The publishing house Gyldendal Undervisning (Gyldendal Education) were in the middle of a digital crisis. By the use of design methodology, they managed to turn the tide.
Radically changed by design
Being a pionér of digitalization is not always an easy act, something Gyldendal Undervisning got to experience. After investing in and growing with their focus on digital teaching tools, everything collapsed at the start of the school year of 2013. The transition from being a provider of books to providing digital services in the field of teaching, proved to be a challenge the publisher did not foresee.
– 2013 was about to become a real annus horribilis, Director of Innovation in Gyldendal, Alexander Henriksen says:
– We had sold tens of thousands of licenses on teaching materials that teachers did not get to work when they opened classrooms for school. They desperately called us, while students waited impatiently. We had no idea what the problem was and were therefore far away from finding good solutions. We needed help from someone who could navigate chaos and see structures that made sense.
30 new measures for service development and customer systems
Alexander contacted Halogen. Together we conducted user studies in schools and mapped out the service journey for Gyldendal's customers. In addition, the designers mapped the publisher's internal work processes.
Based on this survey, we proposed more than 30 measures for service development and customer systems. The measures were aimed at increasing the quality of the digital customer experiences combined with the efficiency of work processes and increased profitability.
The need for customer support reduced by more than 60%
Gyldendal started planning or implementing almost all measures immediately. Among other things, they implemented common languages and a common model for their processes, which was now based on customer needs.
An important result of the measures was that the need for customer support went down by more than 60 percent, due to among other things much more efficient licensing of the digital products.
– In the short term we managed to solve the problems we were in the middle of, but in the longer term, the work led to a whole new self-understanding for the whole Gyldendal Group. Today, we work much more smoothly and with a great deal of interdisciplinary in all teams, says the Innovation Director.
As of 2019, Gyldendal Teaching has gone from being a school book publisher, to being a service provider - a partner for learning. They have gone from zero percent in digital revenue in 2009 to 50 percent in 2019. This has led to a whole new way of working with customers.
The entire organization now works systematically with user journeys based on what is the customer's needs. In addition, the work has led to new forms of management and a new strategy for the competence the Gyldendal Group develops.
– This is by far the most important learning I and we have had. Design thinking has radically changed our ways of thinking, Alexander Henriksen says.