This article builds on a chapter of our book, Service Design for Business, and further explores the insights on internal alignment and collaboration outlined in the chapter on this topic – we also provide some specific case studies.
- The instigators of change need to take people with them to be successful
- Visual representations of experiences help engage teams in a vision
- Involve back office teams in service design, they contribute a wealth of insight
- Collaboration and alignment can be achieved quickly with good facilitation and design
Stories make engagement better
Insight 1: Services are difficult to articulate clearly and classic tools such as requirement specifications, business documents, and Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) do not communicate the desired experience. Visual representations of experiences in the form of scenarios that tell a story help engage teams in a vision and solicit their involvement and contribution.
Services are intangible. It’s easier to understand a product that is defined by the company than the services it provides. This is partly due to the fact that a service is something that happens in the customer’s world as much as the organizational one – and this is happening more and more as customers access services on their own devices in their own homes or businesses.
This makes understanding the service difficult, especially if we spend most of our time in our businesses rather than in the customer’s world.
A powerful way to tackle this challenge is to engage with the experience as stories and scenarios that describe the customer’s experience and the interactions they have with the service provider. This can be done in a range of ways from interviewing customers and capturing their experience as a story in words, images or video. This enables teams to understand what is really going on in a service and also to use the material for analysis and to identify opportunities.
When Kone needed to find a way to differentiate their maintenance services they started with stories from their customers. Senior teams rarely heard what it was like for a building manager from a housing association to work with them and hearing common stories first hand from customers in Germany, the USA and France convinced them to do things differently.
Engage staff to gain valuable insights
BLC bank in Lebanon have developed a new payment platform - Hey Pay! - the service that enables customers to pay at merchants using a smartphone. This service is a disruptive offer in a market dominated by established players. BLC’s immediate challenge is driving rapid adoption of the service by merchants and consumers. An initial campaign using traditional media - posters and media campaigns - was failing to create the desired effect. We saw that prospective customers needed to experience the potential of the service and that this was not achieved through traditional media. Our recommendation to engage people in shopping malls at the point where payment is relevant to them and they can try the service live. BLC have adopted the new approach with instant results.
Collaboration is a valuable competence
As the national champions of developing digital solutions in UK Higher Education, Jisc need to engage not just their organization but the whole sector in the development of new service initiatives. To do this it is essential that they are able to facilitate a creative process that gets the best from their stakeholders and also to ensure that all voices are heard. Working with a co-design approach Jisc has established a clear program for service development with three clear services in the pipeline that have a waiting list of subscriber organisations to join.
Why Read On?
Internal alignment and collaboration are important in engaging teams across organizations to ensure your design is implemented. In our book, Service Design for Business, you can find out more about:
- How to align your organization around new or improved services
- How collaboration can be quick and high impact
- How to align around customer experience