Friday, May 25, 2007

When Surveys Failed At Credit Suisse, They Tried Customer Immersion Tactics

Credit Suisse wanted to change their quality of customer experience for the better, but realized that surveys were not helping to bring this about. So what did David McQuillen VP of customer experience do to evoke change? He literally put upper management in the customer’s shoes. During one presentation, he placed a mic onstage next to a phone and asked an executive to come up on stage and call their contact center. I would have loved to have seen the terror on the exec’s face! To illustrate how ineffective their brand was for the disabled, he had 50 executives sit in wheelchairs during a presentation and wear suits that made them feel 75 years old, including the CEO. The CEO, by the way, wasn’t a kool-aid drinking UX fan by any stretch, but after this experience he became a UX champion.

If an organization doesn’t have UX in the proper place in the company’s structure and doesn’t have it placed at the earliest stages of the product lifecycle, changing these things may be a Herculean task. These customer immersion techniques are really great to try and get organizations to become aware of the importance of making customer perspective cultural. Everyone cares about customer data, no matter how cynical they may be, but wagging a corporation into investing dollars and changing strategies takes tactics like David used.

Check out a portion of David McQuillen’s presentation given at EuroGel 2006. Learn about Gel 2008 in New York as well.

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