INTERVIEW // An Interview with Joe Smiley, Experience Design Leader at E*TRADE
THEMES // Innovation / Design / Customer Experience
COMPANY // Stonehill Innovation
DATE // August 2019
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW //
How Do Companies Leverage Customer Experience (CX) for Disruption?
Customer Experience (CX) goes beyond developing trendy products and services. It’s really about listening to customers, identifying their needs, and then developing meaningful experiences to meet their needs in order to continuously build trust and grow the customer relationship.
In the past, good customer experiences were made up of three things from the customer’s perspective:
- Usable – intuitive and easy to use
- Reliable – is available and accurate
- Functional – they deliver value
However, customer expectations are always changing, where they now expect meaningful, pleasurable, and convenient experiences. This new reality has opened up the door to companies willing to invest in their Customer Experience, often leading to disruption…
How Does Design Enable Extraordinary Customer Experiences?
Design is an extraordinary catalyst for innovation and transformation because it leads us to explore and embrace new, unique, and often unpredictable points of view. To effectively implement a unique and differentiated Customer Experience, many companies like Apple and E*TRADE are utilizing one of the primary design methods, Design Thinking, because it enables companies to break out of their old thinking in order to find new ways to innovate and ideate new products, services, and solutions. Once a product or service is conceptualized, it can be developed and optimized by applying Human-Centered Design, which is a more nuanced Design Thinking approach that focuses on developing and improving the experience and engagement of a certain product or service by looking at the world with deep empathy through your customers’ perspective.
We’re able to look at our products differently when we can think like our customers, and this provides us with new opportunities to solve problems and overcome challenges that otherwise may be impossible to solve. Maintaining this customer mindset is a priority – even when our company is doing well – because it helps us track the evolving needs and wants of our customers and the broader market, which helps us offer new products and services that add meaningful value for them. The bottom line is if a company is not keeping up with the changing needs and wants of their customers, someone else will.
How Does E*TRADE Utilize Design to Shape the Customer Experience?
As previously mentioned, many companies – including E*TRADE – are now focused on developing, enhancing, and managing their Customer Experience to gain a competitive edge and disrupt markets. With so much emphasis on external customers, most executives tend to forget about their employees’ Customer Experience.
At E*TRADE, we’ve discovered a lot of value in enhancing our employee experience through the use of Human-Centered Design…
What is the Future of Design?
I believe the future of design will be extraordinary as the centerpiece of the next business revolution – the Design Revolution. It will eclipse all other previous revolutions in its size and scale as it transforms business and the enterprise as we know it today, unlocking trillions and trillions of dollars in new revenue for organizations by creating new innovative industries, businesses, products, and services. I call it “Strategic Design,” which is the future of business because it puts design first in everything you do, as opposed to being an add-on or afterthought for most companies. It also elevates design beyond a single department and into the very foundations of an organization.
The challenge most organizations face today is that design is rarely utilized beyond the design department. This is largely due to the fact that design is seldom represented in the C-suite of most companies, as business leaders continue to buy into the myth that design thinking and approaches should only be used among the creative staff. To differentiate and remain competitive, companies continue using the same old business methods (e.g. incremental improvement, cost cutting, layoffs, M&A, etc.) hoping for different results; it’s truly the definition of insanity.
Read The Full Interview Here >
ABOUT STONEHILL INNOVATION //
This interview was conducted by the team at Stonehill. Stonehill is a strategy and innovation firm that helps the world’s most interesting brands to identify opportunity, implement change, and accelerate growth.
Our team consists of an innovative blend of creative, strategy, technology, and change management experts that allows us to unite the functional silos of business in the common objective of creating differentiated customer experiences.
Stonehill is the recipient of the 2019 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business of the Year that honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth.