According to Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) firms are continuing to deliver poor customer experience, which not only frustrates customers, but throws money at ill-defined initiatives. In order to improve customer-facing efforts, Forrester introduces Scenario Design, a methodology proven to address the lack of discipline around customer experience management.

Forrester conducted hundreds of customer experience evaluations, which revealed that large firms regularly disappoint customers with needlessly painful interactions.

  • In more than 450 Web Site Reviews, only 3 percent of sites received passing scores.
  • The environment surrounding airline check-in kiosks at Logan Airport and O’Hare Airport passed only half our criteria.
  • When rating their own interaction channels, only 18 percent of firms gave their interactive voice response systems (IVR) a passing grade.

“Companies often develop explicit processes for engineering and accounting, but not around what they consider their key asset — their customers. Most firms deal with customer experience in a haphazard manner,” said Bruce D. Temkin, vice president, research director of customer experience at Forrester. “We believe that Scenario Design provides the missing rigor required to help companies meet the needs of their customers.”

Scenario Design Methodology

The basic premise of Scenario Design is that no experience is inherently good or bad — it can only be measured by how well it helps customers meet their goals. To do this, firms must continually ask — and answer — three basic questions:

  • Who are your target users? Firms need to start with a clear picture of their target audience, remembering that not every visitor will have the same reason for coming to the site. To formalize this understanding, project teams should craft personas — composite descriptions of real people that represent primary customer segments.
  • What are their key goals? When people go to retail outlets, visit a Web site, or call a company on the phone, they’re trying to accomplish something specific — select a gift, compare prices, find help with a problem. Customer experiences should be designed to satisfy these goals.
  • How can you help them achieve those goals? The final test of any customer interaction comes down to how well it works. Firms must make it easy for target users to take each step on their way to reaching their goals, designing clear paths that anticipate what users need to know and would like to do at each decision point.

Scenario Design Best Practices

Using Scenario Design as its core concept, Forrester’s dedicated customer experience research team identifies how companies can build profitable experiences by understanding customer needs, designing the right interactions, and analyzing the effectiveness of those interactions. Over the last five years, Forrester has applied this methodology to more than 500 evaluations of customer experiences delivered on the Web, over the phone, through kiosks, and across multiple channels. Forrester also helps companies adopt customer experience best practices through a suite of highly interactive two-day training sessions. For more information on Forrester’s suite of customer experience services, visit:

The research mentioned in this press release, “Scenario Design: A Disciplined Approach To Customer Experience,” is available to WholeView 2TM clients and can be found at