Any designer can benefit from trying the service design approach, whenever they find room for doing so.
Genuinely listening to your principals poses one of the major challenges for many enterprises. This means not simply defining your target groups and then adjusting your product/service accordingly, but rather giving these persona a voice by letting them join in at your board meeting! Developing this work approach, which revolves around the quality of consumer relations and interactions by means of service design, teaches companies how to adopt a fresh outlook on their own marketing approach.
When consumers enter a bed store, they aren’t so much looking for a bed as for a good night’s sleep. Nobody specifically wishes to travel by airplane; people want to cross great distances fast, in safety and comfort. People no longer simply want a product or service; they are after a particular result or solution. Few people truly appreciate this fact, which is why most providers keep on shouting about what they want to sell, rather than announcing why they do what they do and what problems they solve (i.e., added value) by doing so.
If you recognise this state of affairs, then service design is your way out. Service design entails designing a service for your customers based on their behaviour and motivation, aimed at improving your client’s involvement. In the realms of marketing, this is a topic of serious concern these days. Involvement, customer engagement, social commitment; these are all phrases used to account for spending your average annual marketing budget. The question remains, however, whether various techniques employed to tackle the matter actually contribute to providing your customers with meaningful services.
How to pull it off
Any designer can benefit from trying the service design approach, whenever they find room for doing so. Thorough analysis allows you to divide your target group into recognisable segments. The next step is creating matching customer journeys, along with profiles intended to make those journeys. Subsequently, you prototype it, crucially, in order to test your new service and to re-engage in that all-important dialogue with your customers. And last ut not least, you need to develop a practical business model to control corporate processes, organisation, and of course, financial expectations. The quintessential step, however, which is currently often overlooked or skipped altogether, is compiling user stories and testing these in cooperation with your principal. Think from a perspective of roles, the expectations associated with these roles, and crucially, the advantages they bring along. What value does this new service actually convey to your consumer? After all, isn’t that the beating heart of any business model?
Online Service Design
The changes brought about by the Internet are vitally important for service design. It grants us the opportunity of easy and fast collaboration. Many of our favourite services have come about through some form of co-creation and crowd-sourcing, such as YouTube and Wikipedia, for example. They embody service design that fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility by involving users in the development of the service itself. This serves to motivate people to participate, thus increasing your chances of success.
These kinds of platforms are highly public in nature, which is probably still a deterrent. Nonetheless, no amount of mental effort will make these public spaces go away now, so we’d better start taking them seriously. The thing to do is adopting a service design approach and developing a perfect customer experience, together with your customer. No more endless board meetings spent in absence of the customer, because after all, what we all want is improved involvement as well as meaningful relationships with our customers. Service design to the rescue!