Service Design is inherently human-centred. Today, the human experience is a major determinant of a brand’s survival and ability to stand out from the competition. As users increasingly expect more personalised experiences, brands are now relying on Service Design to create innovative and relevant experiences for its people, partners, products, and processes.
According to Matt Kurowski, Service Designer and Co-Founder of Think5678, Service Design is the “intentional creation of valuable and impactful human experiences that create some kind of business or social value.”
Take advantage of the benefits of Service Design to stand out from the crowd. Here’s how Service Design can help your business or brand:
1. Design ideal human interactions
Utilising tools such as empathy maps and service blueprints, Service Designers are able to capture the entire end-to-end customer journey. By examining both an end user’s current experience and expectations, Service Designers are able to determine various pain points and moments of delight within a service.
There are five layers to designing for human interactions within Service Design:
- A shift from product to service: Service Design requires a strategic shift of thinking from discrete, tangible products to a holistic and connected experience that caters to the customer.
- Examining a product from back-end to front-end: This layer focuses on moving away from simply the end user or customer towards considering all stakeholders interested in, invested in, or influenced by a service.
- Transitioning from consumption of a product to relationships: As the saying goes, people don’t buy a product but buy a better version of themselves. This mindset within Service Design focuses on building and nurturing sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with customers.
- Evolving from service to business design: From the holistic lens of a business, Service Design plays an important role in encouraging different levels of innovation within a company — whether it be incremental, adjacent, or disruptive.
- Moving from relationships to ecologies: The Service Design ecosystem focuses on every individual or aspect involved and just as ecology is the link between an environment and its organisms, the value exchange in a service benefits everyone.
2. Consider everyone involved
Service Designers understand that delivering a great service is not only dependent on the service itself, but on the experience of people delivering that service. In this way, Service Designers aim to improve and innovate services that affect both customers and organisations.
Service Design enables companies to deliver experiences that create value for customers and allow for meaningful connections between the customer and the company. By reviewing all touchpoints and interactions that lie beneath a customer’s line of visibility, Service Design becomes the catalyst for innovation and future growth opportunities. By exploring the parts that make up an experience, businesses are able to identify opportunities for innovation from the inside, out.
Tools for understanding the different parties involved in a service include:
- Research interviews: Talking to stakeholders to clarify the problem and define successful outcomes.
- Stakeholder maps: A record of events’ that capture the interactions a customer has at different touchpoints of a service and helps break down the complexity of everyday interactions. Read more about Stakeholder Maps.
- User personas: An archetype or visual representation of a user trend that depicts customer behaviour and patterns. Download your free user persona template here.
3. Create consistency with Service Design
The benefit of Service Design lies in its holistic process that aims to design a seamless and effortless solution for customers. Service Design ensures that the overall experience is consistent and easily understandable, with little to no friction for the customer between touchpoints.
As a core pillar of design, creating consistency in a service is about making it intuitive. By examining all the areas of a service, Service Designers aim to increase the usability and learnability of the different aspects that service.
The main benefits of improving the consistency of a service include:
- Eliminating confusion: The more intuitive something is, the more user-friendly it is – effectively reducing error and eliminating user frustrations and pain points.
- Improving wastage: A consistent service is built on predefined components which facilitates efficient decision making, reduces costs and time; rather than attempting to address changes for many variations, inconsistencies, and processes.
- Encouraging continuous learning: By means of comparison, improved consistency forges a benchmark for businesses to learn and iterate. It is much easier to compare “apples to apples” within a service than making improvements across many moving parts.
4. Service Design embraces change
One of the major reasons that 90% of startups fail is creating a product that no one wants, also known as the inability to find product-market fit. Service Design improves companies’ chances of success by keeping them agile towards the constantly evolving needs of customers and changes in technology.
A Service Design led approach can help yield higher adoption and retention rates, as well as increase customer satisfaction. This drives increased revenue and market share in a highly competitive global market.
Through activities such as research, affinity mapping, and constructing a service blueprint, Service Designers are able to build and ideate a solution that is not only fit-for-purpose but also addresses the end user’s core job to be done.
5. Foster creativity and collaboration
By “stepping outside of the building” and going directly to end users, Service Design brings together all players in a service, thus drastically improving the collaboration and creativity of an end solution.
By removing stakeholders’ blinkers, Service Design injects a fresh perspective, incorporating various angles into a solution that include the client, customer, stakeholders and even external factors such as the environment.
Service Design considers how technology and products intersect and consider their relationship on a larger scale, providing an overarching view that would not be possible by simply looking at the immediate problem ahead.
Learn how you can reap the benefits of Service Design in your business or brand with our Guide to Service Design.
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