Using Design Thinking, Ideactio and Meyer embarked on a co-creation process to design and implement solutions over a six-month period. They met almost every week, at every stage, in a succession of quick feedback loops, ideating and prototyping as they went along. The initial focus was on how to move from a manufacturing-driven company with a contractor mindset to a service- driven brand.
Customer centricity. The starting point was the customer. To immerse themselves in the customer experience, Ideactio conducted in-depth interviews and site observations with customers (past and present), as well as architects, contractors and interior designers whom Meyer sold lifts through. From this exercise, they gleaned two major insights: Firstly, customers were sceptical about the brand. Secondly, they found the product and process very complex. These findings sharpened the focus to ‘how do we convert scepticism to trust?’ and ‘how do we convert complexity to ease?’
Customer archetypes. Ideactio then created four archetypes that represented categories of Meyer’s customers. This helped the team identify specific strategies to convert them into trusting clients.
Service blueprint. Through research, discussions with staff and observation of processes, Ideactio mapped out how service was delivered in Meyer – identifying four stages: sale, design, delivery and maintenance – then overlaid the customer’s journey to create a total service blueprint. Says Nav Qirti, Founder and Principal at Ideactio, “Business is muddled in processes, but when we map out the business, there is clarity and we’re able to spot where the opportunities are to improve things.”
Building trust. Customers doubted Meyer because they lacked information. To fix this, Meyer’s story was shared upfront in its redesigned catalogues and website before any products were mentioned. Another contributing area was the jittery wait between making upfront payment for the lift and delivery. To assuage their uncertainty, Meyer started identifying what clients need to be aware of, what were the touchpoints with them, and then updating them periodically on progress.
Reducing complexity. Previously, customers were bombarded with a barrage of options for each lift component and that intimidated them. This process was simplified: The main elements were first identified, then options were presented step-by-step and visually, so that any lay person could make decisions. Communicating the options also took on a customer-centric slant, with non-technical language used to help customers better understand.
Training staff. Service guidelines were developed for staff and training was carried for all sales, delivery and maintenance teams. “It’s a complete mindset shift; even technicians are not spared because they are client-facing,” says Aswani, who prefers the same technician to visit the same home for quarterly maintenance. “Being service-oriented includes how you greet clients, making sure you take off your shoes, wash your hands, and not make marks on the wall – the little things.”
Launching Italy studio. To up the ante on lift design, engineering and parts assembly, Meyer set up a lift design studio in Italy in 2016. With a European presence, it is closer to the source of materials and can better ensure its quality as well as manufacturing process. This adds to customer assurance.
Creating a showroom. In 2017, Meyer set up Singapore’s first elevator showroom with the view of creating an experience for customers. “People can try different elevator systems, touch and feel different finishes, and get a better idea of what they’re in for,” says Aswani. “Although I like to personally explain things to people, I won’t always be around; and we have sales staff. So the idea is that eventually, customers can go on this journey themselves. But it’s still a work in progress.”