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Customer Utility Analysis

This tool helps you dissect the foundational assumptions of an industry and identify the customer problems stemming from these assumptions. The output of this analysis is called the Customer Utility Map, which is an adaptation of the traditional Customer Journey Map, by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

Customer Journey Map is usually created through deep insight gathering from the customer base. In contrast, the Customer Utility Map provides a broader perspective. It takes a more industry-wide scanning approach, focusing on six generic stages of customer experience and six utility levers. This modified map aims to unveil the critical touchpoints where industries either excel at or fall short of what different customer groups expect.

The six generic stages of experience include purchase, delivery, use, supplementary steps, maintenance, and disposal. These stages can be adapted if needed. The six utility levers are as follows:
  • Productivity: Streamlining customer needs efficiently, saving time, effort, and money.
  • Simplicity: Reducing or eliminating complexity and mental effort for customers.
  • Convenience: Empowering customers to fulfill their needs whenever and wherever they desire, be it 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Risk Reduction: Mitigating financial, physical, and emotional risks for customers.
  • Fun and Image: Providing enjoyment and aesthetic appeal to enhance the overall customer experience.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Enabling customers to meet their needs without harming the environment.

How It Works?

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Step 1

To kickstart the analysis, begin by understanding the basic level of user experience within your chosen industry. Here, a superficial picture is sufficient initially, as more detailed work follows once you've defined your target group and their specific needs. Market research, while informative, should not replace firsthand discovery in the field. Ethnographic research methods, including interviews, observations, and personally experiencing the product or service, provide invaluable insights.

Once the preliminary insights are gathered, identify the problems in the customer journey by mapping them across the generic experience stages and utility levers. Also take note of which experience stages the industry predominantly focuses on.
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