What is Service Design ?

Imagine that you are looking for a new phone. After hours of searching the web, you find the phone of your dreams — and it’s on sale! You run to the store to try out the phone and it works better than you imagined.

Just as you are about to buy it, you realize that the price is higher than advertised on the website. You ask the store’s clerk about it and he replies with a cold shrug: “There is no promotion on this phone”. How do you feel? What is your impression of the company?

When companies are structured in silos, issues emerge that affect the customer experience. Each touch-point could be well designed, but if the service itself hasn’t been designed, the overall experience feels disconnected.

Customers don’t care about individual touch-points. They base their opinion on the overall experience they have with a company. How well everything works together has an impact on customers’ perception of the service value. Customers expect nothing less than a great experience regardless of context, technology or platform.

So how do we make services better? This is when service design comes into play: to improve interactions between service providers and customers through research, design and testing experiences.

When designing a service, people must be at the heart of the design. Unlike products, people don’t “use” or “consume” services, they enter in relationship with the service provider.

For example, you don’t use a financial service, you enter in relationship with a financial advisor. Therefore, we need to design for relationships, interactions and experiences.

We use a different approach than in Marketing research where we would typically segment the market in different age, socioeconomic, or behavioural groups. In services, a more useful way to get insights is by looking at people’s relationship with a service at different stages.

By mapping what people see, hear, feel, do, and think throughout their journey with your company, you can identify both problems and opportunities in your service offering.

Service design is an approach that breaks down silos and focuses on what customers expect at each stage of their interaction with your company. Well-designed service strengthens your customers’ loyalty and ensures your company will stand out from competitors.

Did we manage to pique your interest in service design?

Stay tuned for more more posts on this topic!

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