Brainstorm 1 : Mapping the Customer Journey
As a first step in understanding the Postmates ecosystem, our group mapped the service experience from the point of view of the customer. We captured our initial thoughts on post-it notes, categorized them, and mapped them according to the emotional experience at different stages.
Brainstorm 2: Identifying Problem Patterns
We then began reorganizing those elements (captured on post-it notes during our first brainstormed map) into larger groups of issues trying identify the broad problem patterns associated with use of Postmate.
The most compelling pattern that emerged for us from this mapping exercise is the lack of transparency, evident at many levels of the customer interaction. From there, we distilled those friction moments (where lack of transparency is unpleasant) into the two most significant, what would become the leverage points from which to propose solutions: Pricing and Delivery. Issues with transparency in pricing are best illustrated by the lack of clarity around additional charges and fees (delivery, service, custom orders). In terms of delivery, transparency becomes an issue with regards to the facade of “choice” over selecting a driver. While Postmates employs a rating system, customers are only shown this rating system once a driver has been assigned to the order. This begs the question, just who is this rating for? Additionally, customers receive no information about how the driver will be arriving (bike, car, etc), which makes locating the driver to complete the Postmates interaction quite challenging. While these two friction moments, Pricing and Delivery, may eemed to be two separate issues, we have come to see them as intrinsically linked under the umbrella pattern of Transparency.
From there, we began questioning the value flow of the Postmates interaction. Seemingly, Postmates has one, primary aim that customers supposedly pay for: to deliver quickly. All decisions, from the debranded website imaging to the standardized menu templates, seem designed with this efficiency in mind. Pricing totals don’t pop up often throughout the purchase process, everything is aggregated into one final interaction. The site is clean and easy to move through. Drivers are presumably rated on how quickly they arrived as well as how helpful they are. And, while this assumption on the part of Postmates is likely the obvious one for a convenience-based service such as this, we began wondering how the company might think about value in a slightly different way.
As a digital platform, Postmates appeals to a young busy professional. At the same time as they value efficiency and convenience, this very same target audience is likely involved in the current conscious consumerism/ecological/local movement in some way, shape or form. They may value supporting their local community at the same time as they enjoy global restaurant chains; they may appreciate the quirk and grit of a small, neighborhood diner at the same time as they enjoy perusing the beautifully shot photos of design magazines; they may mindfully consider the whole human in every a business transaction at the same time that they appreciate a fast and efficient service.
From this realization, we began to consider how Postmates might provide customers with a value added service of increased choice (even if they have to pay extra for it), appealing to this set of culturally relevant values.
Brainstorm 3: Visualizing Customer Journey, Stakeholder Value Flows and Defining a Problem + Proposition
We began considering how to visualize these complex experiences, representing the physical/digital journeys, transactional interactions (exchanges of value) and key relationships. In addition to mapping the traditional exchanges of value, we explored how we might overlay our suggestions for alternative value propositions, highlighting what we identified as key leverage points in the Postmates service.
We then went back to the key problem of transparency, identifying the people and ideas that would be involved in the development and implementation of an improved service offering.