How to create a pleasant customer journey for concluding software agreements

The Challenge

The company has a successfully growing industry software business. However, the process of concluding certain software license agreements is not easy for customers to navigate as it consists of many individual steps. Therefore, the company wanted to change this process towards a more pleasant and needs-driven customer journey.

The Approach

Step 1: Stakeholder analysis and customer journey mapping

In a kick-off meeting, a diverse legal core design team met to define the assumed main challenges. Together, we created a stakeholder map and visualized the relevant user journey, structuring it into three steps: before, during, and after the conclusion of license agreements. In each step, the customer’s and other stakeholders‘ interactions and pain points along the journey were visualized to understand the issues customers face when signing a contract with the company.

Step 2: Internal research

The following research was conducted as a first step through interviews and testing exclusively with SIEMENS‘ internal stakeholders. Respondents were asked to describe their experiences and interactions when they put themselves in the shoes of customers buying a product online and how they felt about it. Another important finding was the role of sales staff, who have to answer many questions about legal aspects in the sales process when something in the online purchase process was not satisfying for customers. The contracting process was described to them by many customers as annoying and confusing.

Step 3: Customer research

To gain a deeper understanding of actual customer needs and identify pain points from the customer’s perspective, we conducted one-on-one interviews with customers who had already gone through this contract process. The interviews confirmed and specified what we had already found, which was that the journey was cumbersome, lengthy, and error-prone.

Step 4: Co-creation workshop

Based on the findings of the user research, a co-creation workshop was conducted with an interdisciplinary team of members from SIEMENS‘ legal, sales, and marketing departments. Successive workshop phases were used to gather insights from the research, determine and prioritize pain points, and formulate „how could we“ questions to define goals for the future development of the Customer Journey. In addition, we jointly developed a design vision across disciplines to guide all future decisions related to the contract process.

The Outcome

First Step

The key finding of the research was that in a significant number of cases, the complex contract process that customers had to go through when purchasing a particular software license was such a barrier that they actively abandoned the purchase process. Through collaboration, we were able to define a leading design vision that will guide all future solutions, based on the current insights and needs of the various stakeholders. The focus is on empowering stakeholders to engage in a pleasant and needs-based contracting experience. The design vision is a bold statement and provides guidance to all stakeholders to avoid complicated procedures in the purchasing process in the future. It also makes it clear to everyone involved that the most important thing when concluding a contract is an easy-to-understand and intuitive purchasing process that focuses on the customer’s individual needs at every single step of the purchasing process.

Second Step

In the ongoing project, all ideas and prototypes for improving the customer experience are now aligned with the design vision and tested with customers at all stages.

This is an excellent way to always be sure that new ideas and solutions are not being developed ignoring the needs of those affected.

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