How to enhance your Digital Customer Experience?

On October 22nd 2019, ngage had the pleasure to host a one-day inspiring and interactive session with the HEC Digital Lab on the Digital Customer Experience with 2 talented leaders: Ph.D, Assistant marketing professor at HEC Liege & Dominique Mangiatordi, Digital marketing Entrepreneur, professor at Solvay Business School with a specialization in Digital marketing, Gamification and Branding

Executive Summary

The whole day was split in a consistent set of modules enabling participants to discover concepts, learn from practical examples and finally co-create around 4 different use cases.

The outcomes from the morning session enabled our audience to understand all aspects of the customer experience management and play with them around a concrete case.

The afternoon session informed on the use of gamification learnings and techniques to increase customer engagement and therefore improve the customer experience. Some concrete examples and practices inspired us to bring customer journeys to the next level once the basics are consistent enough.

Let us take you on our journey!

  • Be aware that Customer Experience happens with or without you!
  • Learn how to transform the current state of a customer journey with digital
  • Co-create around a journey map
  • Discover how cognitive bias can influence a customer experience
  • Learn how Gamification can help you reach a high level of engagement from your Customers

About ngage roundtables: as management consultants specialized in executing strategies, roundtables are a unique opportunity to group experts from different backgrounds and industries to share learnings and best practices around a topic. The key takeaways are some actionable learnings you can take and apply for your industry and specific context.

Be aware that Customer Experience happens with or without you!

Customer Experience is basically the Customers' perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with an enterprise’s employees, channels, systems or products/services.

"Customers are getting an experience with your company whether you manage it or not!"

It is not enough anymore to address customer needs with commodities or simple products and services. “Experience” became a competitive advantage for companies across all industries.

There are many ways to engage with customers and influence their perceptions and thus experience since humans have different types of emotions and ways to interpret messages:




Here are 3 of the key concepts that can be useful to keep in mind to better grasp and manage customer experiences:

● Theory of "Reasoned action": the relationship between attitudes and behaviors within human action can be used to understand how individuals will behave based on their pre-existing attitudes and behavioral intentions.

● Uses and gratification: consumers only use technology based on the perceived value (Informational, Social, Hedonic, Personal identity) – e.g. today, a high % of Facebook users are passive ones only looking for information

● Technology acceptance: There is a clear difference between Perceived Usefulness and Perceived ease of use. Both will impact the intention of the customer… and the actual usage of the technology, however, not always with the same direct causal effect - i.e. it's not because it's perceived as "easy to use" that it will be perceived as "useful to use".

Learn how to transform the current state of a customer journey 

There is a clear distinction between a Customer journey including all the steps and moments of truth across the different channels and… the experience perceived and lived by the customer.

To illustrate this, participants were invited to use a case to map the current state of a journey and brainstorm on: “How can a hospital provide a better experience (through technology) during the pregnancy?”

The use case was the opportunity to reflect on how Digital & Technology as a whole can be embedded in the current state of a journey to enhance customer experiences by either: 

● Augmenting Service Employees (e.g. Digital touchpoints to better help patients in a hospital)
● Substituting to Service Employees (e.g. Amazon Go - fully automated supermarket)
● Facilitating networks (e.g. digital platforms like Airbnb) 

Co-create around a journey map

The morning was closed by a break-out session.
The different groups were invited to map the current state of a journey for one of the cases selected:

  • A new contract with an electricity/gas provider
  • Going to a hospital for a broken bone
  • Choosing a college abroad for a child
  • Picking catering for an event

There are different steps to visualize the customer journey and enhance it:

  1. First, map the different steps, moments of truth and touchpoints that any person is taking throughout the journey;

  2. Second, identify with qualitative and quantitative data, the emotions and frictions that a persona may experience throughout the journey;

  3. Then highlight the moments where digital will deliver the best value for the customer (by augmenting service employees, substituting or facilitating networks).

Discover how cognitive bias can influence a customer experience

Next in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to have Dominique Mangiatordi on stage. He shared with us what he calls the NBIC (Nanotechnologies, Biotechnologies, Artificial intelligence and cognitive science) revolution.

"How do you engage customers in your journeys and how do you extend their experience to create a memorable moment that will delight their perception?" 
Gamification techniques are a good and sometimes disruptive way to create customer engagement.

What’s the secret sauce? Cognitive bias...

cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments people make. Some of these biases are related to memory. The way you remember an event may be biased for several reasons that in turn can lead to biased thinking and decision-making.

There are more than 175 cognitive biases affecting our decisions and own thinking. The challenge for a company is to be aware of them and try to think about how to take them into account in order to bring customer experiences to the next level. These biases help us address 4 different problems:

  • Information overload: We tend to delete key facts
  • Lack of meaning:  We tend to invent key facts
  • Need to act fast: We tend to bypass key facts
  • What needs to be remembered for later: We tend to change the facts
  • Cognitive Biases are analyzed and managed to make us act in a different way and can, therefore, be used to bring another level of experience for customers.

Some of the funny examples mentioned:

  • Cognitive Bias: The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon is the phenomenon where something you recently learned suddenly appears 'everywhere'.

"You friend has a new car and suddenly you see it at the corners of each street."

● Cognitive Bias: The framing effect

is a cognitive bias where people decide on options based on whether the options are presented with a positive or negative point of view; e.g. as a loss or as a gain. People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented.

"An expensive price can be seen as reasonable if presented in another way."

● Cognitive Bias: Group attribution error

The group attribution error refers to people's tendency to believe either (1) that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole, or (2) that a group's decision outcome must reflect the preferences of individual group members, even when external information available is suggesting otherwise.

"You meet somebody who is supporting the same football club and your perception is that you are very similar to this person."

● Cognitive Bias: Dunning Kruger effect

In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability.

"Candy crush exploits this concept by making you feel like a genius when you first play which engages players more and more into the game."

● Cognitive Bias: The IKEA effect.

Consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created

"You give more value to the furniture you just built on your own because you did it!"


Learn how Gamification can help you reach a high level of engagement from your Customers

From understanding the cognitive bias to nudging. Now that you are aware of the cognitive bias, it is the moment to start to Nudge: to act consciously on someone’s behavior to create an action that serves our objective/interest; (Nudge is a concept in behavioral science, political theory and behavioral economics which proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence the behavior and decision making of groups or individuals.)

"Gamification is based on Motivation: you can’t propose the same one to all your customers..."

Extrinsic One: Do something for an external reason (you need compensation, avoid a penalty, reward, status)

Gamification for a user in an unpleasant situation.

> Compensation
> Avoid penalty
> Reward
> Status
> no need for an Epic

Whopper Fast pass: It is painful to wait for a burger, if you want you can play a game on your smartphone and if you win you can skip the queue.


Intrinsic One: Do something you enjoy (you need pleasure, progression, autonomy, achievement)

Motivation situations appeal to a different context for playing.

> Pleasure
> Progression
> Autonomy
> Achievement
> Need for an Epic

Amateur runners using a self-motivation app to run more miles, faster or to upgrade their performance.

Application fields

Gamification techniques can be applied to different fields and areas:

● Daily Activities
● Management: Sales, Training, Recruitment, Project, etc.
● User Interfaces and UX: adding engagement triggers where it makes sense
● Marketing: increasing engagement of customers or reactions


"When using gamification techniques, the Customer journey can be compared to a player’s journey where each step (identification, onboarding, etc.)  will be key to create engagement and enrich the experience."


In that context, some key drivers enable companies to create more engagement from their customers:

● Epic Meaning: being engaged in something bigger (e.g. a cause, a group objective,)
● Achievement: being driven by a sense of growth towards a goal (e.g. points, levels representing something, …)
● Creativity: like using Lego Blocks (e.g. creating or building something)
● Possession: giving value to the fact of having ownership of something
● Social Influence: using influence (e.g. Rockstar effect, mentorship, etc.)
● Scarcity, curiosity, and impatience: creating some impatience moments to engage customers (e.g. happy hours moments, torture breaks, etc.)
● Unpredictability: creating expectations for something (e.g. random choice to win a price)
● Fear of loss or avoidance: creating specific opportunities (e.g. expiration date, Fluctuating prices, etc.)

The possibilities of using Gamification are numerous and are depending on the fields of application, the cognitive Bias addressed, the type of motivation targeted, and the drivers used. But the combination of all those elements can really bring a different and memorable experience for your customers.

Feedback from the audience

A short video summarizing the impressions of the day.


Meet your customers expectations. And beyond

At ngage we do believe that to improve and build upon your customer experience you need first to start with your vision & business objectives and capture/understand the insights from your customers. Establishing the link between your customers' frictions, their expectations and the root cause(s) of those frictions in your organization will help you highlight the first areas for improvement.

Do you want to know more? Check our Customer Experience Transformation page

Another chair, Another point of view