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Good Design Australia is proud to announce The Customer Experience Company as our Event Partner for the 2017 Design as Strategy Forum on 23 October in Sydney.

Here, Good Design Australia talks to Raj Mendes, Founder and CEO of The Customer Experience Company.

GDA: How did The Customer Experience Company come to life?

RM: It was 2003 and I was seeing technology projects trying to drive business outcomes. More than that, I was seeing a lack of focus and appreciation of the human/people element in the business equation – whether that be customers, or the people working in organisations. I was convinced that if you considered people at the centre, great things could happen. If we put ourselves in the shoes of someone else when thinking about and executing ideas, the business results would follow. I started The Customer Experience Company to drive this way of thinking.

GDA: What is your main area of business and what kind of clients do you work with?

RM: We help organisations transform to be more customer-centric. Typically, these are organisations with thousands of customers or users, and the ecosystems we’re working with are large and complex. We work with organisations to first define their ‘why’, which is the foundation of transforming the customer experience. Our capabilities include strategy, service design, culture change, tech and measurement, and we’re frequently involved in projects which blend and span all these elements. We love being able to bring a range of approaches and solutions to drive transformation and enable change for the better.

GDA: What sort of challenges do your clients typically ask you to solve and how do you go about solving these?

RM: Clients typically ask us how to improve advocacy, revenue and increase productivity. Traditionally these have been thought to be mutually exclusive, but they are not. Good service, a desirable experience, is actually a more efficient and cost effective way of getting results.

Much of our work now involves digital transformation, however, to us technology is an enabler rather than a solution – we start with customer needs rather than being ’technology-led'. We help organisations understand which tasks should be done in which channels, to ensure maximum return on investment in digital.

GDA: What project are you most proud of?

RM: NZ Inland Revenue (NZ Tax Department) Collections transformation, and a customer-centric culture change project with AMP. The first project has achieved great things for a country, improving the socio economic situation. The second project has proven that you can achieve advocacy and revenue uplift with productivity increases. Both were customer experience transformations underpinned by cultural change.

GDA: How would you best describe good design?

RM: Good design is deliberate. You create something for all stakeholders – an experience (and an organisation) that customers want and an experience that is commercially sound. This requires discipline. Design in the service economy is maturing, and being able to hold and give respect to creative and commercial sides together creates better outcomes. Good design is also grounded in meaning and purpose. Without that you may produce something that doesn't matter.

I'd like organisations and their leaders to see the value in design and how it can help the world today.

The 2017 Design as Strategy Forum will be held on 23 October - Tickets go on sale soon.

See Program and confirmed Keynote Speakers HERE.