When efficiency and speed are a priority, it can be easy to lose sight of the “why” behind your work and become disconnected from how your role fits into the broader customer experience story. We recently had an opportunity to help one of our financial services clients find creative ways for their Operations teams to re-connect to the organization’s broader narrative.
We harnessed the process of storyboarding to help these teams understand and convey how they fit into the customer experience.
Stories and pictures have the ability to connect quickly and deeply with people. A visual story hung on an office wall can serve as an effective reminder of daily purpose. Our goal was to help our client create such a reminder and to do so through a process that would also support the objective of connecting employees to the story of the customer experience.
Storyboarding Workshop: We gathered 20 volunteer participants from Operations and facilitated a highly interactive one-day storyboarding workshop. We began by discussing the power of stories and identifying the key elements of any good tale. We put knowledge into practice using a range of generic prompts to craft sample stories together. Finally, we worked with the group to gain comfort with the basic drawing necessary to create a draft storyboard.
Competition: Having established a foundation, we introduced some friendly competition. We divided the group into five teams each tasked with telling the most compelling story around Operation’s contribution to their customers’ success. We armed each team with a storyboarding toolkit and set a deadline 3 weeks out.
Over the weeks that followed, the teams used the toolkits to assist them in creating their storyboards by determining a theme, characters, setup, plot points, dialogue, basic visuals, etc. This process required teams to reflect on, discuss, and articulate their value to customers. We also leveraged an online discussion space so teams could expand the conversation to a broader group of colleagues.
The End Result
At the end of three weeks, our client sponsors reviewed each of the storyboards and chose a winner. Then our Creative team, a talented group of art directors and designers, stepped in to collaborate with the winners to finalize their visuals and create a polished deliverable—in this case the story was best conveyed via comic-strip graphics.
Our sponsors wanted to underscore the importance of the story being conveyed and leveraged existing cultural practices to do so. Appreciation for and engagement with the company’s large art collection was already a part of our client’s culture so our sponsors framed the winning story (now depicted as a comic strip) and organized a ceremony to mark its installment in the corporate gallery. This event drew focus to the importance of customer success and celebrated the role of the Ops team in delivering on this.
The framed graphic lives on as a daily physical reminder to employees and can be reproduced for use in onboarding materials and communications to the broader organization regarding the important role that Operations plays in the success of our client’s customers.
Here’s part of the final product, scrubbed for confidentiality.