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Experience+Cycle

Experience+Cycle

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Published by: fakkurudeen.ar on Nov 16, 2008
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05/09/2014

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The Experience Cycle
In this article, we contrast the “sales cycle” andrelated models with the “experience cycle” model.The sales cycle model is a traditional tool inbusiness. The sales cycle frames the producer-customer relationship from the producers pointof view and aims to funnel potential customers toa transaction. The experience cycle is a new tool,synthesizing and giving form to a broader, moreholistic approach being taken by growing numbersof designers, brand experts, and marketers. Theexperience cycle frames the producer-customerrelationship from the customers point of view andaims to move well beyond a single transactionto establish a relationship between producer andcustomer and foster an on-going conversation.We acknowledge the sales cycle model has value.And designers need to be familiar with it. But whenthe sales cycle comes up as a topic of discussion ina client engagement, designers should also think ofthe experience cycle as an alternative frame—andshould introduce it into the discussion. We believethe experience cycle is a more useful model notonly for designers but also for marketing andsales people, because it is more likely to lead to anexperience of lasting value for customers, and thusgreater long-term value for producers.
 
Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson
Sales Cycle
The “sales cycle” is a model commonly used inbusiness. It often frames the basic structure ofmarketing and sales activities, providing a practicaltemplate for planning.The sales cycle describes the series of steps leadingto a sale (or purchase), including awareness,consideration, and selection. The goal is topush customers to buy—advertising to increasefamiliarity, informing to build knowledge, offeringincentives to close a deal.The sales cycle also refers to the time required tocomplete the sales process. The length of the salescycle varies depending on the cost, complexity,and context of use of the product being sold.For example, a hospital information system mighthave a three-year sales cycle; a new game consolemight have a sales cycle lasting a few daysor weeks.The sales cycle does not have a single, canonicalform. Many variations appear in the literature, andin practice people often tailor the model addingor subtracting steps to fit their own situations. Acommon characteristic of sales cycle models is thefunnel shape, a visual analogy to a process thatbegins with a large pool of candidates, narrows toa group of interested prospects, and narrows againto those who purchase. The funnel model is usefulin managing a “sales pipeline”. Defining a series ofsteps in the sales process creates opportunities forsetting goals, tracking performance, and analyzingeffectiveness, which makes forecasting morereliable and enables improvement of the process.
Stage
AwarenessConsiderationSelectionPotentialaudienceInterestedprospectsActualcustomers
Pool sizeTime
 
2This model updates the sales cycle, framingstages in the process as goals the seller has forcustomer thinking and adding actions the sellermay take to achieve those goals and measures oftheir effectiveness. This model also adds a stagefor customer feedback, important for productimprovement and innovation.Related to the sales cycle model are models ofdecision-making and technology-adoption.Rogers 6. articulates a five-stepinnovation-decision process:- Knowledge- Persuasion- Decision- Implementation- ConfirmationKotler and Armstrong 4. articulate another variationon the decision process:- Problem recognition: Perceiving a need- Information search: Seeking value- Alternative evaluation: Assessing value- Purchase decision: Buying value- Post-purchase behavior: Value inconsumption or use
Sales Cycle – Expanded
Defining the first step as problem recognition mayimply the “problem” has an objective existence,independent of the customer—and the producer.Framing the decision process as problem-solvingsuggests the customer is a “rational actor.Thedanger is that people often act more on emotionthan by rationally calculating self-interest. Andtheir definitions of problems depend on their pointof view and are often formed in conversationswith others—including producers. Indeed part ofthe innovation process is reframing an existingsituation to create consensus around a newdefinition of a problem.(Models of decision-making as problem-solvingecho models of the design process asproblem-solving which were common indiscussions of first-generation design methods.In proposing a second generation of designmethods, Horst Rittel 5. articulated the limitationsof design as problem-solving and offered as analternative a view of design as conversation.)
Measure
What seller watches
Research stage
Recognition score + # of inquiriesReputation + quality scoresSales $ + % repeat purchasesUsability scores + maintenance recordsNet promoter + satisfaction scores # of unexpected uses of product
Action
What seller does
Sales stage
Publicize + advertiseInform + educateClose + transactService + supportReinforce + rewardListen + adopt
Goal
Where seller wants buyer “to be”
Adoption stage
Aware of seller + offeringUnderstand features + benefitsInteract + decide to tryIncrease use + effectivenessAdvocate + influence othersSuggest changes + additions
 
3Bitner 1. articulates a six-step self-servicetechnology adoption process:- Awareness- Investigation- Evaluation- Trial- Repeated use- CommitmentBitner suggests “trial” is the most important stagebecause it is influenced by customer readiness orthe expectations that they bring to the interaction—can they do “it” (ability), do they know what todo (clarity), and do they see benefit in doing it(motivation). These ideas are consistent with theconcept of transparency in interaction design.Of course, producers (and designers) have goalsfor their customers’ experience. But all they cando is provide artifacts and services that createopportunities for experience. We should be cautiousabout proposing to “design experience.” Ultimately,construction of experience remains with thecustomer. You own your experience. No one elsecan construct your experience for you. In JohnDewey’s words, “a beholder must createhis own experience.” 3.So: What is the customers’view of their experience?Customers interact with producers through “touch-points,” clusters of elements combined into artifactsthat foster product or service experiences. Thesetouch-point experiences form a larger arc or path:the customer journey. The series of customerexperiences aggregate to form an impression ofthe product or service in its context—developingan idea of what it does, what it means, and whatits worth—what the customer thinks of the brand.Indeed, the impression (the sum of the experiences)
is 
the brand. 7.Ideally, the experiences build a strong relationshipbetween customer and producer. John Rheinfrank,Shelley Evenson, and others developed a modelof the ideal “experience cycle” as they worked ona usability design strategy for Xerox in the 1980s.They were searching for a way to describe a copierin its broader context—in its ecology—so that theycould design the product to fit its context. The initialmodel had seven steps, but over the years the teamrefined it to five.

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