4 min read

10% is the product, 90% is the business and internal processes

The previous phrase was shared by Richard Dalton, Head of Design of Capital One. It was such a powerful statement! It made me realize that from Product, we needed to step up and accompany business on their changes.
10% is the product, 90% is the business and internal processes

This article was originally posted in Medium. Photo by Derek Oyen

The previous phrase was shared by Richard Dalton, Head of Design of Capital One, at the UXDX conference last year. It was such a powerful statement! I wrote it down, and I shared it with my team as we were facing that realization at the time.

There was another quote from Richard that stuck with me and made me realize that from Product, we needed to step up and accompany business on their changes.

Business isn’t aware of the consequence their changes have in customers

Let me share two stories that exemplify these concepts entirely.

Photo by Misha Feshchak on Unsplash
The main telco in Spain is Movistar. They recently launched a friendly brand called O2, which sells itself as being more online-driven (no stores) and taking care of their clients. They use the same network, and their salespeople sell both services.
A friend of mine had a mobile line with Movistar. She called them to upgrade and include Internet in her house. They offered different packages, one from Movistar including TV, and another from O2. After thinking about it, she contracted the one from O2 on its website. The UX was smooth. She filled all the information, without any doubt. She received an email with the confirmation that in a couple days a technician was going to call her to install the router. They had promised her than in two to three days she would start enjoying Internet at her home.
After a week, no one had called her; so she called back. They couldn’t solve the issue, but they committed to finding out which was the problem. After a couple days, she received an email explaining the problem. It seems that Movistar has two systems, and she had already been migrated to the new system. O2 had another system, and they could only migrate from any other competitor, and from Movistar’s old system. She was in a limbo status. They needed three weeks to migrate her manually to the O2 system.

The O2 website represents 10% of the interactions their users have with them. The weight of the experience relies on the call center, communications, and technicians.

There wouldn’t be any frustration if:

  • The website or the people from the call center alerted her of this scenario
  • The alert, which the technicians received not to install the router yet, would have triggered a communication with her on the first day
  • O2 would have been pro-active on communicating the problem, and solution
  • Movistar would have offered to install her the router with a Movistar account, and later without rush, migrate her to O2.

However, none of that happened. The client had to manage her frustration and talk to Movistar and O2 in parallel to find a short term solution to have Internet.

Photo by why kei on Unsplash
A few weeks ago I ordered an Uber to ride me to the train station as I was going on a trip. The Uber arrived when I was closing my backpack. I saw the map, and I realized the driver was 200m north of my portal. I wrote to him to check if he was in my portal number; which he confirmed. I told him I was going down as I was already surpassing the free five minutes wait.
When I reached the street, I didn’t see him and looking at the map I saw he was still 200m north of my portal (a couple of minutes walking). As I started going towards him, he canceled. And seconds later, a charge to my credit card with the cancellation fee. And then I realized, I didn’t have much time to reach the train station. My anger with the Uber driver was enormous at the time. Luckily, a taxi passed by and I reached the train on time.
I entered the Uber app to complain, I found easily the section to challenge a charge, I selected the right reason and I submitted. Seconds later, I received a refund on my credit card. Voila!

I’m sure Uber had lots of internal processes to validate if a client complaint was valid or it was a fraud attempt. They have learned so much about them, that they are now able to structure and automatically solve them. All the previous internal processes are now parameters and logic in their “solve client complaints” algorithm.

I found the product very easy to use, but I was amazed by how easy it was to solve my problem. I was expecting several calls to confirm my good intentions. However, they trusted me. I felt terrific.

Uber transformed a very frustrating moment into a fantastic experience.

These two examples reflect how easy it is to build an interface, but how difficult it is to offer a fantastic experience. Life and companies are full of corner cases, which are mostly defined by internal processes. The devil is in details, as the amazing experiences!

Applying those learnings, the Product team of Ontruck now works together with business departments when they are making internal process changes. We can provide the user’s voice, help structure better their proposals, influence the scope, contribute a holistic view, and anticipate short-term gaps in the products.

We acknowledge that 90% of our customer experience relates to our business and internal processes, and therefore, we proactively work with them. Remember, Product teams need to be proactive!