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How Foxtel's service design lead uses insight

Published 15 May 2019 4 minute read

Online qual

On a recent trip to Australia, I met up with Further client Greta Leropoulos who is the Service Design Lead for Foxtel (a media company, who  provide a premium pay per view TV service of streamed and live, sport, movies, drama, news and entertainment). Greta's on a mission to introduce more human-centred thinking to the heart of Foxtel, so they can better serve their customers' needs. Much of her work centres on how to present and communicate insight to the right people in a timely way. Foxtel use our Together platform to conduct their research engagements and stay in touch with their consumers. 

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Describe your current role and explain how you came to be there?

I’ve been working at Foxtel (an Australian pay TV company) for almost eight years now! I started out as a phone-facing agent in our Customer Service team, working part-time while I was at studying a Bachelor of Psychological Studies and Bachelor of Exercise Science/Human Movement at Victoria University. Over the years, I’ve worked in different areas including Recruitment and Learning & Development. Until I found a place in the Continuous Improvement team as a Process Analyst, where I was working with customer-facing business units to identify pain points and improvement opportunities.

Within this role, I was introduced to human-centred design practices and had the opportunity to engage directly with customers to get their input on a particular process I was assessing. The input I got was so valuable and led quite quickly to a noticeable improvement in this process which I was really proud of.  After a couple of years, this developed into my current role as the Service Design Lead – where I lead a small team responsible for understanding what matters to our customers through qualitative research, and communicating that back to the business so positive Foxtel experiences can be created!

What are you on a mission to change at Foxtel?

We’re in the really early stages of involving customers in the solutions we build at Foxtel, particularly with our service experience. I would like to influence the expansion of this across the business, and see it embedded in how we operate – improving our overall focus, decision making, creativity, collaboration and service offering as a result!

I would also like to establish avenues for communicating key customer insights more broadly across all levels of the business. Through these avenues, I hope to build empathy and understanding, connect employees’ actions to customer outcomes, and drive more customer-led change.

What kind or style of research do you do regularly?

We use Together to conduct qualitative research engagements (which we call Customer Panels) in a couple of ways. We have our ‘Journey-Based’ Customer Panels that we run on a two monthly cycle, and involve recruiting customers to understand their recent experiences with Foxtel, and identify pain points or unmet needs that we can address.  Additionally, we have our ‘Permanent’ Customer Panel that we launched in December 2018. We keep around 500 customers continually engaged, so we can quickly check in with them to obtain their direct input into future or proposed product and service experiences. These customers have signed-up to provide us with their feedback and ideas, and are really excited to be engaging with us in this way!

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work day-to-day?

I would say our biggest challenge has been working out how to best synthesise the large amount of qualitative data we obtain quickly enough for the demand of the business. And furthermore, how we can communicate findings and insights in a way that will prompt immediate action. We’re playing around with different methods and frameworks to help us do this, including coding and visually representing our data in more effective ways.

How do you present your work to your colleagues so that its value is clear?

We put a lot of thought into the stories we’re telling on behalf of our customers, and how those stories will influence discussion and decision making.

When presenting our work, we keep our audience in mind and communicate the things that they’ll resonate with the most. Recently, we’ve started to conduct more structured ‘interviews’ with stakeholders from the very beginning of each research engagement, to ensure we really understand their key priorities and involve them in the research design, so the end output is more relevant and of value to them.

What are the big consumer behaviour trends you are seeing impacting your organisation?

We’ve seen a shift in how people are consuming entertainment with the rise of streaming services such as Netflix, which has vastly influenced the perceptions and expectations that people now have of Foxtel – particularly regarding cost, value, and technology. And, more generally, a greater importance is being placed on the overall customer experience with the likes of Amazon and Uber.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and has led to the business to taking a more customer-centric approach to the design of our product and service offering, really thinking about what matters to our customers and how we can best serve them so they see value in Foxtel.

What does the term 'Human Insight' mean to you?

A deep understanding of the underlying motivations driving human behaviour – that elicits new perspectives and ideas.

How do you work with Further?

Currently, we use Together to conduct our research engagements. We check in with the Further team as required when we have any questions that arise, and every so often we catch up to discuss what we’re currently working on in more detail.

Whether that be about how we can structure a certain research activity to get the best outcome, how we can better utilise the platform in general, or how we can communicate our insights and work with the rest of the business in a way that will be more impactful.

What would you say to anyone thinking of working with Further?

The people are great! The Further team have been really helpful when it comes to ensuring we’re maximising the usefulness of the platform, and are always there to answer any questions we have. Together is really intuitive and easy to use, on our end and for the participants involved in our research – we very rarely have to intervene or provide support on how to use the platform. 

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