EPISODE 33: Service Design award winner 2019: Tesco Bank & Modern Human

Tesco Bank and Modern human won the ‘best in private sector’ service design award for their project Phoenix. We spoke with Amjid Rasool, head of service design at Tesco Bank and Paul-Jervis Heath from the Service Design agency Modern human. Together with their whole team they redesigned the customer complaint experience of Tesco Bank clients.

Read the whole story here: https://www.service-design-network.org/headlines/modern-human-project-phoenix

Most surprising insight 

Project Phoenix started from an urgent need to replace the old complaint system because it was going to expire. The old system needed to be replaced. The project plan was designed in such a way that they would move beyond digital design. The question was not let’s replace the customer complaint system anymore but: how can we improve our customer complaint workflow. To achieve this they realised the need for a team that had insight knowledge on how complaints were solved. Therefor they started the project by setting up a pop-up design studio at the contact centre in Glasgow. This studio was there for about 14 weeks and consisted of a multidisciplinary team from across the bank. A team with: 

  • Customer service representatives 

  • Customer relations officers 

  • UX designers 

  • Head of customer care

  • Customer service director

  • Head of digital marketing strategy 

  • etc. 

What we learned

We hear a lot about organisations setting up innovation labs or running design thinking sprints. But then they go back to ‘reality’ and the implementation fails. This is not only a waste of resources it is also very demotivating for employees working in and outside those labs. At Tesco Bank they approached it in a different way. They started by setting up the pop-up design studio, insight the contact center. No hidden spot, but a place with glass walls and an open door for everyone. This pop-up studio did not become a secluded place for ‘the creatives’. The design studio was there for about 14 weeks, during which design research, ideation and concept development took place. After this period the project continued by a delivery team which consisted of about half of the people from the original pop-up design studio. They now had the responsibility to deliver the solutions in a qualitative way. 

In this project they had a delivery roadmap from the start to make sure implementation would happen and that was part of the success!

A behind the scene story 

During the whole interview there were construction works going on in our office. We could luckily understand Amjid and Paul really well and since we are using a tool called Zencastr (recommended to all podcast recorders!) that record the sound on computer of the speaker we hope you don’t hear to much of the drills in the background!


Interesting links 

Website modern human: http://modernhuman.co

Article of Amjid on this project: https://corporate.tescobank.com/8/blog/?blogid=74

Twitter Paul Jervis Heath: @pauljervisheath 

Service design network article: https://www.service-design-network.org/headlines/modern-human-project-phoenix