Women in CX: How a human-centred business is being built, by design
As she prepares to launch an online membership community platform for Women in CX, Clare Muscutt explains how she plans to co-design the proposition with its members, and co-create it as membership grows.
As a CX designer, I’ve spent my career helping organisations understand their users, assess market fit and design propositions, products and services to meet customer needs. But, there would always be some stakeholder or client holding me back from doing ‘what I really wanted to do’ for customers. Or some frustrating technology challenge that meant seamless CX would never be possible. The organisations I typically worked with had been around for years and were beset by legacy people, processes and systems that made transformational CX, a pipedream. But I never stopped believing it was possible.
Today, as the founder and CEO of my own startup, (an online membership community platform for Women in CX), I have the opportunity to build a company, brand, digital product and organisational culture from the ground up, my way. There are no stakeholders to fight and no legacies to defeat. On this project, I get to test out all my theories and create a case study that proves, by evidence– you can build a human-centred business, by design.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my start-up journey here, pulling back the curtains to expose our triumphs and inevitable failures, and inviting you to get involved in our story.
“A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” (Eric Reiss, The Lean Startup)
As a purpose-driven organisation, on a mission to empower women globally to shape the future of CX, we know we can’t design in isolation. ‘Build it and they will come’ has proven to be a proven fallacy, well evidenced by the many start-ups that fail.
To mitigate extreme uncertainty, tech start-ups need:
To be agile, start-ups need an MVP. That MVP needs to be iterated. To iterate they need feedback. And to get feedback they need early adopters to be using the product. At Women in CX (WiCX) we’re committed to co-designing with our members, and plan to co-create the WiCX proposition with our membership as we grow.
What is co-design?
“People and relationships are the building blocks of all society. Yet, we often fail to see people's capabilities, hear their perspectives or meaningfully partner with them to do better, together.” McKercher, K. A. (2020). Beyond Sticky Notes.
Co-design is a movement, a set of methods and mindsets that throughout my career have proven their value in ensuring businesses design products, services and experiences that people want and need.
How are we applying co-design?
We began in December with qualitative research, interviewing volunteers who followed the Inspiring Women in CX podcast. They shared their goals, challenges, pain points and motivations with us that enabled us to build a picture of our ‘ideal member’ persona and begin designing our MVP.
Three of those women volunteered to become early founding members and collaborated with me and the team to do the groundwork on our vision, values, goals and potential product features. We now have 12 ‘alpha test females’ using the MVP and giving us feedback on the platform, UX and usability. Feeding our learnings into our target experience map and CX design process.
We also have an anonymous quantitative survey LIVE right now, and it’s quite different to traditional market research. We are using videos and infographics to test the interest in our vision, find out which features resonate most and start the conversation on pricing. Alongside establishing psychographics and demographics that will facilitate segmentation and targeting in the future.
And next, we will be launching our MVP on International Women’s Day (March 8th) at an event to share what WiCX is, demo the product, give a sample of the experience, get feedback and ask for 20 more founding members who share our vision to join us for the four week BETA test.
We have a waitlist already and our plan is to open our doors to groups of members slowly over the next three months, testing, learning and iterating as we go. So by the time we launch to mass, we will have all the confidence we need that we have a product packed with value, and a membership experience that is exactly what our members want and need.
I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Clare is internationally recognised as ‘the thought leader who did the job’ and delivered award-winning commercial results, leading CX for some of the world’s biggest companies in hospitality, retail, and B2B, including Whtibread, Sainsburys, and Compass Group. In 2017 she founded CMXperience Ltd a boutique CX design agency based in London and...