Workshop Cafe

What can others learn from the successes and failures of how you designed and implemented your company’s approach to CX?: 

The Workshop Café CX is iterative and responsive. We want our customers to have a simple, streamlined, productive and healthy experience and that takes constant re-configuration. For example, at Workshop everyone checks in to the workspace in order to track their time inside. To support this, we have a Concierge role. When we opened, this was a passive role where the employee would collect text message orders, check people in and out of the workspace that couldn’t do it themselves, and perform other services. We thought it was best to stay out of the way of customers but it turned out that we were wrong. The passive concierge role was a struggle for both employees and customers. Employees were put in the position of starting awkward conversations with customers that didn’t check in and they felt more like a police staff. We tried a few methods for solving this but then zoomed out and decided to try an active Concierge role. Now concierges check in customers at the door. Not only has this eliminated awkward interactions, but it’s also made customers feel incredibly secure. With everyone checked in, it adds more camaraderie to the space. Our big learning was to let go of what we initially thought was one of our key design principles of customer interaction. We were able to succeed in ways we didn’t even imagine after doing so.

How did your company articulate and promote the CX strategy that led to the creation of your CX ecosystem?: 

Workshop started with a one page document with several design principles around customer experience and all strategies were built out from that. Now that it’s in full operation, the CX ecosystem is kept alive by the employees. The employees plus the space and food and technology are the entirety of our CX. We have a policy where employees volunteer for what should be done better. If an employee sees something at any level that could be executed better, he or she volunteers to fix it, puts a solution out there, and then the team iterates on it until it’s right.

What research and information about customers was used in designing your company’s CX, and how did it influence design process and the outcome?: 

Before opening workshop we did a big user research study on workers in coffee shops, work clubs, home offices, libraries and beyond. Through time-span observation, contextual inquiry, insight sorting and frameworking we built a spectrum of types of users for Workshop and then built out the top physical, experiential, digital, and service design opportunities. Our big insight about user needs was that time of day was the most important factor in terms of style of work performed. We built our spaces and experiences to accommodate this.

What were the key projects, processes, and other undertakings that went into the design of your company’s CX?: 

We’re a startup. Our constraints are time and money. We’ve built the space out at the right level of resolution so that we can continue to make changes.

Please share any qualitative, quantitative, empirical, or anecdotal evidence that demonstrates the success of your company’s CX in improving your company’s delivery of service.: 

In addition to the stories shared already, another feature of our iterative CX is constant space reconfiguration for different types of customers. In the beginning, we allowed single customers to reserve the entire workspace, but we soon realized that this didn’t accommodate our solo customers and we didn’t want to turn folks away. We’ve learned to make spaces within the space to isolate groups and give them a semblance of privacy without closing the space to others. We can do this quickly because our furniture and other space structures are moveable.

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