User research brings business closer to its customers
  • Case study

User research brings a global business closer to its customers

How Waters Corporation built its brand with experience-led transformation

Who we worked with

Waters Corporation develops analytical solutions, software, and services for scientists. Whether they're discovering new pharmaceuticals or exploring ways to treat diseases, scientists in more than 100 countries rely on its products.

What Waters Corporation needed

  • To protect market share by consistently delivering exceptional experiences for customers
  • An integrated – not fragmented – approach to sharing customer insights across the business
  • Guidance on business transformation with a customer experience focus

How we helped

  • Supported with collating qualitative and quantitative user research
  • Deployed technology to store, design, and standardize comprehensive customer personas
  • Provided strategic support to develop customer journey maps

What Waters Corporation got

  • Standardized customer insights that allow employees to quickly develop new products and services that anticipate the needs of the customer
  • Comprehensive customer journey maps that highlight pain points to help employees improve existing products and services
  • Stronger customer relationships and brand differentiation in an increasingly competitive market


Putting the customer first, every time

Waters Corporation is known for its groundbreaking scientific technology. For many years, the company has been a market leader, but pressure was mounting to find ways to differentiate from the competition. The leadership team realized that enhanced customer experiences were key to continued success. If Waters could find a way to exceed expectations across every touchpoint, loyalty and engagement would improve.

At Waters, the customer experience and knowledge management (CXKM) department is always looking for new ways to put the customer first. Creating customer personas – realistic profiles based on comprehensive data – is one example of its work. The department had been using personas for many years to inform business decisions, but knew its personas were not as comprehensive or as widely used as they could be.

As part of its commitment to improve customer experiences, Waters embarked on a company-wide initiative to develop, implement, and scale a standardized methodology for persona development.

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A customer-centric approach across the business

Waters wanted to empower employees with user personas that illustrated customer needs, preferences, and expectations across all touchpoints, channels, and devices.

Working with Genpact, Waters used qualitative and quantitative user research combined with Cora Journey360 to design intelligent customer journeys and profiles.

Based on data from interviews, surveys, meetings, user forums, and usability-testing sessions, the team created more than 25 comprehensive and actionable personas for use across the business. From lab technicians, to scientists, lab managers, and directors, Waters employees could find insights on their customers’ goals, preferences, stresses, and objectives all in one place.

“Genpact has helped us to deliver products and services that truly address the needs of different users. The support and advice from the team has been outstanding." says Nancy Anderson-Semple, CX/UX consultant at Waters. “Just as Waters looks to differentiate based on exceptional customer experiences, so too does Genpact."

With Genpact’s support, Waters began to use Cora Journey360 for customer journey maps, which provide a detailed visualization of the experience customers have as they interact with the company through a process, system, or service. These maps help Waters identify customer pain points and align stakeholders across some of the most pivotal experiences. The insight gained enables teams to correct issues and prevent them from happening again.

Waters furthered its experience-led transformation with a significant investment in a state-of-the-art Experience Design Center. The center takes usability testing and experience innovation to the next level. With continuous testing based on persona scenarios and customer journeys, the center brings together teams from hardware, software, chemistry, global markets, services, and digital design to improve the entire product lifecycle.

With testing capabilities and observation rooms for anonymized user feedback, the center enables Waters to better understand users and map out future-state experiences. Even though its center is in the US, Waters employees across the globe can connect remotely so that everyone has a holistic view of customer needs and can contribute to the process.


Innovation today, tomorrow, and into the future

Today, Waters uses customer personas and journey maps widely. Every employee, regardless of role, can use customer insights throughout their projects. This has aligned different parts of the organization around a common view of the customer.

“It's been a huge shift in mindset, everyone is thinking about the importance of getting the customer experience right,” says Anderson-Semple. “And when we talk to customers and show them what we're doing with user research, journey maps, and the Experience Design Center, they value our resolve to fully understand their jobs. They see that we listen to them, invest in them, and take their needs seriously, which not only strengthens individual relationships, but also improves the company's reputation. This is a key differentiator, critical to our leadership in a competitive market."

Going forward, Waters is exploring how to improve internal employee experiences that ultimately contribute to customer satisfaction. For example, field service specialists in Asia Pacific wanted to streamline processes for product testing and qualification checks in local languages. By creating a journey map for the localization team, the team could analyze each step in the process to identify where it could make improvements.

This exploration of employee experiences marks the start of the next phase of Waters' experience-led transformation.

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