Client-experience and human-centred design: how luxury fashion faced pandemic

Partners
Confidential customer

Case
Designing a human-centric training program

Action area
The Future of Work, Training

Capabilities
Co-design, Strategic Design, Futures & Foresight

Year
2022-2023

Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia

The project

The occurrence of pandemic challenged the luxury fashion industry by impacting customers’ consumption and purchase behaviors and by profoundly redefining the retail experience, customers’ needs, and those of retail teams.

Shifton was commissioned to design a human-centered training program for store employees worldwide to strengthen the sense of belonging and purpose of retail teams.

The challenge

How can we foster the engagement and motivation of retail teams by evolving and elevating the brand’s client-experience according to the needs dictated by the post-pandemic context?

How can we initiate a process of cultural transformation through a human-centered training program that leverages the needs and collective intelligence of the company’s employees?

The strategy

To address such a complex challenge, we started with the analysis and re-contextualization of the brand’s values, narrative, and client-experience from a human-centric and post-pandemic perspective, by actively involving various stakeholders of the company.

Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia

We worked on a global scale by starting a co-design process that primarily involved and targeted the brand’s Training Managers, then in charge of training the employees of each store.

Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia

The process

Through a first strategic workshop, together with some of the company’s key figures and managers, we worked on redefining the values and the most significant stages of the client-experience, and built a future scenario capable of guiding its evolution. During the next phase, we conducted a series of one-on-one interviews with the store managers of the different stores to map and understand the needs, strengths, and critical issues related to the current in-store experience, privileging the perspective of the retail teams. A desk research phase enabled us to map inspirational cases and best practices in the training world.

Based on the findings, we designed a training program and toolkit – consisting of tools, best practices, and guidelines – aimed at the company’s Training Managers, focusing on three main themes:

  • Evolution of the Client-Experience: human-centric and post-pandemic evolution of values and key stages of the experience
  • Sharing culture: tools and rituals to foster processes of collaboration and sharing at different scales among store employees
  • Cultural awareness: tools to facilitate the acquisition of a cultural background related to the local context of each store
Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia

These first three training modules were followed by two additional ones, aimed at the development and consolidation of hard and soft skills by training managers and the construction of a community of practice capable of facilitating the exchange of knowledge and skills globally:

  • New Ways of Working: tools and practices of collaborative working and effective planning
  • Visual Thinking: tools and practices of visual thinking and graphic facilitation to promote effective transmission of content and ideas (module held in partnership with Housatonic)
Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia
Client-experience e human-centred design: la risposta del luxury fashion alla pandemia
Client-experience e human-centred design
Client-experience e human-centred design

The impact

The newly designed training program stressed the importance of co-design and participation as tools for creating and implementing human-centric experiences that are effective over time and adaptable to different local contexts. Using co-design tools and methods during the training allowed us to establish an open dialogue and continuous feedback mechanism with Training Managers, putting their needs with respect to in-store employees’ training at the center. The process permitted the Training Managers to become familiar with innovative tools and modes of interaction, capable of leveraging the knowledge, needs, and specificities of each retail team.

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