By Matthias Müller, MSc
Director, Mensch Design Innovation GmbH
Paper for a conference about management development. Main goal of management is to deliver products and services which satisfy customer needs. Main capability therefore should be empathy. Experience design provides the mindset, process and tools to achieve this.
For decades, companies have declared customer orientation to be their uppermost goal. What is the key to customer orientation today? How does it work in companies like Apple, Nespresso (Nestlé) or Patagonia for example, who are particulary successful in their markets? The answer is that these companies have moved on from selling “naked” products and services to delivering experiences that are full of value. Their value proposition is not limited to the features of their product but covers all interactions with the customer, incorporating customer needs and the promise of the brand: The customer gets to be a long-term partner in a partnership that is not only defined by economic or emotional benefits but by a value the customers perceive as meaningful for their lifestyle, for their life. Sustainability is achieved by satisfying needs that originate in the customers’ beliefs and values.
Experience Design provides the mindset and the tools enabling companies to offer these meaningful experiences. Our concept of Experience Design is based on four skills: explore the customer, prototype your offer, reframe your strategy, use the energy of the team. The underlying competence to these is empathy: the urge to understand, the compassion for the need of the customer, the need of employees and the need of soiety. Empathy is the one basic competence needed to create sustainable value in the economy of the future.