This weekend a summer storm was forecast, dire warnings across the news, wind, rain… and of course I was booked to go camping.

So, driving down Friday the mood, like the sky, was pretty dark just thinking about the weekend ahead.

I was certainly not looking forward to putting up the tent in the driving rain.

Yet, snuggled down in the sleeping bag, warm and toasty, listening to the wind howl and rain dance on the canvas, I did have plenty of time to reflect on the week.

Creating good outcomes

Consumer duty is of course just around the corner. The changes are now pressing, although, in reality, nothing will change on the 31st, except our ‘new’ way of life will start. The new lens to look at all our business processes through will now be mandatory.

The bad weather this weekend got me thinking about the nature of good customer experiences and outcomes. Can you have good outcomes even in the face of adversity?

Now of course being stuck in a tent is in reality only a minor and temporary adversity and discomfort, especially when compared to some of the difficult life situations many people can face sometimes.

However, was there anything to learn about adversity and outcomes from these situations that could aid me in thinking about design principles to help?

What worked?

Certainly, despite the weather, there were laughs with friends, games, and good food… also the delight of an on-site coffee shop with warm, dry, comfy chairs, serving good coffee and a parade of cheesecake every morning… all of which took the edge off the 5 am dawn chorus and sodden conditions.

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So although at first, it seemed grim, having a familiar process, one that was supportive, made easy and topped off with some excellent well thought-through customer service… really helped.

It may not have stopped the rain or weather but did help generate a good (or at least better) outcome.

Lost in Translation?

So, will these same principles work at the office too… something to guide us as we move into this new consumer duty environment… they certainly seem sensible.

Lived experiences are a powerful thing, helping you understand and empathise (it is one of the reasons we all need to talk and try to understand the full diversity of people from all over – it’s important).

However sometimes lived experiences, situations, and conditions don’t exactly match and can be hard to find.

Yet, if you look carefully, even in some of the simplest personal experiences, there can be principles and learnings that can help… you just have to look and listen in the right spots.

Who ate my cheese?

The only slight downside this weekend… caramel cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, and lemon cheesecake… 2 days was just not enough time to finish the trinity…

I suppose that is the definition of leaving the customers wanting more… so maybe another article for another time… although maybe another good outcome that I did not have all three!

Have a good week everyone.


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