Service Design for Business
eBook - ePub

Service Design for Business

A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience

Ben Reason, Lavrans Løvlie, Melvin Brand Flu

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eBook - ePub

Service Design for Business

A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience

Ben Reason, Lavrans Løvlie, Melvin Brand Flu

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About This Book

A practical approach to better customer experience through service design

Service Design for Business helps you transform your customer's experience and keep them engaged through the art of intentional service design. Written by the experts at Livework, this practical guide offers a tangible, effective approach for better responding to customers' needs and demands, and provides concrete strategy that can be implemented immediately. You'll learn how taking a design approach to problem solving helps foster creativity, and how to apply it to the real issues that move businesses forward. Highly visual and organized for easy navigation, this quick read is a handbook for connecting market factors to the organizational challenge of customer experience by seeing your company through the customers' eyes.

Livework pioneered the service design industry, and guides organizations including Sony, the British Government, Volkswagen Procter & Gamble, the BBC, and more toward a more carefully curated customer experience. In this book, the Livework experts show you how to put service design to work in your company to solve the ongoing challenge of winning with customers.

  • Approach customer experience from a design perspective
  • See your organization through the lens of the customer
  • Make customer experience an organization-wide responsibility
  • Analyze the market factors that dovetail with customer experience design

The Internet and other digital technology has brought the world to your customers' fingertips. With unprecedented choice, consumers are demanding more than just a great product—the organizations coming out on top are designing and delivering experiences tailored to their customers' wants. Service Design for Business gives you the practical insight and service design perspective you need to shape the way your customers view your organization.

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Chapter 1
Why Service Design

A series of illustrations of a person waving as he walks away, a man analyzing a paper, another man opening a box, a man touching a woman's baby bump, and a boy listening to music while walking a dog.
Service design has emerged in the early twenty-first century for a number of reasons, some of which we introduce in a driving trends section below. Service design also has a heritage that gives it a background and inheritance. Some of this is from older design approaches designed for mass manufacturing or communications. The arts of industrial design and of branding have influenced the thinking and practice of service design. Another strong influence has been from service marketing, which is where the first service blueprints were developed.
These two elements together—the why and the what—should provide a clear view on why service design, why now, and how it is relevant to you as a manager, leader, or business.

Three Trends That Make Service Design Relevant Today

It is not a coincidence that service design has emerged in the twenty-first century. Just as industrial and product design emerged with the development of mass manufacturing, service design is responding to some significant economic, social, and technical trends. Three trends, one in each of these categories, set the context for why service design is a growing discipline and of growing interest to more and more businesses and organizations.

Economic: The Trend Toward Value in Services

As economies mature, they move from agriculture to raw materials to manufacturing to services. This trend is a macro one and has already taken place in much of the world. Services comprise 70 to 80 percent of the economies of mature countries and are growing rapidly even in big producer countries such as Brazil. This trend should be thought of as less a replacement of the previous situation but a layering where services add value to manufacturers. Many industries are seeing services as higher-margin businesses than manufacturers.
As differentiation in products reduces with the maturity of industries, services prove to be the area where there is higher potential. Services have the additional benefit of supporting customers to get the best from products and drive loyalty. Service design was invented to respond to this trend, to bring the best design methodologies to bear on a new challenge. The achievement of design in manufacturers is well documented—in industries from automotive to electronics. Design needed to develop to offer these qualities to a new market.

Social: The Increase in Customer Expectations

Consumers are expecting more as they value their own entitlements more than previous generations. Where once people accepted what they got, market economies have trained individuals to expect more. This is accentuated when leading brands create excellent experiences that lead consumers to think, “Why can't all my experiences be like that?” Service providers that were one-size-fits-all, and you get what you are given, have to rethink their approach as customer expectations grow. Government services need to keep up, too, as politics drives them to improve customer experience through national surveys and directives.
This trend in consumer expectations bleeds into the business-to-business arena. Workers used to put up with experiences that were suboptimal and take the brunt of the pain with the logic that they could learn their way around and it was a part of the job. Now the example set by the best consumer services leads people to expect the same at work.
As expectations rise, the need to understand customer needs and expectations develops in parallel. Service design is one strong way to bring the new customer power into the design and improvement of services in a structured and productive manner.

Technical: Growth of Digital Means Change in Services

We are all aware of the impact of the digital revolution. It may be a cliché, but digital technologies have driven radical change and disruption in the service sector. Services that were previously delivered by humans who had a level of expertise can now be partially delivered by technology. Think of financial advice or banking that used to be face-to-face but is more and more online and self-serve. Digital has impacted almost every service sector. Digital disrupts in other ways, too. It can change the established dynamics of a sector and enable new entrants to markets. Amazon in retail is the most obvious example.
Thepotential for change in service, and the fact that what were primarily human-delivered services are now mediated by technology, has driven the need for service design. Technology can dehumanize and make things harder to navigate for customers and less flexible. Service design offers tools to domesticate and humanize technology.

Use Service Design to Deal with Business Ambitions and Organizational Challenges

Connecting Customers to the Business and the Organization

Service design offers a perspective, method, and tool set that enables an organization to realize business ambitions as well as a way to deal with internal and external challenges. It offers an approach to deal with strategic initiatives as well as operational challenges by asking three fundamental questions:
  1. What does this do for our current and future customers?
  2. How will our business be impacted?
  3. Which capabilities are needed by the organization to respond or to drive the initiative?
The main objective of the approach is to resolve customer-related challenges, but balance them with business drivers and the organizations' capabilities. Other times, understanding the customers' perspective will provide clarity and direction needed to achieve business results or to drive organizational change. It is important to separate business concerns from the people, structures, and capabilities that make up the organization. In all cases, service design starts by taking an outside-in perspective, and drive this through real business objectives while considering an organization's capabilities.
An illustrated 2-way cycle diagram presenting relationships between customers, organization, and business.

Understand Customers and Build High-Value Relationships

Seeing a business through customers' eyes offers powerful insights that make customers' expectations, experience, and behavior more tangible. It exposes customers' pain points and provides deeper understanding of their emotions as they interact and transact with a business. This enables companies to identify clear intervention points that can be leveraged to increase value for customers and deal with challenges, typically to:
  • Increase customer satisfaction and improve the level of adoption
  • Reduce customer irritations and prevent costly service failures
  • Improve service experience for customers and build better customer relations
Service design can identify exactly which actions will make a real difference to customers and helps execute improvements in a way that bring people real, tangible value.

Business Can Win with Customers

Business objectives such as operational efficiency or higher market share bring many internal complexities with them when approached from the inside. A service design approach identifies key customer drivers that impact customers' behavior and finds customer-centric ways to achieve business objectives:
  • Lower cost to serve exist...

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