A great customer facing experience starts with B2E applications – that’s the Bourne Way

Everyone wants a great customer experience right?

Well, we believe it all starts by applying great UX design to B2E, Business to Employee applications.

We asked the team why they thought creating great employee apps helped create better and more successful customer apps.

At Bourne, designing better user experiences means embracing an end to end process. This holistic approach means not only building an organisation with rockstar UX designers, but also complementing them with an equally engaging in-house developers team that supports these designs. This end to end approach is used in creating great customer experiences for our client projects too. Customer experience is complemented in the backend with internal processes carried out by employees through B2E apps, which is guided by UX design to ensure that the product or service the business has invested in is functioning optimally. After all, “it doesn’t matter how good it looks if the internal processes and systems aren’t working” adds Jon Deragon, Director of UX at Bourne.

 

Redefining what ‘works’

Designing employee processes that work, involves becoming as well-informed as possible before implementing considerable transformational changes. This involves cutting through the project’s complexity, as well as looking past assumptions and accustomed processes, even those of the client, explains Via: "The client reasons their requirements with ‘this is how we do it now’ but that doesn't mean it's right, or efficient. We encourage clients to think differently and if that means that we need to rethink their business processes to work for the simplicity required for designing a new application, then we need to do that.”

Becoming informed also comes from working together to facilitate cross-communication between our clients and employees within the business. Design thinking workshops embed design thinking into the business and enable an understanding of UX design in building efficiency within employee experiences.

"Design Thinking Workshops have been great with getting different teams within an organisation to come together to come up with a solution. This gives members of the business a better understanding of what goes on beyond the teams they belong in. Our engagement should be an opportunity for the client to understand their own business and work on improving it with us.” — Via David

CX and UX guru Fida talks to the need for transparent processes that are simple: “If there are long-winded processes, then staff try to cut corners and that can affect things for the business”. In some cases, convoluted processes have resulted in the client being unaware of and overlooking 10% of business revenue.

 

An employee focus is essential for your business needs

The effect of design thinking and embedding UX design in the employee experience can mean that the designed processes then guide the employee without the requirement of additional or unnecessary training. Jon adds that implementing UX design into the on-boarding process for an employee can enable them to just be “dropped in” and able to commence their position more quickly.

Employee needs and business needs also don’t have to be mutually exclusive. B2E applications can help hit strategic goals for the business too if their internal processes and tools afford them to do so.

“When the business takes time to hear the voices of their employees, we can design and produce products that not only boost employee-productivity, but gives each employee the feeling of being valued. Through interviews, workshops and tests, I am given the opportunity to use my skills to hear each of these voices – and play them back to the business with designed products that aims to meet both business and employee needs.” — Via

 

An employee focus is a focus on customer needs

Improving on CX, customer experience, begins with employees, as they are direct implementers of the business’s brand vision and have the ability to realise the voice of the customer. We believe quality is key and the customer is core. However, the tools and processes given to the employees by the business can often be quite complex and clumsy, potentially affecting the customer experience due to shortcomings of the systems in place. By applying design thinking and embedding UX design into these processes, UX designer Tafida Negm, who has worked on a number of our B2E projects, details that “staff become more efficient, giving them more time to focus on the customer, instead of focussing on a cumbersome system”.

 

Challenges

At Bourne we never shy away from the truth, because we are always committed to finding the best solution. Even if this means facing challenges or disagreements. We do our best to get as much done within the project scope and time frames we are given. However, our projects often sit within the businesses own processes, and sometimes this can impinge on the process.

"Although this eagerness for UX change is by large shared throughout the business, one of the main challenges (or hurdles) is the time it takes for these projects to get approved. Whether this is from an administration or somewhere in the chain.” — Dani

"A big challenge for me is to make sure that the client is straight forward about their requirements from the beginning, and sticking to that. It is difficult to simplify business processes when our contacts in the business are misinformed as well. We need to be as informed as possible, and each engagement should begin with a very clear idea of what the goal is.” — Via

Obtaining a straightforward, clear idea of what the goal is, starts from the beginning of a project, during research phase, Via continues: “I think it's really good to have an opportunity to do some research first before committing ourselves to designing a certain product. This research will guide us to ensure we are designing the right product, not just what the client thinks they want.”

“In the end however, we’re asking people to undergo a change in which some will be quite hesitant. As UX designers, it’s our responsibility to make the transition as easy and as seamless as possible. By tapping into existing behaviours and habits.” — Dani

 

The transformation journey is rewarding

All in all, it’s a pretty satisfying experience to have all the hard work implemented into a process tha improves the quality of the experience for employees, and then having that flow into everyone they interact with, from customers, to the clients themselves. We are on an adventure to create exceptional experiences, and the result of this means that we create outcomes that are meaningful and inspiring for both our clients and ourselves.

"As a user experience designer, working alongside businesses to design apps for their employees has been immensely rewarding. The mere act of initiating the need for a B2E app, and engaging UX designers to be a part of the design process, is a clear indication that the business cares about its employees and help productivity levels go up” — Via

"We can clearly see though that the companies have embraced this not just from a performance and productivity perspective, but by understanding that great UX has a large emotional investment, and in turn, changes people’s lives. I have been very lucky to have played a part in educating and spreading UX knowledge in businesses, completely immersing myself in the digital transformation process.” — Dani.

Aisha Hilary, our director of strategy, continues on to talk about the importance of UX and how Bourne’s culture and values have an impact on our client briefs: “User experience is everything. It is so important to invest in your teams, tools and processes to make their tech as intuitive, productive and engaging as possible. This really creates a positive culture that drives passion, collaboration and the desire to do the best for and with our customers. We at Bourne are hungry to find the best solution, constantly challenging the way we work, asking the sticky questions and taking risks. Learning, experimenting and trying new things is a priority. We call it positive disruption and that is what really creates change.”

Embedding design thinking into companies not only gives them a new perspective for approaching problems, but also transforms their company culture and values. Culture and values influence the way a company runs, the approach to finding solutions, and ultimately the outcomes themselves.

“Imagine the possibilities if this design thinking is embedded into your business and the impact that will then have on your outward, customer facing experiences. Transformational.” — Aisha Hilary

The importance of investing in user experience is indicated by the market, managing director of Bourne Digital, Selim Ahmed, concludes: "increasingly Australian enterprise are investing in enterprise user experience as a key driver for productivity, improved customer engagement and to truly assist a personalised customer experience.  Enterprise UX has become a point of difference for market leaders."

 

Thanks to Via, Dani, Fida and our directors Jon, Selim and Aisha for sharing their wonderful insights!