Service design is often described as a stage. And your customers as the audience. They should enjoy the show without being bothered with things backstage or behind the scenes. In other words: optimize and innovate your processes and services to improve customer experience, without them even noticing. That’s what we call service design.
It helps break down silos — because you’re looking at a service from a cross-department perspective. And it challenges everything you do. How do we deliver right now? Where can we improve things? What should we leave out?
What does service design look like?
It always starts with understanding of the context of your customers. So, first we identify goals, needs, pains, frustrations, and sources of delight for customers: we map the customer journey. We also look at the numbers: how many people do x? How many people get stuck at y? What does that cost yearly? This helps determine the value of solutions we design later on.
Once we know the journey and the context of customers, we formulate a strategy. We decide what experience we want to create ultimately. We define which interactions have the biggest impact on the total experience. And we paint a picture of how all touchpoints and interactions should work together to make the experience we envision reality; we typically do this by designing a service blueprint — an overview of how organizational processes should support the customer journey and deliver a great user experience.
When we know what the touchpoints and interactions should look like and how they work together, we design it step by step. We set priorities. We create concepts. We do UX/UI design. We validate. We iterate. We release and check our impact based on metrics.
We’ve been doing service design for 20+ years
Everything we design comes from deep customer insight. The service design project we’re most proud of is the one we did for KLM — we helped them break down their complex import process and designed solutions that made the work of both customers and employees much easier.