While businesses understand the significance of rising customer demands, many still lack the ability to meet them. Amina Graham, former chief transformation officer at housing associations RHP and L&Q, shares her insights into changing customer expectations and the benefits of service-led design.

“Today’s customers are becoming ever-more demanding. They want more choice, more convenience and more control. They want everything quickly: the same day or next day. They want seamless experiences and not to have to repeat themselves when they contact businesses with a problem. They expect companies to know who they are, what their issue is and to respond instantly to their query. They also want to trust the organisations that they do business with; so there is more questioning about corporate ethics and green credentials than ever before.

To meet these demands, it is vital to listen to the voice of the customer and understand customer behaviours and patterns, not just within your own organisation, but by looking more widely at the brands that resonate with them. What does good service look like to your customers? Delivering an improved experience that matches rising customer expectations has led many organisations to move from process-led design to service-led design. They need to make service better, faster and lower cost for customers.

To be truly service-led, customer needs must be at the heart of the business. They should be able to self-serve at any time, at any place, on any device. Creating a service-led business means knowing your customers, using your data intelligently and making decisions at the nearest point to the customer as possible.

So always think digital, but act human. Automate where you can but keep your brand personality alive and consistent for the customer.”

Find out more about customer experience and how to become an agile organisation. Download our research report, ‘Transform and perform: The power of organisational agility’, to explore the experiences of 300 business leaders involved in transformation programmes.


James has designed future state operating models and driven transformative change in a range of public and private sector multinationals and leads Gate One’s TOM capability area. A proven problem solver, James specialises in operating model design, portfolio management, customer strategy and experience, and performance improvement.