An exclusive service package to keep high value customers loyal.
Two days after setting up live|work (back in 2002) we received a call from mobile operator Orange asking, could we help them make the service experience a strategic factor in their development of new services?
At that time, Orange had made huge success in the UK market through a strong focus on making mobile telephony clear, simple and desirable for their customers.
Still, they recognized that they lacked tools and processes to make the customer experience drive new service development. Their branding wasn’t connected to the services they launched. The web site was a marketing channel and didn’t help existing customers to get more value out of their account. Innovation was technology-driven rather than customer oriented.
In fact, they were organised as if they were a product factory out of the last century, not a modern market-defining service provider. Their experts were lodged in silos, and the only people who could see the whole picture of their offering was the customer.
In order to face this challenge, Orange needed to introduce a design approach that bridged silos and channels. They also needed to introduce the service experience earlier in their strategic thinking so that a vision for the service experience could impact on technical and business decisions rather than the other way around. One of the problems with thinking about service experiences at the business level is that it is hard for people to imagine what something intangible, like a premier mobile phone tariff, would look and feel like. Spreadsheets are not good vehicles for the imagination.
To tackle this, we created a project called “Tangible evidence from the future” and designed the experience of 12 new service propositions, ranging from new ways to organise call centres to self-service on-line and new tariffs. Several of the concepts went to market, including a proposal to change Orange shops from vendors of (other brands’) phones to places where people could get help to use mobile services better. Another proposition that went to market as “Orange Premier”, was a high-end tariff for people that wanted a unique experience and exceptional service.
Sketched concept for a new service proposition
Should Orange provide targeted tariffs for different market segments? When we showed Orange how customers could experience a “luxury” account, they were able to take the decision to launch a proposition with unparalleled attention to the quality of design and customer service.
Orange Premier was a success in the market, and introduced a way for Orange to use design as the starting point for business development. We have now worked with Orange for ten years to improve their service experience across the board, in projects ranging from innovation strategy to fixing problems with call-centre delivery.
Our first project with Orange confirmed our thinking that the use of design in this context needed to be re-framed from an activity focused on the delivery of products, paper and interfaces to a process that enables all aspects of a service to play together in a unified experience.