Tag Archives: Service Design

Nike Fuel Band

A friend of mine, works for Blue Cross, recently mentioned that one vector of digital healthcare evolution is going to be what the industry calls…. “the quantified self.” Looks like Nike—whose stock reached an all time high yesterday, leading up to this morning’s announcement—jumped on with Nike Fuel. It is the trend toward value I wrote about in this post last year.

Social Retailing at The Home Depot

It all started in March 2007 when an MSN Money article called “Is Home Depot Shafting Shoppers” by Scott Burns got a lot of feedback. The response on the discussion boards was overwhelming – 7,000 comments within 3 weeks all echoing the same sentiment. The Home Depot CEO posted commentary asking customer’s to give them time to improve customer service and their help in making it a better place to work. This was the first foray in to social media and it opened everyone’s eyes to see how engaged and passionate people were about their brand.

Fast-forward four years, The Home Depot has come up with an interesting model for enabling their employees to assist customers through social media. They aren’t the first to get employees answering customers questions through social media channels, Best Buy has a community team, that answers questions, rates answers online and utilizes Twitter in multiple languages called the Twelpforce.

According to AdAge, The Home Depot’s model is a bit different, they developed a hybrid model of social-media store associates. When the social media team approached the CEO with a request to start a social media team, Mr. Blake pushed back, saying that Home Depot’s store associates were the company’s strongest source of knowledge, and he wanted to think about how to use them before adding people to the corporate communications team.

The Realtime Report has a decent summary of the model.

Interesting presentation by Nick Ayers from The Home Depot in 2008. According to Nick, The Home Depot has the following 3-prong strategy:
1) Capture lost or on the fence customers
2) Connecting with new customer’s such a new home owners
3) Engage associates in a way they haven’t done before. The 300,000 employees have tribal improvement knowledge that they want to leverage. The Digital Orange Apron is an extension of an iconographic part of the brand.

UN Creative Economy Report 2010

This UN Creative Economy report builds on the earlier analysis of its predecessor, with new and improved data, showing how creativity, knowledge, culture, and technology can be drivers of job creation, innovation, and social inclusion. It suggests that world trade in creative goods and services remainedrelativelyrobustatatimewhenoverall levels of international trade fell. It analyzes the rapid growth in the creative economy sectors across the South and the growing share of creative sector trade which is coming from the South. By exploring the factors behind this growth and the potential for further expansion of the sector the report provides useful input into the ongoing policy debate on feasible development options.

Use Persona and Storytelling to Drive Service Design Innovation

We have seen a shift from an era of production where the practices we cited were all about making better stuff, to one of distribution (Walmart, Amazon) to the one we are living in now which is an era of experience. For organizations this means delivering a differentiated Customer Experience. As a result we are seeing a much broader interest from roles in the organization that have not had to previously consider the Customer’s Journey.

The challenge is that most organizations don’t have the knowledge, tools or organizational structure to execute a holistic strategy. Most individuals are driven by their functional knowledge and roles (e.g. Marketing, Sales, R&D), with immediate short-term targets and segmented metrics. Persona-based experience design is growing in popularity – it started with websites but now companies are starting to think about how to leverage them to create differentiated experiences.


Creating personas, personifications that represents the various segment of your target audience is a great way to align the teams. Based on primary reseach it includes the attitudes, goals, behaviors of the segment it represents. Give the persona a real sounding name and a photo and write a description that includes the details of your user research. In combination with scenario (carefully constructed stories of the ideal experience) the persona is put into action and bridges the context of use to the implementation. These “stories” enables better decision-making on process changes and contain information vital to the design of good interfaces and solutions.

There is a lot written about how to develop persona so I am just going to highlight an element that we’ve added to the construction of our persona, a technology profile. This is to ensure that when we consider the digital platform options we focus on the ones being used by the target audience.

We have a lot of research at Cisco around people’s technology behaviors. We are able to match the demographics of a target audience against our research to identify where they are likely to fall on the adoption curve. We can also identify the technology usage across device types and where they are engaging in categories such as social media, online banking, ecommerce and online games.

Persona’s enable the organization to move beyond the current care-abouts and metrics to measuring customer satisfaction, product usability and to tying customer-relevant metrics to conversion points. The teams can assess the specific impacts of the customer experience initiatives on each of the “persona” as well as the impact to the bottom line.