Tuesday December 13th, 2016

Increasing revenue by customer and employee engagement

Hanna-Riikka Sundberg

Hanna-Riikka Sundberg

Mikko Nurmi

Mikko Nurmi


We were asked to present our take on customer-centric business development as part of eMBA training at Tampere University of Technology. We’ve helped several companies develop their business in different industries, e.g. healthcare, energy, automation and agriculture sectors. Our ability to explore the world from the user’s point of view in several industries enables excelling in customer-centric business development. Here are a few findings we’ve discovered along the way.

New services ≠ More revenue

We’ve seen several companies create great ideas to expand their business – from their perspective. Blinded by the possibility to gain more revenue, they forget to stop and think whether there is an actual customer for the new service, someone willing to use the service let alone pay for it. If you are unsure who your potential customers are, can you rely on the superiority of your new service to secure a positive return on investment?

Service concept + user research = Improved user experience

After making a more thorough business plan and receiving a green light from both financing/investors and potential customers, the next step is to make sure the service is desirable for the end-users. The secret is to empathise with the users, to understand their emotions and needs, and only then, create an experience that attracts and empowers them. This doesn’t happen in the back of your office or by having negotiations at the executive level. To succeed in this, you should dive into the user’s world: What type of challenges do the users face in their everyday lives? How could your service make a difference for them? How should the service be designed to create a great user experience?

Designing the MRI scanner to create better patient experiences for children is a great example of taking the users emotions into consideration. credit GE Healthcare

Customer insight + Motivated employees = Improved customer experience

The experience you strive to create builds up from a combination of touch points between you and your customer. Many companies make the mistake of developing their customer experience solely through the teams and activities that are directly in contact with the customers. However, the internal service culture and employee experience must be in order throughout the entire organisation. Creating a great experience starts with the leaders motivating the employees. Its foundation is in the way your employees think about the customer both externally and internally. How does my work best help our customers? What does my colleague require from me to do the same?
The key points to remember are to find ways to ideate, to test these concepts with potential customers, and to build a culture that supports a customer-centric mindset and purpose for all employees.

You can find out more about the eMBA at Tampere University of Technology by clicking here (in Finnish)

This post was written by Dr Hanna-Riikka Sundberg and Mikko Nurmi. Hanna-Riikka is an expert in customer value and user experience research topped off with business design experience from various industries. Mikko Nurmi is Director of Customer Value at Leadin based at our offices in Tampere Finland.