Service design to reinvent your services

What is a service blueprint?

Thinkers Co Blog - Service Design to reinvent your services

Previously, companies focused innovation and design only on the product and its channels. However, with rapid globalization and an economy more focused on technology and the immaterial, we have managed to understand that in many cases the service is the product itself. For this reason, innovating in services is a fundamental skill for companies, which will help them create new experiences, unique and different, in order to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.

When the user is in front of two companies that offer the same product, at the same price, it is Service Design, which makes the difference, so that the client decides to choose one and not the other.

For this reason, Service Design is important to consolidate sustainable relationships between the company and consumers, generating innovative solutions and optimal experiences for customers, suppliers, employees and other actors involved in the service.

In other words, according to Nielsen Norman, Service Design is: “The activity of planning and organizing a company’s resources (people, accessories and processes) to (1) directly improve the employee experience and (2) indirectly, the customer experience.”

Now that we know the importance and meaning of Service design… How can we know what processes and factors are preventing us from offering exceptional experiences to our clients? In the beginning, it can be difficult to identify which are the points where the needs of the consumers are not being met, or the moments of contact that are not being efficient.

Luckily, in Service Design there is the Service Blueprint tool that will help us to have a total vision and understanding of the client’s perspective of our services and processes that make it possible.

What is the Service Blueprint?
Think of the Service Blueprint as a map that allows you to visualize all the components of your service in detail, establishing tangible and intangible points of contact that affect the emotions and value that the client receives.

By outlining your service in detail with this tool, you can carry out an analysis, implement strategies and maintain them in a sustainable way. In a way, we could define this tool as a set of instructions for the interactions of all the actors and factors (Clients, employees, contact points).

But … When should I use this tool?
Here are some of the considerations why you should use a Service Blueprint:
  • You have a service where many actors interact and you want to better coordinate and manage the intervention of each one.
  • You seek to improve the offer of your service, identify pain points and know where you are failing.
  • You want to create a new service that has different points of contact, both digital and non-digital.
  • When you are designing a service or product involved in the production of other services.

Although these are the main ones, there are other reasons why a Service Plan can be very useful to discover and identify new opportunities for innovation in your business.

Benefits of the service blueprint
Understanding what is wrong with a user interface or a web page (Button, link) can be easy; however, when we try to understand more complex problems and their roots (long waiting times) it can be much more difficult. For this reason, the Service Blueprint helps us to have an overview of the service to discover weaknesses in a more effective way.

These are other important benefits that you can obtain when using this tool in the design of your service:

  • Build and create a customer-focused culture in your organization.
  • Identify internal and external risks of the company.
  • Identify and design improvements in the customer experience.
  • Design and launch new services and processes in an agile and customer-centric way.
  • Integrate all the actors to offer a valuable experience for your clients.

Service Blueprint vs Journey Map
In many cases it is difficult for organizations to identify when to use the Service Blueprint tool or the Customer Journey map, because their differences, objectives and scope are not usually understood.

In some way, we can see the Service Blueprint as a complement or extension of the Customer Journey Map. Although both focus on identifying all the customer’s points of contact and interactions with a company to understand their experience, they differ in that the CMJ focuses more on understanding the customer’s experience and the Service Blueprint goes deeper and adds much more details on which are the processes that support each interaction, both from the visible part, and from the one that is invisible to the customer’s eyes.

What does a Service Blueprint look like?
Now you are surely wondering what this tool is like and what stages or steps should be taken into account … The truth is that there are many templates that can change formats, but most take into account these five essential elements for their anatomy:

  1. Points of contact or physical evidence:
    They are all the Touchpoints that are found along the route of the service in which the customer has contact (Tangible or intangible) with the company.
  2. Customer actions:
    In this section are all the steps or actions that the customer must take to access the service. The tasks that clients do are essential to map the ecosystem and its components.
  3. Visible part or Frontstage:
    Here is everything that the client can perceive with all their senses. That is, all the activities, actors and physical evidence that have direct interactions with clients. For example: the attention of the workers, cleanliness and smell of the place, etc.
  4. Invisible part or backstage:
    This part contains all the other actors that indirectly affect the perfection of the customer experience. In other words, it is all that is required for the service to be provided, which is not visible to the customer. An example could be the kitchen staff, in a restaurant, the customer only sees the final product but does not have direct interaction with the cooks.
  5. Support:
    These are the systems, processes and actors that support the service behind the scenes for the different areas. In all organizations there is a complex network of registration systems and automation systems that help and support the company’s processes.

Ejemplo de un Customer Journey de un paciente de Oncología
Service Blueprint offers the possibility of innovating through a more complete vision and a focus on the different processes and specifications that occur in the provision of service to our clients.

As you can see, Service Blueprint are a very powerful tool to communicate and identify what is working or not, in order to improve not only the customer-facing experience, but also internally for organizations. Thanks to this tool we can find pain points, eliminate them or improve them. identify opportunities, improve customer quality, save costs and increase profits.

Finally, remember that you can make your Service Blueprint as deep and detailed as you want and according to the needs of your company. Do not hesitate to make use of this tool, always bearing in mind that its results must be interpreted to generate new solutions that are applied in a sustainable way, we assure you that you will be able to create moments that your clients love and do not want to miss. What are you waiting to apply the Service Blueprint as a tool for the design of your services?

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