The Customer Experience Deck by riders&elephants
“Who are our customers? What do we want them to feel (and not feel)?”
Successful organisations are deeply focused on their customers. Customer experience (CX) is rapidly overtaking price and product as the main brand differentiator.
This card game can help you and your organisation become more customer-centric. It works by sparking structured conversations about who your customers are, what you know and don’t know about them, and how you want customers to feel when they engage with your business.
We designed The Customer Experience Deck (or The CX Deck) because we’ve found that many organisations struggle to get to the heart of these customer relationships. Leaders know they need to be more customer-centric. Front line teams often have great insights. The CX Deck is a simple, human way to build shared understanding and better experiences.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
Designed by riders&elephants
riders&elephants, led by Jeremy Dean, work with people in organisations to create more human, empathetic employee and customer experiences. A lot of this involves using simple tools to unlock emotionally honest communication.
We believe that structured "F-word conversations", about how people truly feel in their workplace and how they want to feel, are the key to lifting culture and performance. In 2018 we successfully launched The Emotional Culture Deck, our first card-based tool. Seeing it used by over 5,000 leaders worldwide in 18 countries, at organisations including Xero, Starbucks, Westpac, Air New Zealand, InfusionSoft, Panasonic, Daimler, and New Zealand Rugby, gave us the inspiration and confidence to develop The Customer Experience Deck.
How The Customer Experience Deck works
Play either as a team or on your own. Ideally, everyone should work with their own deck.
The CX Deck is made up of white emotion cards. Each relates to a potential customer feeling, such as Comfortable, Welcome, or Frustrated.
It guides you through a 9-step process where you sort the cards into three piles: what you want your customers to feel, not feel, or emotions that don't apply. This begins with raw sorting, then you start to prioritise and explore. You’ll complete some steps individually and others as a group. Discussion is a big part of the game.
As you play, you’re building a shared picture of who your customers are, what you truly know about them, and what you don’t. Where the heart of that relationship lies.
The objective is to agree and clearly articulate the key elements of your desired customer experience and how you can work together to shape it.
Why The Customer Experience Deck works
Great customer experience is a relationship of quality and trust. But the hard truth is that many organisations don't understand their customers, don't have the right tools, and aren't asking the right questions about customer experience.
The CX Deck works from the inside out, helping teams get right to the heart of what they know about their customers and how they want them to feel. Layers of action can then be shaped around these core insights. Working this way sets a customer-centric approach in place from the start.
Teams across New Zealand, Australia, and Canada have responded well to our CX Deck prototyping sessions. People usually "get it" very quickly, they see the value of approaching customer experience in this way, and they’re delighted with the results. Often at the end of sessions we hear, "we should have been doing this all along."
Who The Customer Experience Deck is for
Organisational leaders, teams or business owners trying to create better experiences for their customers and become more customer-centric. Consultants and advisers who want to support that.
Why you need more than one Customer Experience Deck
If you plan to use The CX deck in a session with more than one person, ideally every person in that workshop should have their own deck. This helps everyone have their say no matter how loudly or quietly they express themselves. It also reduces the groupthink and herd mentality that often derails workshops. We've all been in a workshop where the loudest person in the room dominates the discussion and others aren't able to share their point of view. Plus when each person uses their own deck, you create an effortless conversation about the gaps and alignment between people in a team in a non-threatening, constructive manner.
There are six reward tiers:
Level 1: PDF version of The Customer Experience Deck
For people who would like to check the idea out before investing in the full physical version. Or maybe you just want to get stuck in straight away and not wait till the deck is produced and shipped over the next 60 days. When you back this reward tier, if our campaign is successful, we'll email you a link to download a high-res PDF of The CX Deck which you can print yourself – as many times as you desire.
Level 2: x1 Customer Experience Deck – plus PDF version
For the more tactile people who love the feel of physical cards in their hands. You'll get one Customer Experience Deck plus we'll also send you the PDF version so you can print some more, if you want to share with others or you need quickie decks to use in workshops.
Level 3: x2 Customer Experience Deck – plus PDF version
Two decks is the perfect setup for you to play with another person on your team or business. The real magic happens when you use the cards this way. Plus you'll also get access to the PDF version of the deck.
Level 4: x5 Customer Experience Deck – plus PDF version
If you've got a big team and need more decks, you'll get five packs. During our testing we found lots of teams used one deck between two people. Plus you'll also get access to the PDF version of the deck.
Level 5: x10 Customer Experience Deck – plus PDF version
If you've got an even bigger team or want to have a bunch of decks to use with your client, you might need more decks, so you'll get 10 packs. Plus you'll also get access to the PDF version of the deck.
Level 6: Customer Experience Deck Workshop by Jeremy from riders&elephants (anywhere in Australia & New Zealand)
I designed The Customer Experience Deck so anyone can pick it up, unbox it and get started with little to no fuss or direction required. But over the past 24 months I've run dozens of Customer Experience Workshops using The CX Deck and designed a number of specialty sessions around it. So if you'd like me to come into your business, anywhere in NZ and Australia, to run a full-day customer experience workshop using The CX Deck, then this option is for you. Plus you'll get 15 decks to use in this workshop and some extras for you to share with other people in your organisation.
Level 7: Customer Experience Deck Workshop by Jeremy from riders&elephants (anywhere in UK, North America, Europe)
Same as above, but this time I'm happy to fly anywhere in the UK, North America, or Europe to run a workshop in your organisation. The only catch is, the organisation I run this workshop with must speak English. Unfortunately I'm not multi-lingual and English is the only language I speak and facilitate workshops in.
What people are saying about The CX Deck
In case you're interested in learning about others have said about their experiences testing and using The Customer Experience Deck throughout the development, check out their feedback here:
Where this all began
This journey started when we stumbled across another beautifully simple tool called The Brand Deck by Simple.Honest. From that moment, we were hooked with card games and how they can simplify conversations that people usually over complicate.
At the time, we were reading a book called X: The Experience When Business Meets Design. In this delightful book by Brian Solis there was a line that said: "The future of brand is experience." This idea lead us to the question: If the future of brand is experience, what is an experience? An 'experience' is something you 'feel'.
But usually, a team will begin their CX conversations by focussing on the functional and rational aspects of their customer experience, forgetting that people are driven by emotion. So we created a card game to help leaders and teams begin their CX journey with this conversation about how they wanted their customers not feel and not feel. Before focussing the discussion on how they might help their customers feel more of the 'desired feelings' and avoid the 'undesired feelings' and design the customer experience.
We started prototyping and testing our initial idea for The Customer Experience Deck two and a half years ago. The version we are launching is the ninth version. Yep that's right, we tested and went through nine iterations of the deck with the help of some inspiring leaders around the world – which seems crazy. But we couldn't have come this far without their generosity.
Making it happen now
We now want to make customer experience conversations better and more human through out the world with the Customer Experience Deck. And we'd love for you to be with us on the next part of this journey. The funds we get will pay for final design tweaks, production, and fulfilment. You'll get a simple, powerful tool for helping your organisation become more customer-centric. The Customer Experience Deck is a spark of positive change that can benefit everyone – no matter how big or small your organisation.
Why the name riders&elephants?
It all started when I learnt about the psychologist Jonathan Haidt's work on our two minds: The unconscious mind (emotional) and our conscious mind (rational). Haidt's work was popularised through Dan and Chip Heath's book called Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard.
Since learning about this work, I've been infatuated with understanding how we can influence human behaviour and help people to change for the better. It's the inspiration behind everything we do at riders&elephants.
Risks and challenges
Every project comes with challenges. We're experienced at design, production, and fulfilment, and plan to mitigate potential risks in the ways outlined below. We commit to approaching any/all issues via honest, upfront communication on the way to a solution. We'll send regular backer updates so you'll always know what's going on and why.
Design - the CX Deck is finished save for minor final design tweaks.
Budget - we've costed each aspect with our suppliers and allowed for overages. If we reach our funding target, we are good to go.
Production - we've already tested the production facility we're using to produce the decks. So we're confident of the quality and expertise of the production. But we've never had to produce 1000+ decks, although they assure us this is a walk in the park for them.
Fulfilment - Depending on how many people back us, we'll be using a local warehouse facility to pack and send orders from. We've made enquiries as to the availability of this space if required.
Timing - we've built in buffers to make sure we meet your expectations. It's possible, especially with fulfilment & shipping, that an unexpected disaster could cause delays.
The Unexpected - the CX Deck is a relatively straightforward project but (very) strange things can happen. After many years of backing Kickstarter projects, we believe the best way to deal with these, again, is through honest human conversation and keeping our backers in the loop.
- (26 days)