There are two big trends in business: digital transformation on the business side, and Agile – DevOps on the technology side, and at the heart of both, we hear stakeholders touting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. The idea being that don’t build the whole polished, end-to-end, expensive product and launch it to your customer. Instead you build the minimum set of features needed to start learning about what your customer really wants, and the MVP is the smallest thing you can build that tests the value proposition.
MVP is a proven approach so why are we seeing it go wrong
In the drive to digital we see business changing their delivery model embracing more agile models with teams/squads/cohorts/guilds to name a few, we have also seen the adoption of MVP into corporate jargon. Everyone wants to build an MVP to demonstrate their agility and capability in the new in the new model. However in the drive to deliver a ‘product’, what we are seeing is action without direction, focusing on the “MVP” as the outcome rather than the outcome itself, the feature and not the experience.
What’s different about Minimum Viable Experience (MVE)
When it comes to the customer’s interaction it’s not about MVP, it’s about the Minimum Viable Experience (MVE). Users and customers don’t care about you, your agile approach or your product, they care about themselves and their experience and are looking for “Ease” - a frictionless engagement that meets expectations. That’s what businesses need to design against, the MVE that meets customers’ expectations and allows us to test and learn and refine for the next iteration.
Let’s look at an example
We were recently engaged a business who launched an MVP digital booking portal, the portal captured all the information required to perform a booking, and this information was then passed to the back office team to process (24 hour turn around).
From the digital team’s perspective the portal functioned as expected, so why was there a flood of complaints to the contact centre and front desk? The team had not considered the Minimum Experience their customers expected based on existing channels.
From the customers’ perspective, the booking system offered an alternative channel to phone and face-to-face to complete a booking for pickup. However, the portal was only able to collect data from the customer and could not advise on availability for a date, or lock in a time, both options on the other channels. Furthermore the offered time communicated 24 hour later often did not align with the customers’ availability so the customer needed to phone or come in to the office to complete the transaction, creating a high volume of disgruntled customers for the service staff in those channels.
So what can we learn?
Teams must apply the lens of customer perspective when deciding if the features of a MVP are sufficient to meet the MVE the customer will expect when they use the product, and if not, prioritise the deliverables for the next iteration or change the implementation approach to minimise the customer impact, and the flow on impacts to other channels or business units.
What is your company doing to understand your customers? The Exceed Global team offers a variety of services including customer journey mapping and training for your people. Contact Exceed Global to discuss how we can help you create a great CX ecosystem.
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