The new tool means that organizations can ensure their customer experience (CX) responds to the physical, sensory and cognitive ageing of their clients.
Most products and services are still designed by the young, for the young. Yet the world is ageing faster than at anytime in history. The implications for cities, business and healthcare are dramatic.
While researching their book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer, ageing experts Kim Walker and Dick Stroud, discussed the issue with senior representatives of academia, government, healthcare and industry. They identified the need for a measurable process that could evaluate any environment from the perspective of older people.
“The physical, sensory and cognitive differences between generations amplify from around 50 years of age” says Stroud. This demands that almost every interaction must be re-evaluated and adapted in response to these physiological differences. Walker added “It’s business common sense to ensure that adults of all ages can easily engage with you”.
Age-Friendly (AF) audit tool Walker and Stroud codified 25 ways that ageing impairs the senses, body and mind. These ‘effects of ageing’ are applied when evaluating the interaction or touchpoint that a person has with a particular environment. This thinking is now incorporated into an iPad app that scores each touchpoint, providing a rigorous method to identify the preparedness of a city, company or any environment in adapting to the effects of ageing. The AF Tool can be applied across all parts of an organisation.
AF Brands, AF Cities and more to come Free versions of AF Brands and AF Cities iPad apps are available on iTunes. Prototypes of the tool have been used to evaluate over 50 customer journeys for businesses in the telecoms, financial services and hospitality industries. For the first time, companies can evaluate all the physical and digital touchpoints with their customers. The tool provides a common language and metrics that can be used to improve all aspects of older people’s lives.
Stroud and Walker are working with functional experts to apply the tool to places where older people work, live and receive healthcare.