Building service design capability:
Learning through and from customer research

Public Mobile, a division of TELUS, came to us to help them embed design thinking into their processes, in order to accelerate their innovation capability. Together, we co-created a 4 month Learning Lab in which their team would learn design thinking by doing design research work together with The Moment team.

This Customer Insights Learning Program was comprised of a series of collaborative and instructional workshops followed by customer research fieldwork and team coaching. It culminated in a customer lab and online collaborative event in which the Public Mobile team co-designed and conducted research with customers. The team explored, refined and applied design research tools such as mobile ethnography, lead user interviews, card-sorting, journey mapping, and collaborative surveys to explore the values and motivations of their customers in a co-creative manner. At the heart of this program was the acquisition of skills and tools, then testing them in the real world, and building lasting capability to do this work in future.

Results of the Learning Lab include a demonstrated and measurable new capability to design and execute customer research to engage in problem finding and solve tough business challenges. The team has acted their way into new ways of thinking, and has a custom-designed research toolkit. They have gathered and synthesized the outputs of their research to feed the next phase of design work which will lead to their revised innovation portfolio.

Customers were delighted with the experience of being involved in the Customer Lab: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a company get so involved with their customers, and if that’s not proof that they care and want to help, I don’t know what is…I look forward to seeing where this journey takes us and I’m sure that there will be many more firsts to come in the wonderful experience that it is to be a part of Public Mobile”. “Honestly never thought I would be a fan of any cell service provider…But PM has not only managed to make me a fan — I am officially a PM Superfan”.

This learning program epitomizes the possibilities of the Moment Learning Lab — getting people to learn about design thinking by engaging in critical elements of design work (in this case, empathy or “knowing your customer”), and working on something meaningful to the group. The Public Mobile team is now capable and ready to take on their next design challenge with less outside help, and more insight into the possibilities of learning from customers early and fast.

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