Macau is a new market for design thinking and has the potential to adapt such innovation in the city’s service industry, says Hong Kong-based consultant David Chung.
At the French Macau Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting last week, Chung discussed how design thinking – a methodology to develop design concepts – could introduce a new way of thinking to cope with the fast-paced era.
Noting how expectations of hotel experiences and services are growing, the speaker highlighted the need for organizations to transform the value of their innovative products to “wow” customer experience.
According to the speaker, design thinking focuses the spotlight on the customer, making them the focal point of design for any solution. In this process, decisions are made based on the wants of future customers instead of relying only on historical data.
In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam presented, in her 2017 policy address, the significance of design thinking, thus promoting the concept among people of different ages within and outside its education system.
Chung noted that Macau also has the potential to adopt the way of thinking. “The majority of the business in Macau is hospitality. In fact, based on research, over 40 percent of design thinking is [in] service innovation, meaning Macau has a potential to adopt design thinking in the service industry,” Chung told the Times, adding “The adaptability is high. If adapted, customer engagement will increase”.
In his talk, Chung highlighted a human-centered approach, where businesses put customer experience and the ability to meet customer needs at the core of design by seeking emotional connection amongst the customers.
“Many hotels want to transform their businesses from just traditional gambling to all-round entertainment [so] that’s the key to transformation,” he said, adding “If they use design thinking, maybe they can transform their business to being an all-rounded entertainment provider – it’s better, I believe”.
In a short article Chung co- authored, it was written that the customer drives the current and future state of any businesses. These products and services, whether delivered to internal or external customers, should create intrinsic value and address specific needs.
Chung also noted that both small and medium enterprises may implement design thinking and innovation, and that it has the potential to identify hidden and therefore unmet demands.
The speaker added that designing effective customer experience is about “injecting purpose and empathy into everything the hotel business does.”