The meaning of experiences
Our customer and user experience research is different. In fact we prefer to think of it as 'human experience' because thinking about people as people first is the first step to empathy.
We don't simply describe what people do, we find out what the experience means to them. We use the findings to show our clients how to design or redesign their services or processes and / or how to communicate better. Our approach suits clients looking for insightful and rigorous research to help solve a service-related problem.
We observe and we listen
- 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, to find out what it means to them. 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?
'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
Not all service experiences involve technology
Much of our works involves researching interactions between people. In many cases, part of the service experience involves interaction between the service provider and the customer. A service is not something 'consumed' like a product. Person-to-person encounters are sometimes about power relationships. When we are researching technology, our focus is always on the person. Does experiencing this technology add value to your customer?
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