Customer, user and citizen experiences
We have designed our approach to customer, user and citizen experience research to meet the needs of government, not for profit and commercial organisations who want to put people at the heart of the services they deliver.
In fact we prefer to think of it as 'human experience' because thinking about people as people is the first step to empathy, and empathy drives good service design.
What we do
For service-delivery, we explore interactions between people and between people and the technology. A service is not something 'consumed' like a product. For example, person-to-person encounters are sometimes about power relationships. It is important to know when (for example) your service empowers people sand helps them become self-sufficient, and when it disempowers people so they over-use your resources. Whatever we research, our focus is always on the person.
We go beyond simple description. We find out what the experience means to people so that we can show our clients how to design or redesign their services or processes for people.
- We observe behaviour in situ wherever possible to find out what people do and what they don't do.
- We listen to what people say about their experience, and how they say it. What people say about their experience reflects what they think about it and what it means to them, because talking is an act of thinking. People use language to construct meaning, especially when what they have to say is new or difficult.
- We find out what people remember. How people remember their experiences is what drives repeat behaviour. Will shoppers come back to your store? Will your clients use your service after new competitors have emerged? When customers contact you, what do they remember about it most afterwards and how does that fit into their image of your brand or department?
'It is a basic fact of the human condition that memories are what we get to keep from our experience, and the only perspective that we can adopt as we think about our lives is therefore that of the remembering self.' 2
Our approach suits clients looking for insightful and rigorous research to help solve a service-related problem.We have researched the experiences of a diverse range of people, including arts audiences, students, financial services customers, welfare recipients, and victims of crime. Our practical recommendations have included service redesign, digital developments and communication improvements.
2. 'Living, and thinking about it: two perspectives on life.' Daniel Kahneman and Jason Riis