What happened at CX Bootcamp?

By Chris Averill, CEO & Founder

April 15, 2016   

The Tube has been an integral part of London’s history for over 150 years. Annually, more than 1.3 billion passengers use it, inevitably putting pressure on the network itself. The topic of Transport was chosen for the first Bootcamp as we were sure what all delegates had in common was their interaction with one mode of transport or another. So what did we do?

On Thursday the 14th April 2016, WAE in partnership with Transport for London brought together senior marketers, customer experience professionals and service design experts from various sectors for the first WAE Bootcamp – CX in a Day. Delegates included senior decision makers from organisations like Barclays, RBS, Plan UK, British Gas & Met Police, to mention but a few.

After a short introduction into WAE and Transport for London, Hannah Kops TfL’s Experience Design Manager outlined the vast number of touch points through which customers interact with TfL in their lifetime.

To break the ice delegates were given Lego bricks to build a model of a pain point they experience during their commute. Lego Serious Play can be used to build metaphors to visualise and communicate a shared understanding of the challenge and to define actionable outcomes.


WAE delivers transformation by putting the customer at the heart of the business. With that in mind delegates were divided into groups, each group named after a major tube station and were asked to adopt a mindset of a customer of TfL (e.g. confident, carefree or creature of habit) to approach one of the briefs.

There were three live briefs supplied by TfL – Wayfinding, Crowdsourced Data and Encouraging Active Travel. Delegates were asked to each write a Love & Break Up letter, explaining why they value or would discontinue their relationship with TfL. This activity encourages not only to read the mindset but to experience extreme emotions.

By now delegates were getting to grips with WAE’s unique methodology. Groups were empathising with a customer at their tube station (team name), whilst adopting their given mindset in their attempt to answer the brief.

The remainder of the morning was spent covering affinity mapping during which groups developed brilliant ideas to answer the three briefs; Wayfinding – resident only routes to avoid tourist crows; Crowdsourced Data – using real time date to give update to customers on journey changes to reduce travel time; Encouraging Active Travel – broadcasting weather reports to get people walking between stations.

Following a break out for Lunch came storyboarding – where delegates literally drew out step by step what they wanted to achieve. Once storyboards were ready groups used a facilitator to represent the customer and test whether their plan would work.

Prior to the delivery of presentations groups refined their final concept and prepared their elevator pitch for the judges.

Teams were judged on the vision behind their concept, their ability to map out the customer journey and the implementation of WAE’s methodology. We were treated to some terrific presentations; in the next blog we will explore how each group saw the future of transport in London.

Judges deliberated and announced the winner London Bridge featuring participants from Digital Talent @ Work, Barclays, William Russell, Zurich and our friends at TfL. Their stress management-inspired dynamic route planner impressed those judging.

Delegates were commenting on the event throughout the day;

Sabrina Del Prete, Managing Director, Digital at Coutts, said: “WAE delivers high-quality work and I knew this would be time well spent. We wanted to compare our methodology with WAE’s. The simplicity of the structure of the day is easily replicable and we particularly enjoyed the way we got to humanise issues and solutions.”

Plan UK’s Head of Business Improvement and Innovation, Joe Morrison, said: “We’re going through a process of trying to get many different departments to work together. It’s easy to get stuck in your own way of doing things so to hear a completely new strategy and share views with people from outside our sector is valuable.”

Comparing the issues of the Financial Sector with those in other sectors was useful for one customer service design delegate. She said: “With the likes of Metro Bank and Atom disrupting the market, we need to be more future-facing. The methodology we have learnt today will help us focus more on our customers and truly create solutions that meet their demands.”

Another delegate at a major banking brand said: “We are working internally on Customer Experience end-to-end journey. We need to find a way of improving and differentiating our products through the services we offer. For example, there isn’t much difference between using one bank’s debit card over another’s. But if we can prove we react quickly to the customer if a transaction goes wrong or an ATM doesn’t work that will make a difference. What we have discovered today are some really great tools we can use in our own planning sessions.”

You can review the Bootcamp activities on our Twitter feed @teamwae and via the hashtag #WAEbootcamp