As the leading digital operator in Turkey, Turkcell's CX department aimed to adopt a human-centric organizational model while developing products & services.
Our learning design-centered project focused on educating and empowering the high-potential employees of Turkcell's CX teams to lead the customer-centered transformation through the creation of innovative solutions. We designed a unique learning program, a CX Lab, tailored to equip change agents with Human-Centered Design methodologies and skills to lead the creation of innovative products, services, and business models. The transformative learning journey established creative confidence and empathy amongst participants as they tackled Turkcell's design challenges, through 5 Bootcamps over the course of 4 months. After 3 CX Lab cohorts, 11 high-impact projects emerged from over 40 change agents, while 1 of them was further developed and launched in October 2019.
Each CX Lab entailed a 4-month-long experiential journey and was designed around creating an internal learning lab in the client's company—boosting employees from the level of basic literacy about design thinking to the point of being practitioners. The initial scope of the project was to set up a customer experience learning lab, in which employees were to go through a series of bootcamps trying to solve real life problems provided by the client, so that they are able to apply design thinking frameworks to their own projects. The main goal and outcome of the CX Lab project was educating employees about the human centered design techniques and principles, so that they become first practitioners then advocates of these processes in their own departments.
A diverse creative team with different professional backgrounds collaborated throughout the project. The disciplinary range included two learning designers, a service designer, a project lead, and a project director.
Before the kickoff, stakeholder interviews and Executive Design Thinking workshops were conducted with the client's CEM (Customer Experience Management) department to analyze their strategic needs and expectations from a Human-Centered Design learning program. Interviews with senior leadership were conducted mainly to understand the structure of the CX department, how their current processes worked and how we could help them integrate Human-Centered Design into those processes to create value through innovative products and services.
Various useful learnings came out of these; the following two quotes from the CEM employees were helpful in purifying the insights and shaping the "How Might We?" questions of the project;
"We have the knowledge in the team but we need to be unified. Let us evolve our team first, then we will evolve Turkcell and the outer world."
"Being a thought leader within a team which other teams turn to for consultation is difficult. As the supervisor, we have to create pioneering works with the tools and methodologies at hand along with good storytelling."
We saw that CX employees needed to experience Human-Centered Design and would benefit from adding its skills and methods to their toolkits. Therefore, with the help of in-depth interviews and insights, the following two design questions emerged to guide team members and potential participants in the project and create business value for Turkcell;
How might we create alignment in Turkcell's Customer Experience Department around how to approach their work in customer experience design?
How might we train and empower the employees of the Turkcell Customer Experience Department to lead the customer-centered transformation to enable the creation of innovative products, services, and business models?
Then came the creation of Bootcamps, which were the main learning journeys that participants were trained through. With the two "How Might We?" questions guiding us, 6 Bootcamps were designed to give participants an environment in which they split into groups to work on pre-set user challenges to practice and have hands-on experience of Human-Centered Design processes.
Before the bootcamps started, workshops and design sprints were conducted with the executive team to help the client company internalize the initial design questions for each group; this was done so that the examples that groups were going to work on were real design challenges, for which the project outcomes could be used or developed internally.
Teams focused on the following 4 design challenges;
+ Individual Mobile: Alleviating "Turkcell Moments" in users' lives.
+ Individual Fixed: Alleviating the touchpoints of Turkcell Home Internet.
+ Finance: Helping Turkcell users make their transactions easier in their daily lives.
+ Entertainment & Communication: Helping people make better use of their leisure time.
40 participants were divided into 4 groups which were given pre-defined focus areas by the client set before the project. They were given a Bootcamp Handbook which contained basic information such as the steps of Human-Centered Design, introduction to Service Design, and why these are relevant during the bootcamps. The process consisted of six bootcamps and a final step of reflections and presentation. Embracing the design thinking mindset, the first two bootcamps were dedicated to seeing the as is processes, mapping them out and defining the pain points in the journeys. Then the participants moved on to the later bootcamps in which they identified the user challenge, brainstormed out-of-the-box ideas to form their solution concepts, prototyped and tested them with real users, and iterated on their concepts to learn how to tell the story of their learning journey and project outcomes to senior leadership.
Below is the detailed bootcamp agenda:
Bootcamp 1 - Discover & Visualize (2 days)
Introduction to the Methodology of the Human-Centered Designand Service Design Theory and presentation of local and global real-world cases. Main objectives and tools, such as Map of Offering, Stakeholders Map, Customer Journey, and Service Blueprint, key to understand how backend operations affect the end-user journey. Based on the chosen User Scenario, participants created proto-personas and proto-journeys, mapping all that is known until the present day, as a preparation for the field exploration. Practice of "empathy-based design," the most important component of the Discovery phase.
Bootcamp 2 - Question & Reframe (1 day)
Analysis and interpretation of field learnings and thematic grouping. Teams created personas, pain-points and scenarios based on the Discovery Phase. They iterated their customer journeys "as is," based on findings, to depict the current state of the user experience. Then, based on the current customer journey, teams mapped the first version of their "as is" Service Blueprints. They identified what is still unknown, key issues and potential opportunities to be explored for the next phase.
Bootcamp 3 - Analyze & Connect (1 day)
Teams finalized their "AS IS" Customer Journeys and Service Blueprints. They defined Key Opportunities based on Key Pain Points & Key Resources and the Design Principles that will guide their Ideation Process. They were introduced to creative ideation techniques and the different states of the brain.
Bootcamp 3 - Strategize & Test (1 day)
Deep understanding in idea analysis and selection frameworks. Teams created the first version of their "TO BE" Customer Journeys and the Service Blueprints and created their prototyping roadmap. Then they were introduced to field testing and Feedback Collection & Analysis methods.
Bootcamp 5 - Visualize & Finalize (2 days)
After analyzing prototyping outcomes, teams iterated for the final version of "TO BE" Customer Journey and Service Blueprint. Then a Roadmap for Implementation based on KPIs was created.
Bootcamp 6 - Storytelling & Pitching (1 day)
Understanding of various storytelling and pitching frameworks. Teams created their pitch decks to be presented. Demo pitch: Training presentation skills for internal buy-in.
Evaluation & Reflections Workshop - 1/2 day
Program closure. Teams gathered to assess their learning outcomes, receive feedback, and determine iterations for next CX Design Labs.
After 3 cohorts and at the end of this 4-month-long experiential process, 40 change agents, who graduated from the CX Labs having gone through transformative learning journeys, designed 11 high impact concepts and brought them back to their organization. Two of these 11 projects were further developed and implemented. Later, we worked conjointly with CX change agents to improve customer loyalty on a new scope including two streams of work; training and design. As a result, a product concept, Gift Box, ("Hediye Havuzu" in Turkish) was developed and later launched. (10/2019 & averaged 14,5M users monthly).
This transformation and built-in agency of Human-Centered Design was only possible with the deep collaboration among the multidisciplinary team members, coupled with an effective field research process. As the main result of this 4-month-long learning journey, 80 employees of the client company were upskilled and empowered with Human-Centered Design via its design tools, processes, and mindsets. They went back to their daily work routines fully-equipped with creative confidence and empathy while being transformed into pioneers of change across Turkcell's departments.