Service design – of course – focuses on services. Services are the glue of modern business and public life. Services connect us to the goods we need to lead our lives; be they groceries, mortgages or medical treatments. Services enable us to understand, access, receive, use and get help with these goods. We find it is in the services where most organisations fail customers and can dramatically improve performance.
Connecting customers and organisations
Service design exists to bridge the experience of customers with the activities of a business or organisation. We know that focus on the value customers receive and their experience is vital but we also know that this is only half of the equation. It is equally essential that organisations are able to translate customer understanding into actions that improve the performance of the business. Service design aims to enable businesses to move forward with their customers.
Enabling alignment and collaboration
If we had a dollar/euro/pound for every time we heard that a business is in silos we would be rich. Service design is unusual in being a cross cutting activity that can enable a new conversation between departments focused on how to deliver a service strategy. We aim to create the necessary shared view and collaborative environment that builds a more aligned business.
Movement from insight to implementation
Service design is action oriented. It is not in the business of creating reports. We want to create impact. Our approach is based in a fundamental understanding of the way that customers’ experiences and business activities are time-based and cyclical. The lifecycle of a relationship between customers and service providers enables us to focus on what moves people forward to get the most from the interaction.
Clarity, learning and focus
The service design toolkit brings clarity, it also brings the ability to test and learn. The activities of mapping (customer journeys, relationships, experiences) and testing (through prototyping and piloting services) are core to what service design offers a project or transformation process. Visualisation and testing enable businesses to learn and reduce the risk and fear of change.
The missing piece of the puzzle
Service design sprang from the identification of a problem. Where businesses have comprehensive product development processes they lack a clear methodology for developing their service and services to customers. Much of the dissatisfaction and lost productivity in our economies is due to services underperforming their potential. Service design offers a structured, clear and tangible approach to this need.
Ethos, method and tools
Service design is a mix of ethos, method and tools. There is a fundamental belief that customers and businesses can interact more productively. There is an approach that focuses on successful interactions and relationships through the service lifecycle. And there are tools that bring much needed mapping, visualization, testing and learning to ensure projects stand a better chance of success.