Service Design

Engage customers and connect the organisation

Engage customers and connect the organisation

A service design approach helps organisations execute new ideas more effectively, address customer expectations, break down silos and create business value. By visualising new ideas and customer journeys, and testing with customers and staff from day one, this approach highlights potential challenges and generates ideas to mitigate them, resulting in bigger confidence in the ideas and higher commitment to action.

Take aways
  • Service design addresses customer needs, executes ideas and creates business value.
  • Service design reduces business risks by testing with customers and staff from day one.
  • Sharing customer insights across organisation breaks down silos and aligns efforts.

A smart strategy without good execution rarely achieves service excellence. It takes craft, the right methods and skills to connect customers with businesses in concrete ways. Service design is a powerful tool to help organisations enable a new customer experience, address customer expectations, deal with internal challenges and create business value.

From the customer's eyes

The service design approach brings a human focus to the development of services. It helps organisations see the big picture as customers see it, and offers tools to design every little interaction between customers and the entire organisation.

Customer insights are valuable

Market surveys tell you what customers prefer, but they may not be able to tell you why.

Service designers enable businesses to understand customers on a deeper level. From in-depth interviews and observation to creative customer workshops, these methods help organisations understand why people often don’t behave the way they say, as well as search for the next big idea.

Sharing customer insights across the organisation can also effectively break down silos and align their efforts, so that the organisation is able to deliver an experience that engages with customers across channels.

Observe where customers go, what they see and listen to what they say. Gain deep customer insights to drive new ideas.

Seeing is believing

Making ideas visible and tangible is a powerful way to clarify and gain buy-in for a new concept within the organisation. This method also highlights potential challenges that may occur, and helps generate ideas to mitigate them, resulting in bigger confidence in the ideas and higher commitment to action.

This is why service designers always visualise ideas and solutions as soon as they emerge. A strategy is communicated more effectively in a visual format, a conversation between a customer and staff is better understood with a cartoon, and a proposition is sharpened with design details of a web interface.

Service scenarios gives the business an immediate picture of what a new service will mean to customers and staff.

The service blueprint

Critical moments of customer interaction, or touch points, increasingly spread across different parts of an organisation.

The service blueprint is a visual tool that helps organisations coordinate different departments to work together as a whole in order to create a great and consistent customer experience. The blueprint is a map describing the journey of customers through the new service, and how the organisation engages with them through various channels. A shared vision of the new customer experience facilitates coordination among departments and makes them more committed to the project.

The service blueprint enables organisations to see how channels must work together to enable a great service experience.

Test the experience

There are plenty of examples of products and services that fail with customers or in the cost of delivery, despite massive investment in research and development.

Service designers reduce these risks by involving customers and staff in testing the idea from day one. Therefore, organisations can learn, change and refine ideas long before massive investment goes into technology or organisational changes.

Services can be prototyped quickly and cheaply. Designers test with a small number of customers and staff using simple mock-ups and scenarios. Pilots with a limited number of customers and departments in later stages also generate more proof that services will likely work on a much larger scale.

A 9-month pilot with workless people in the UK proved how different segments were successful in entering into the workplace.

It’s fun!

Service designers are trained to work in highly collaborative ways, and have a wide range of creative methods to bring this mindset to organisations.

The combination of systematic and creative approach to problem-solving generates lots of solutions, and inspires teams beyond the ordinary.

Let’s have fun! The service design approach magnifies your potential to overcome obstacles and makes ambitious ideas a successful reality.

I’d argue that service design is the most important design subspecialty in the business world today.

Kerry Bodine, VP & Principal Analyst, Customer Experience, Forrester Research

Lasting customer relationship

Service design offers creative and human-centred methods, tools and skills to execute a strategy. Use this approach to bridge the gaps between what the organisation can do and what people need and want. The result will be an experience that builds lasting customer relationship.