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The expanding role of design in creating an end-to-end customer experience

This article from McKinsey ( gets one of it's early assertions wrong: "Products, services, and environments—both physical and online—are converging to anticipate and meet rising customer expectations." Why is that wrong? Because products, services, and environments have ALWAYS converged into the singularity of customer experience. What is happening now is that people are starting to realize that, and think about things differently.

I don't mean to berate the article -- it is excellent, and I strongly recommend sticking with it to the five key principles expressed at the end. I point out the slight misstatement above only to emphasize the broader point of the article: you must focus on the entire customer experience with your offerings, as customer expectations will always rise.

Note also that you cannot limit your perspective to just your company or your industry. Customer expectations are driven not just by their experience with your products or those of your competitors. Expectations are driven by every experience your customers have. If you are a manufacturer of farming equipment and your customer has a unique and wonderful experience buying a cupcake from a bakery, they will eventually ask why you can't provide the same sort of experience in their interactions with you. The Kano Model of customer expectations will shift based on experiences your customers have from every interaction and transaction they make.

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