How can we get millennials interested in financial planning? How can we effectively help pregnant women and their partners when questions and problems arise? How can we make buying a car from a dealer a unique experience? At NOLTE&LAUTH we address these and similar problems through our expertise in service innovation, developing targeted digital solutions to solve real customer problems and needs.

Everything begins with the customer

Whatever the issue, the first task is always to generate insights based first and foremost on qualitative research methods. In order to incorporate all relevant perspectives, these methods may include customer surveys, expert interviews, shadowing, and mystery shopping. After synthesizing and evaluating the information, we transform the findings into customer journeys, job stories and service blueprints. Here we often work together with our clients in workshops or integrated teams. The results then serve as a solid basis for our work on the user experience design. They typically provide the freedom to develop creative solutions while at the same time providing direction in the form of customer-focused guidelines. In the course of the development and implementation, we deliver specific customer insights in order to make sound conceptual and technical decisions. We validate interim results quickly and directly by testing them with customers and potential users.

Digital transformations require new methods

This approach has proven particularly effective when new issues arise for which is little experience to draw on and the client’s requirements are not entirely clear, or can only be defined in rough terms. The service design methods described above enable us to analyse and reshape the customer experience holistically, and independently of the user interface. This gives us a complete overview of complex processes within the ecosystem during digital transformation projects while also incorporating the context and players involved. We are currently seeing continuous growth in these projects and it is clear that connected experience – between multiple digital interfaces on the one hand and the digital and physical world on the other – tends to be the rule rather than the exception.

Huge opportunities in physical trading

Personally, I think the greatest potential in this context at the moment is in improving the employee experience in sales. This has been largely neglected in the past, but it is becoming more important than ever before. Digital applications available to customer service representatives at the point of sale are often obsolete. In addition, they are based on order, request and inventory systems that are of limited use in actively assisting with sales advice. The main tasks are still completed manually, and the advisors’ key needs go ignored. Here, once again, we use qualitative research methods to first identify areas of potential. Next, we design and test out new services that offer retail advisors and customers true added value.

Experience our solutions up close and personal

The first tools developed by us have already been deployed successfully on a global level, including the Postbank Finance Assistant, the Aptamil 1000 Days app, the Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle Configurator, the Mercedes me Store Configurator and our own exclusive product, the NL Digital Showroom. Together with our customers Mercedes-Benz, smart and Postbank, naturally we are already hard at work on new innovative solutions. More to follow soon on our blog.