Customer value and customer experience are current buzzwords, and for a reason: they are important factors that tie your customers to your brand and define the quality of your business. Customer value is based on the relationship between the costs and the benefit as experienced by your client when they buy your products and services. From a service provider or a company perspective, producing customer value is also key to running a successful business. In this blog post, we explore the ways in which service design methods and improved customer experience can accelerate the growth of your business and develop your business operations. We will also take a look at a case study involving Mandatum Life and exemplify how the Hellon artificial intelligence AINO can be used to identify where a project’s most significant business potential lies through examining a large amount of quantitative data.
Service design identifies the building blocks of customer value
Service design is an approach that helps us identify the elements of a service which produce the most value for your customers. These value factors can be financial (e.g. related to price), functional (related to the practicality and usability of the service) or emotional (driven by experiences and feelings) and together or separately have an impact on the demand for your products. Furthermore, service design can be used to uncover areas for improvement and pain points that customers are currently dissatisfied with, therefore reducing the customer value of your product or service. The service design approach provides you with answers on how products and services need to be amended and improved in order to produce excellent customer value, stand apart from the competition and result in a competitive edge.
Success and growth are most often the results of making the right business decisions and providing customers with products and services that offer added value. Service design is the most comprehensive approach for acceleration. It helps you identify the business areas worth investing in, so that you can offer the best customer experience in your sector.
Moreover, service design not only offers robust tools for developing your business, it can also help you verify the impact of your actions with the help of data and prototyping. This enables you to hit your targets while making sure your investment in service design bears fruit.
The results of service design manifest as an unbeatable customer experience
Every service provider wants to improve their core business and remain relevant in order to ensure the continuity of their business. While service design, when done right, yields numerous long-term results, it can also boost your sales and improve your results quickly. The results of service design projects can, for example, be seen in increased sales, accelerated sales cycles and reduced production costs, all of which are welcome improvements for any company.
Service design can also be used to make your own product and service development process more agile, helping you launch your products faster. When a product has been designed and optimised for the end user already at the production stage, we know there is a demand for it and that it produces customer value.
A result of service design is the creation of a concept, which is validated by customers to ensure it meets expectations. Additionally, during a project, a number of business hypotheses are often set and tested to uncover e.g. how much your customers are prepared to pay for your products. Therefore, by using service design you ensure that your products and services are relevant and by committing to the approach on a long-term basis, success is guaranteed.
The results achieved through service design can also be seen in the growth of revenue and profit. When your organisation is clear on what its customer value is based on, the profit derived from improving customer value can be identified and measured. On the other hand, results may also manifest themselves in the form of savings achieved through streamlining internal processes and stripping them of unnecessary elements that do not provide customer value. Thus, your business operations can be run in a more agile and (cost-)effective manner.
Hellon and Mandatum Life joined forces to develop customer experience
Mandatum Life is a highly considered financial services provider in Finland, offering wealth management and pension services for both individual and corporate clients. The goal of the cooperation between Hellon and Mandatum Life was to examine Mandatum Life's customer experience, understand what it is based on and improve it based on customer needs. The project started with a qualitative data collection phase, which entailed interviews with potential, current and previous customers of Mandatum Life. The interviews aimed to find out what Mandatum Life means for the customers, what they think customer value consists of and what their essential needs are.
Simultaneously, the Hellon artificial intelligence solution AINO™ was used to analyse massive amounts of NPS survey data, which in turn was used to define what the best possible customer experience and high recommendation rate of Mandatum Life consist of.
Service design and AI working in harmony
The results of the analysis were extremely interesting, but also clear. Both the qualitative interviews as well as the results collected by the AINO AI from vast amounts of quantitative data unanimously displayed one reigning theme which had a massive impact on Mandatum Life’s customer experience: the feeling of being looked after and cared for. For the customers of Mandatum Life, it is of utmost importance that, in addition to having the chance to liaise with the most skilled finance and insurance sector experts, they also feel that they are cared for.
This was an interesting contrast to the customers’ impression of Mandatum Life as a brand, which the customers described as distinguished, imposing and even dominating. We saw a fascinating equation in this contrast between the customers' need to feel looked after and encountered with empathetic caring as opposed to Mandatum Life’s masculine and imposing brand.
Based on the data and analyses, the project team compiled a list of the service design measures that would further strengthen the customer experience. “Caring” and “being looked after” were set as the focal points, which ensured that the customer experience development process was tailored to the customers’ needs from the beginning and proven to yield the desired business impact.
Excellent results with service design
The project’s results speak for themselves: Mandatum Life’s customer satisfaction scores and NPS results are through the roof and continue to break previous records. Moreover, Mandatum Life’s NPS is at exactly the level the AINO AI predicted it would reach. This is no wonder as AINO’s main purpose is to use quantitative data to identify the project’s focus areas with highest potential for impact, which it did as expected.
The cooperation between Hellon and Mandatum Life confirms that service design supports companies in developing measures that improve the business and that have verified and proven impact on KPI’s. The qualitative and quantitative data supported each other throughout the project, which enabled accurate predictions of the results to be gained and impacts on the business. As a result (as always with Hellon), the service design project was not solely based on the service designer’s vision but first and foremost on facts and data.
With over 10 years of experience and hundreds of successful projects under our belt, we at Hellon have the know-how, methods and processes for developing business using service design, and we know it works. If you would like to know more about how service design could boost your business, improve your customer experience and clarify your customer value, please don't hesitate to get in touch! You can also read more about choosing the right partner for you, as well as tips for procuring service design, in our Service Design Procurement Guide below: