From the ServDes2014 conference: The five editor’s picks

Besides experience design, we consider ourselves part of the service design community. As the experience and service industries grow, expertise in service design has become increasingly relevant for us. Some of our knowledge, insights and competencies are derived when companies and practitioners collaborate with academia, and those results are shared. At an event such as ServDes2014 (9-11 April, Lancaster UK), relevant and interesting research information is presented, discussed and shared. We picked five papers from the conference proceedings that we felt are especially relevant.

From customer journeys to services and experience

A four-stage CX maturity model

By now, many organizations understand the relevance of a customer focus and try to incorporate customer thinking in their strategy. However, confining a customer experience strategy to only customer services and customer journeys only is missing a trick. While they are both important, a larger opportunity exists by moving into customer-centric services and experiences.

Four guiding principles for CX excellence

Similar to operational, financial or strategic excellence, customer experience (CX) excellence is an organizational competence, capability or capacity. In the 21st century, organizations with a high degree of CX excellence are more successful than others. They focus not only on the needs, expectations and dreams of customers, they also tend to have high levels of employee engagement. The level of CX excellence can be determined for all kinds of organizations, both profit and not-for-profit. While CX excellence for commercial organizations may result in increased profit, growth and shareholder value, for government agencies it reduces costs, increases trust or builds on renewed connections with citizens. But what are the principles guiding organizations to CX excellence?

At the INTERSECTION of design thinking and systems thinking

A trip report from a cross-disciplinary event

Last month, I attended an event on what hopefully will become a new community of knowledge and practice: strategic enterprise design. At INTERSECTION (Paris, 16-17 April 2014), the communities of experience design and enterprise architecture and design hooked up, each with their own views, opinions and insights on the enterprise of the future. The conference was a cross-disciplinary encounter of communities, previously hardly aware of each others existence. And as they say, ‘cool things happen at the edges’.

Insurance companies’ untapped digital opportunities

In many industries, digital transformation creates new opportunities and challenges. Becoming digital also means finding the best way to serve customers based upon available data, intelligence, and insights. The insurance domain can benefit tremendously when digital excellence is their core performance indicator. McKinsay-analists Tanguy Catlin, Pradip Patiath and Ido Segev dive into what digital excellence for insurers means.

How employee engagement impacts the customer experience

Engaged employees are a great asset for companies, especially in relation to delivering great customer experience (CX). In a webinar (2012), customer experience transformist Bruce Temkin (of the Temkin Group) and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association ( explains how companies with superior customer experiences and loyal customers deal with the engagement of their employees.

Service Design Network 2013 Global Conference

Presentation highlights

In late November, the Service Design Network held its sixth annual global conference, in Cardiff (UK). A record number of attendees (480+) spent two days in the eye-catching Wales Millennium Centre, listening to presentations, attending workshops, networking and meeting conference exhibitors. Videos and presentations from nearly all the talks are now freely available online.

Top 5 BiRDS posts from 2013

Content strategy, UX management, and service design

B!RDS on a WiRE has had a successful year. Almost every week we managed to publish a least one post. Identifying relevant, interesting and valuable content has been our focus all the time. Content created by CX professionals from within Informaat and curated content by others from outside. This year our focus has been on content strategy, service design (for government services), and UX teams and management.

Introducing the Informaat Customer Experience Canvas

A model for the orchestration of customer experiences

Organizational barriers too often stand in the way of achieving excellent customer experience. Overcoming these barriers requires a new approach: Discovering the many facets which influence CX and understanding the timeframes in which they play a role. A model to visualize these facets – and support their orchestration – is needed.

Where we are and what awaits us in 2014

Collecting new year trends from crystal ball readers

At the end of every year, analysts, thinkers and watchers provide their view on where we stand and what’s ahead of us in the coming year. These crystal ball readers predict our future with lots of statistical materials, like diagrams, charts and other nifty visualizations. Applied to various domains such as the internet, mobile or (social) media, they all agree on one thing: Digital disruption of society is getting stronger and stronger. So, what’s their predictions for 2014?

Upcoming events 2014

Networking, hands-on workshops, inspiring presentations and creative stimulation. Events and conferences offer a wealth of opportunities for professional development. We’ve put together a hand-picked selection from the coming new year which we hope aligns well with the interests of you, our readers. Stay tuned, because we’ll keep updating the list regularly.