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What is service design?
A service design approach helps organisations execute new ideas more effectively. It helps address customer expectations, break down silos, and creates business value. Service design visualises new ideas and customer journeys, and tests these with customers and staff from day one. This approach highlights challenges and generates ideas to mitigate them. This results in bigger confidence in the ideas and a higher commitment to action.
Service design is a powerful tool
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.
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.
The service blueprint
Critical moments of customer interaction, or touchpoints, 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.
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.
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.