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In today’s ultra-competitive markets, providing exceptional service is one of the surest ways to build brand differentiation, a loyal customer base and long-term business value.
Service Design is a Human-Centred Design practice that places equal focus on business processes and customer interaction, aiming to create seamless services and unforgettable customer experiences.
Service Designers design the journey of a service from end-to-end. This involves orchestrating ‘front stage’ elements, which include aspects of a service that users interact with, as well as ‘backstage’ elements, which include aspects of a service that users don’t see.
To give examples, the core elements that usually make up a service include:
Adopting a customer-centric approach, Service Designers will prioritise the user’s needs when planning all of the above touchpoints, combining them to form frictionless services that offer maximum customer satisfaction.
More often than not, a Service Designer’s process will fit into the five stage process of Design Thinking, which covers empathising, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing.
Empathising often entails user research, which could involve interviewing customers to understand their lived experiences of a service. The research phase is intended to uncover all dimensions of a user’s needs.
Service Designers then progress to defining the problem they intend to solve. Creating an actionable problem statement can help to secure stakeholder buy-in and kick-start the ideation phase.
Throughout ideation, Service Designers collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders to generate a list of ideas, which are filtered down to the most practical and effective solutions. At this stage, it’s normal to hold co-creation workshops to establish the most viable design concepts.
Service Designers use prototyping as a chance to replicate the final experience of using a service. Testing can be used to validate design choices and identify opportunities for refinement. The final stage of a Service Designer’s work involves preparing the finished Service Blueprint for handover.
Service Design is a multifaceted role that calls for a unique blend of skills and capabilities. Five of the most important skills that a Service Designer can have at their disposal include:
Research by Deloitte shows that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that neglect the same focus. Added to this, a PWC report has found that 32% of customers would stop using a brand they loved after one bad service experience.
With all kinds of businesses acknowledging the benefits of creating frictionless services, the demand for Service Designers is climbing. A recent International Service Design Institute poll found that three quarters of Service Designers believe they have more employment opportunities than ever before.
In Australia the demand for Service Designers is especially strong, with LinkedIn currently advertising more than 3,500 specialist roles.
Because Service Design can dramatically increase a business’s revenue and bottom line, earning potential for Service Designers in Australia is high.
It’s not uncommon for Service Designers to be self-employed or freelance. Rather than being permanently employed by a single company, freelance Service Designers offer their expertise on a per-project basis or with a short-term contract.
In order to attract clients, it’s vital that freelance Service Designers have a portfolio of past projects demonstrating the value they can add to a business. This means it’s normal for Service Designers to build up industry experience before transitioning to freelance. It’s also common for freelance Service Designers to find work opportunities by registering with a Service Design agency.
Pay opportunities for freelance Service Designers in Australia are excellent, with an average hourly rate of $64.68.
If you want to upskill and take your career in an exciting new direction, studying Service Design online can get you to where you want to be fast. At Academy Xi, we offer intensive online programs that equip you with the full spectrum of theoretical and practical skills needed to become a well-rounded Service Designer.
Academy Xi Service Design Elevate courses come in two flexible formats, part-time and self-paced, with both offering you the chance to: