, advancement and recognition opportunities, and in how the employees are empowered to perform their job responsibilities. This discipline makes an active attempt to keep customers happy by keeping employees happy first. This area of design also deals with listening to and incorporating employee feedback into the business and customer experience design processes.

An example would be interviewing employees to understand their job challenges and suggestions for improvements within a specific department.

BRAND DESIGN (BD)

Brand Design is the creation of the overall look and feel of the business. It includes the development of the businesses name, logo, slogan, trademarks, choosing the fonts to use on the businesses marketing materials, and the shooting or acquiring the kinds of images that will be used to market the businesses products and services.

An example would be a logo.

USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (UX) OR (UXD)

User Experience design, deals with researching the kinds of customers that will use the website or mobile app. It focuses on creating user personas and customer journey maps to detail how each kind of customer will likely travel through those digital touch points. Next, the information that the business wants to provide to it’s customers has to be organized to guarantee the highest likelihood that it can be found by the customer. This process is called Information Architecture. After the research and planning phases, UX deals with wireframing (creating a mock up of how the information will look online), then testing users to see if it is easy for them to accomplish stated tasks (buy a shirt, find information, sign up for a class, etc) and tweaking the design until the user flow is simple and intuitive for most customers to understand.

An example would be to build a plan for how the pages would be organized on a website.

WEBSITE DESIGN OR USER INTERFACE DESIGN (UI)

Website design deals with the actual creation or coding of a website based on the intended user experience that you want the customer to have. This is where the designs and plans of both the customer and user experience research come to life. This website design phase is frequently called User Interface (UI) design, as it deals with building the actual digital experience (website or mobile app) that the customer will ultimately use to interact with the business.

An example would be to build a website.

SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN (SMD)

Social Media Design is the process by which a business decides how it will interact with it’s customers to cause growth around their brand. It includes deciding what tone to use when creating social media posts (relatable, corporate, etc), which social media channels should be used to grow that business effectively, what kind of content should be generated (videos, blog posts, etc). This kind of design also looks at how often each of those channels should be posted to for maximum engagement and what keywords and posts will cause the largest increase in followers and what will have the largest likelihood of being shared by customers.

An example would be creating a YouTube video to demonstrate or promote a product.

EXPERIENCE DESIGN (XD)

Experience Design, also called XD or Customer Experience Design, is where all of these separate design elements come together. This is where a business can fully integrate their intended customer experience, user experience, employee experience, etc into their digital (website) and physical (storefront) touchpoints.

Customer Experience Design deal with designing the overall emotional response that a customer will have to interacting with every touchpoint of the business. This includes how the customer should feel while using the business’ website, engaging with their social media channels and while shopping in their physical storefronts. It also includes considering how customers feel when they call the business, how motivated they are to join loyalty programs or refer customers to the business and so much more.

An example would be if a customer who received a broken product experienced joy and relief after calling the business to have it replaced.

Want More Details?

Now you know a bit more about who I am, but you may want more information about what I can do for your business. Read my Case Study to see a real life example of how I work, how it improved a company’s customer experience and how it increased their revenue.

Read My Case Study

Want To Hire Me To Create Your Customer Experience?

Your entire customer experience design, including your website and social media channels take 3-4 weeks to create. I am usually booked at least one month in advance. Additionally, it usually takes Google one to two months to index your site so that it shows up in the search results on the first page. The sooner I begin work on your customer experience, the sooner Google can find your site and we can get you connected to your customers. 

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