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Delivering growth through customer centricity at Kone

Working across four European countries and the US, Livework helped Kone define a new maintenance offer. We helped them create a consultative sales approach that was more effective and efficient. This included new digital tools for use by the sales force, maintenance teams and customers. We also recruited and trained a service design team, leaving Kone with the capability to continue the work internally.

Defining a new maintenance offer in order to grow the business.

Kone is a global manufacturer of elevators and escalators. They also have a global services business with maintenance as their core service. In 2014 Kone targeted ambitious growth of the maintenance offer. To do this Kone needed to differentiate their offer in the market and rethink their sales approach in order to grow their business.

Starting with customer insight.

We visited over 40 customers in Europe and North America, interviewing key people and shadowing their work. We also surveyed customers to understand their key value drivers. We found that overall customers felt that the service was oriented to the equipment not to them or their business needs. This core insight – captured in personas, video and narrative – drove our strategy. We translated this analysis into a segmentation of customers by business and by relationship preferences. This enabled us to tailor a range of offers that better fit customer needs.

A new sales approach and service experience.



We defined a new approach that ensured sales teams understood their customers and were able to meet their needs. We wanted to create ways to enable the sales teams to listen, then translate what they heard into an offer and a contract.

To do this, we built a tablet app that sales reps would use to capture client context and needs during their conversation. This app then created an offer that the customer could adjust and see how different features affected costs. This enabled a totally new customer engagement. It also led to significant time savings for the reps. More consistent contracts also meant more efficient delivery.

In our research we also saw how the customer experience of on-site maintenance could be vastly improved. Most of the issues did not have to with the quality of the work but with a lack of clear communication. We wanted to put control into the hands of customers and defined a customer app for ordering and tracking service delivery and an online care centre aligned with the call centre.

From concept to delivery.



This new strategy and design required a lot of investment and organisational change. Successful digital tools and the adoption of new ways of working were critical to implementation. To support this, Livework led a phase of prototyping where versions of the tools and processes were tested with staff and customers in controlled trials. These improved the designs and also built advocacy among the teams.

We also provided support to Kone through the design development phase of the service. This was enabled by a service blueprint that defined the target customer experience and the channels that were in development (app, online etc). It then aligned the operational functions and team to this target, calling out where there were new requirements. This covered all aspects of the business from field staff to enterprise systems.


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Anna van der Togt Lead Service Designer

As Lead Sustainability for Livework, Anna coordinates across clients and projects to ensure our designers structurally update their mental models, approach and toolset to integrate the ecological perspective. 

As a pragmatic environmentalist, she draws from over 6 years of experience in complex service/system innovation projects and transformation programs at companies like JPMorgan and Adidas. She leverages this background to work as a catalyst 0f change for the better.

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