At Technical Assent, we believe that a key component of providing exceptional service is rooted in providing an exceptional customer experience. In May 2016, we launched a four-month design thinking effort called Inspiring Service Summer Series, or ISSS for short. ISSS was professional development, but it was also our tool for looking in the mirror and working on our own service delivery as a company. Or, in other words, working “in a problem, on a problem.”
We included all staff members in this effort, with non-client-facing staff and consultants learning and contributing equally. Additionally, ISSS had a secondary purpose as a forum for testing virtual collaboration and facilitation methods our company developed.
Why we did this
One goal was to ensure that all Technical Assent employees are well-equipped to deliver “Services that INSPIRE” to our clients, including access to the necessary knowledge, skills, tools, and other resources. We also wanted to continue to build employee comfort with design-thinking tools—especially in a virtual environment—and learn more about ourselves. Ultimately, we wanted to create something of value for our customers by improving ourselves.
The graphic below summarizes our #ISSS virtual design journey.
What emerged from the effort
Our starting point, as always, was our customers, because our solutions will ultimately be measured by their impact to them. Based on customer input, we spent considerable time reflecting and defining what they need from us, what they really want, and how they want it delivered. That definition of inspiring service became the foundation of everything that came afterward. We identified focus areas based on client needs and our corporate goals, brainstormed over 70 ideas to make ourselves better, and assembled prototype teams to bring select ideas to life.
So now, after nearly four months of work, we emerged with three completely different innovations we’re now in the process of implementing.
We are sharing our design journey because it is something that can be repeated. As with any of these types of efforts, it was less about the specific technique or method and more about the richness of the dialogue that evolved.
Overall, the exercise was a great success and as a result, we’re confident our entire staff is better positioned to provide the kind of inspiring service our clients most need. We learned a lot along the way, and we look forward to sharing some of those insights in the future.