little girl playing video games
Editorial

More CX Innovation and Experimentation Lessons From Hazel

3 minute read
Alan J. Porter avatar
We can watch what we and family and friends of all ages experience in our daily lives and think about what works and what doesn’t in these customer experiences.

“Hey Baba, I have a new game to show you.” These were the first words my 4-year-old granddaughter, Hazel, said when she arrived at our house. She was holding her Kindle Fire Kids Edition tablet tightly to her chest.

Long-time readers of my articles here may remember when I wrote about Hazel in January 2019 and said, “Hazel is the best predictor of the customer experience.”

I still believe that. I had fun watching her as she showed me the new game that was her latest favorite pastime. She was using the touch screen in an intuitive manner, understanding the icons and menu items — even though she had only just started to read.

I could see what parts of the experience she enjoyed and which parts of the experience frustrated her. I wasn’t just focused on the application and interface design, which of course is important, but also why she had picked this game, and what kept her engaged with it. The game presented not only a challenge to which she could relate, but it also allowed enough progress on each attempt so that she didn’t get frustrated. In short, it was meeting her need for entertainment, provided value by reinforcing recent learnings around reading and counting, and was available on her favorite device for use in places that she used the tablet, such as trips in the car to see her grandparents.

Aren’t those all essential parts of providing a good customer experience?

  • Meet a need.
  • Provide value.
  • Be available.
  • Be frictionless.
  • Be engaging and repeatable.

If these attributes are good enough for a demanding 4-year-old, then I think they are a good model for customer engagement in general.

Related Article: 5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience as Online Competition Heats Up

Learning Opportunities

Home Is Where the Customer Experience Lessons Are

We can take the lessons learned by watching what we and family and friends of all ages experience in our daily lives and think about what works and what doesn’t, then apply those lessons to developing the customer experiences we deliver.

We should not only look at what our competitors are doing, but also what we ourselves experience as customers. Look at the other industries that you interact with outside of work. What are the customer experiences like when you are the consumer? See something that you like in terms of process, design or communication? Try and add it into your own CX process.

My wife and I recently completed a 2,600-mile road trip across three states. During the trip we stayed at multiple different types of hotels and a few AirBnB properties. We ate at a wide variety of restaurants, diners and casual places. We stopped at gas stations run by multiple different companies, some small in isolated towns, others major service areas by interstate freeways. We also stopped off at various attractions and tourist destinations. I learned a lot by comparing and contrasting the various experiences we had.

After one particular conversation about a flawed experience, my wife said, “I feel a blog post coming on.” She was right — this is it.

But you’ll have to excuse me, as I need to go help Hazel chase penguins and see if we can increase our game score. You never know, I might just learn something.

About the author

Alan J. Porter

Alan J. Porter is the Chief Content Architect at Hyland Software.

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