Solving the wicked problem of customer experience design

I was doing some reading recently on design theory; particularly, Horst Rittel’s musings on the notion of the ‘wicked problem’.  Rittel coined the wicked problem term, which is typically used to describe complicated social issues like poverty, environmental degradation and terrorism.  Wicked problems are typically difficult to articulate; they lack definition, crisp metrics or boundaries – they often time blend into one another.  Wicked problems lack a template to follow to solve.  They don’t have an obvious end state that we’re working towards.  So, we tend to look for ways to improve the situation rather than solve the problem. 

Does that sound like anything to you?  If you flip the wicked problem into a wicked opportunity, it starts to sound like customer experience design to me.  The evolution to a highly engaged customer experience that is delivered consistently, predictably and at scale is long journey.  And, often times, you can only tell that you’ve made progress by looking in the rear view mirror to see where you’ve come from.  Does that sound familiar?  Think of Sitecore’s Customer Experience Maturity Model.  Organizations earn their way up the model by better understanding their customers, by more closely aligning their marketing tactics with organizational strategic objectives, by building (or buying) internal skill sets and by using a technology stack that’s designed for the job at hand.

Organizations can use the Customer Experience Maturity Model as a guide to measure progress, but how do you get started?    To answer that question, we’ve designed a hands-on program called GoGuide.  Our GoGuide process helps Sitecore customers get a jump start on customer experience design.  We help the stakeholders 'understand the problem, by solving the problem'.   We do this by employing the SBOS framework for customer experience strategy and by implementing (in the wild) the tactics (personalization, engagement value, engagement plans, etc.) so that the stakeholders can learn from them.  It’s the old Ben Franklin quote, ‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

To learn more about the Bonfire GoGuide, click here.