Designing & delivering better customer experiences

We are specialists in customer experience. We apply design thinking to business problems to get different, more innovative outcomes that create better customer experiences. We design and deliver new products, services and ecosystems for large organisations and government.

$300+ / hr
10 - 49
Show all +
Sydney, Australia
  • Level 6/7 Macquarie Pl
    Sydney, NSW 2000


Key clients: 

Service NSW, Sydney Water, Transurban, Westpac, NSW Government, New Zealand Inland Revenue, Transport for Victoria, Suncorp, Integrity Life

Innovating Australia's toll road experience Image

Innovating Australia's toll road experience

A disruptive customer-centric transformation for Transurban

The challenge

Transurban’s markets were ripe for reinvention, with opportunities to consolidate a leading position and deliver business benefits through a superior customer experience. The approach taken was to demonstrate tangible business benefits by aligning and focusing on three strategic objectives; enhancing

reputation through customer experience, reducing cost to serve and driving revenue.

The research

In this thirteen week project that covered discovery, customer insights, co-creation, prototype and test, The Customer Experience Company (CEC) team started out by fundamentally understanding the needs and behaviours of road users.

The findings

The research led to a set of customer personas, deep insights and customer value propositions. The persona and customer insights from the discovery phase formed the foundation in which 

a collection of concepts was conceived through several co-creation workshops.

The solution

These concepts were rapidly prototyped and iteratively refined through rigorous customer testing and then brought to life through three service blueprints. The service blueprints delivered on the three strategic objectives and were underpinned by a set of experience and design principles that provides a framework and guidance for the development of future initiatives and concepts.

Outcomes included:

Development of a roadmap to help Transurban improve their current service by eliminating major pain points.

Prioritised customer experience initiatives and concepts that were presented to the Board for endorsement and funding.

Built the customer experience playbook which is used during on boarding for new employees and as reference for customer experience decisions.  

In 13 weeks, we helped Transurban prioritise their focus on business initiatives that improved the bottom line through better customer experiences

Designing in-store services for better customer experiences Image

Designing in-store services for better customer experiences

We designed a better experience for NSW citizens and equipped SNSW employees to deliver a better standard of service

Service NSW was tasked with transformational service delivery for Government services across all channels. In the retail channel, its Service Centres enable customers to coordinate thousands of different Government transactions in one location.

The model requires customers to

'check-in’ by transaction type upon entering a Service Centre to receive service. The challenge is maintaining simplicity – making it quick and easy to select and ticket for the reasons for visiting, enabling appointments and driving high participation in customer feedback linked to analytics.

CEC led a design and implementation project which started with collaboratively identifying business requirements with the working group to capture the intentions of Service NSW as a business. Iteration of prototype was extensively used to gather stakeholder and customer feedback.

Using an agile methodology, CEC then co-designed, built, tested and deployed the solution across four software releases with numerous sprints.

CEC undertook extensive customer research to identify the interface design for a greater than 90% success rate for customers accurately and quickly selecting their transaction(s). CEC developed a mobile concierge solution comprising of a tablet application with eight tabs and enabled with mobile ticket printing, live queue management to minimise the customer waiting time.

CEC produced a range of deliverables including conceptual solution design, detailed solution design, test plan and test cases, support documentation, training documentation, mobile training kit (enabling the ability to train up to 20 people anywhere with an internet connection), development roadmap with prioritised recommendations for implementation years 1 and 2.

Enhancing the health insurance experience through the value of testing Image

Enhancing the health insurance experience through the value of testing

The HCF Member Portal project was a significant part of HCF’s journey to become a more customer-centric organisation and uplift their digital experience for its members. Their primary objective was to deliver an improved digital experience to help members self serve when managing their cover and to bridge the gap with competitors. To ensure this experience met customer expectations, HCF engaged CEC to apply a customer centric

lens on the experience. By testing the proposed solution with customers prior to implementation, we were able to input insights from customer testing to inform us of the most desirable experience.

We used a number of methods including understanding users’ mental models, qualitative research and prototypes to help explore a mixture of concepts with customers. This enabled us to fully understand the ‘why’ behind what customers expected from their interactions with a health insurer, and how best to support them to achieve their goals.

User flows were initially developed through collaborative workshops with key HCF stakeholders to analyse and prioritise requirements. This allowed us to understand the business needs and technical feasibility of the design concepts, and to push the boundaries on how the experience could be improved. For customer testing, we used high-fidelity clickable prototypes to gain contextual and functional insights throughout the experience. Research participants were asked to complete tasks like make a claim, or update their details. We observed their actions, probed underlying expectations, and unpicked their choices. This enabled us to breakdown the barriers between HCF and their customers.

HCF launched the MVP of the Online Member Services platform in July 2019, and the mobile application in September 2019. Since the launch of both applications, HCF are monitoring feedback from members and capturing insights to inform future improvements, and continuously working to add new features to meet customers’ needs.

HCF have become ambassadors for a user centric process and have a strong belief in the power of engaging with their customers, and the value of customer testing.

Helping Sydney Water put the customer at the heart of their service faults process Image

Helping Sydney Water put the customer at the heart of their service faults process

Sydney Water is Australia's largest water and wastewater provider, providing safe drinking water to almost 5 million people across Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. By 2020, Sydney Water’s goal is to transform itself from an asset focused to a customer-centric organisation.

Underpinning this is Sydney Water’s aspiration to put customers at the heart of everything they do. As part of their customer-centric

vision, Sydney Water wanted to deep dive into the Troubleshoot journey – moments customers need to intervene because their service is not working properly, or when they are impacted by Sydney Water operational activities – and design a future experience that would resolve pain points and meet customer needs, feeding the development of a new operational model.

We started by ‘looking-in’ - reviewing complaints, interviewing stakeholders, listening in on customer calls and shadowing staff in the field. We then took a ‘looking-out’ approach from the customer perspective by conducting phone interviews and site visits with customers. Our design approach was heavy on ideation, prototyping and testing. We took our research insights and developed concepts to test, iterated and re-tested with customers. Through staff workshops, we assessed the feasibility and viability of the desired future state, identifying risks, challenges and key considerations. 

This research led us to uncover key moments for customers and develop insights which greatly altered the way Sydney Water considered their customers. We discovered 'customers' were not only the people who held an account with Sydney Water, but all people affected by a problem. From the person who discovered a leak, to the parent detouring around a blocked road to pick up their kids from school, many people were affected and needed a way to report, contact and recieve assistance. We also discovered the need for contact centre staff to be empowered to diagnose problems, so the right solution could be actioned straight away.

These insights, among several others, underpinned the future state we designed. In collaboration with Sydney Water, we translated each stage of the future experience into operational and data models, processes, tools and systems, skills and other capabilities and requirements.

Using evidence-based insights for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link Business Case Image

Using evidence-based insights for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link Business Case

In 2018, Transport for Victoria engaged The Customer Experience Company (CEC) to better understand the needs of travellers when it came to travelling to and from the airport.

TfV is the statutory office that overseas the coordination of all state transport systems. Their remit is to look beyond individual modes and projects to develop transport as one, within the context that Victoria is facing a period of intense growth

and change - with the state's population forecast to reach 10 million by 2050.

CEC’s remit was to conduct user centred design research into the current travel experience to Melbourne Airport, across all user types and geographies.

Over the course of three weeks, we conducted research with 50 participants who represent the different user types that travel to Melbourne Airport.

We used a combination of in-depth interviews to probe deeply into users' current transport choices and perceptions, coupled with observational research which involved us travelling alongside users as they undertook their airport journeys.

This piece of work was positioned as the first part of a more comprehensive research piece as more robust data, further research and modelling are required during business case development.

Following the research, we collated a series of impactful outputs to share within the organisation.

Outputs included:

- Decision making lenses and variables: Key factors that influence users’ journey planning and mode selections when travelling to or from the airport, to assist with travel demand modelling.

- Customer scenarios and profiles that bring the decision making factors to life, and demonstrate the ways in which users make mode choices.

- Customer journeys that document the existing transport modes that service Melbourne Airport, as well as their associated benefits and pain points.

- Airport link insights: Insights from qualitative research that summarise research participants' expectations of the proposed rail link. 

- A short video that summarises the key findings.

Launching a new business by beginning with real customer value Image

Launching a new business by beginning with real customer value

We partnered with a life insurance startup and helped them build a business model from scratch – based on real customer needs

Integrity was established as a new business with the sole intention to differentiate from competitors and disrupt the life insurance industry in Australia. They sought to understand their ecosystem in order to deliver a completely new and 21st century experience to their

customers. They wanted to build a company that would fundamentally change the way the life insurance operates. With no legacy systems or ways of working, CEC were able to work with Integrity to design a company from the ground-up with the customer at the heart. 

We identified a need for Customer Value Propositions as well as a dedicated transformation and growth partner that could help them uncover customer need and embed this into the core of the system and the culture.

Putting customers at the core is at the heart of the integrity vision. Not designing on intuition or experience, but through real customer feedback. Using the Customer Value Proposition methodology, this allowed us to bring the experience to life through real customer feedback. The research unearthed pains and workarounds that people with more than 20 years experience didn't know existed. Research began by understanding the customers (adviser and consumers) and then allowed the working group to better understand how the current market was satisfying their needs.

Using the customer insight and where the different types of opportunity were we worked with the team to develop concepts that aligned to the product strategy that was determined in the customer research and market analysis.

Designed unique customer value propositions and developed concepts which were turned into products that allowed a conversation to happen. The creation of physical objects allows a dialogue to occur. It frames the context for a conversation and allowed advisers to articulate what types of solutions they would find what type of value in so the essence of these solutions could be used across the appropriate part of the journey. We were able to design for digital, human and everything in between. Not focussing purely on one channel meant we could build processes that gave continuity to the experience for insurance advisors – and the end customer.

Integrity Life received a Good Design Award 2019 in Digital Design for their Customer Centric Insurance Platform. Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia, said it best "it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life".

Understanding the role of bank and insurance branches in the Digital Age Image

Understanding the role of bank and insurance branches in the Digital Age

Our approach allowed us to probe into the differing perceptions of Suncorp Group brands, as well as customer needs and constraints relating to the in-store experience in just 4 weeks.

As both an insurer and bank, Suncorp is known across Australia for different offerings. As the primary insurer that automatically covered the victims of the 2011 Queensland floods, the brand is beloved up north but has much

lower brand recognition in the southeastern states.

To mitigate these discrepancies and improve customer digital adoption rates, Suncorp Group set out to re-imagine its retail stores in 2017/2018. Suncorp Group asked The Customer Experience Company (CEC) to explore three target areas:

Why do customers visit stores?

How can our store strategy best support our network of brands?

What are the store concepts or formats that will best support the digital experience from a customer’s perspective?

Our research approach combined exploratory research and concept testing to understand customer needs and expectations.It begun with using existing strategy documentation to understand the current Suncorp Group landscape, and conducted mystery shopping visits and a market scan to explore branch trends in Australia and around the world.

Based on the research, we developed a card sorting activity and ten store concepts to test with real-life customers.

While the card sorting activity focused on customers’ channel preferences, concepts were specific to stores, and ranged from shopping centre kiosks to virtual lending facilities to mobile specialists.

These materials were then tested during our in-depth interviews with Suncorp Group customers, non customers, and store managers. Interviews took place in Brisbane and Melbourne, and allowed us to probe into the differing perceptions of Suncorp Group brands, as well as customer needs and constraints relating to the in-store experience.

Our approach embedded the customer into design and strategy development.

As a result of customer testing sessions, we developed a set of insights and recommendations for future store improvements, which are currently being reviewed as part of Suncorp Group planning.

Taking an iterative, service design approach enabled us to define strategic themes for Suncorp Group stores as well as tactical fixes. In doing so, our findings can be used to ensure the maximum adoption of future stores.

We uncovered recurring themes and developed recommendations as a culmination of customer testing, store visits, staff interviews and mystery shopping. It was about identifying the reasons customers choose to visit stores the desirable characteristics of with Suncorp banking and insurance channels.

After identifying the key customer needs, we also listed barriers, opportunities and desirable characteristics when creating a more 'digitised' store experience.