Find your service & Customer Experience strengths and weaknesses. Find

Find out and solve your company's User Experience issues. Find and Solve

Article Image
August 2019
12 Min read

Use service design or see your business fail

Derkach Anastasiya

5/5 - (2 votes)

Service Design is about creating mutual value for organizations & customers. Engaging customers and staff in co-design.

Service Design aims to ensure service interfaces are useful, usable and desirable from the client’s point of view and effective, efficient and distinctive from the supplier’s point of view. (Birgit Mager, 2009)

How To Implement Service Design Processes?

We are used to imagining the process of design in terms of physical objects, for example, table, notebook, or in terms of digital products, like a mobile application or a website. Today we want to discuss the issue about those products that we cannot see nor touch.

In such cases, we talk about “Service design”. Exactly like UX, Service Design is all about producing a high-quality experience for the customer – no matter what they are buying – train ticket or a new car. So let us pay more attention to the meaning of service design and all the processes included in its development.

Take your favorite cinema

There are probably other cinemas you could go to, so what made you choose this one? Perhaps you enjoy the friendly service, the possibility to purchase tickets online, or the fact that they have tasty extra cheese pop-corn or the plugs they have to power your phone. It might just be something small like you never have cash on you and one and one venue does not accept cards.

Well, that’s service design in a nutshell!

Service design: Consistent vs. unique experiences

Companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s go to great lengths to make sure you experience the same service from Miami to Kyiv.

Apple is a great example of outstanding service design.

Do you have a problem with your iPhone? Just go to the genius bar and they will help you fix it and get it back up and running for you.

It’s personal, builds the brand and generates loyalty. As a customer, knowing that if anything goes wrong you can quickly get it solved is a huge benefit.

Service design bridges such organizational gaps by: 

  1. Surfacing conflicts. Business models and service-design models are often in conflict because business models do not always align with the service that the organization delivers. Service design triggers thought and provides context around systems that need to be in place in order to adequately provide a service throughout the entire product’s life cycle (and in some cases, beyond).  
  2. Fostering hard conversations. Focused discussion on procedures and policies exposes weak links and misalignment and enable organizations to devise collaborative and cross-functional solutions.      
  3. Reducing redundancies with a bird’s-eye view. Mapping out the whole cycle of internal service processes gives companies a bird’s-eye view of its service ecosystem, whether within one large offering or across multiple sub offerings. This process helps pinpoint where duplicate efforts occur, likely causing employee frustration and wasted resources. Eliminating redundancies conserves energy, improves employees’ efficiency, and reduces costs. 
  4. Forming relationships. Service design helps align internal service provisions like roles, backstage actors, processes, and workflows to the equivalent frontstage personnel. To come back to our initial example, with service design, the information provided to one agent should be available to all other agents who interact with the same customer.

So what are the examples of successfully implemented Service – design tools?

Company: Airbnb
Problem: People wanted to feel free in an apartment and have a unique experience without the restrictions of a hotel room environment.
Solution: Airbnb uses a platform to create a unique customer experience that previously wasn’t so widely available. Airbnb used service design to really understand the consumer journey. They started by storyboarding 45 different realistic emotional moments for Airbnb hosts. They studied consumer journeys to understand their feelings and concerns. 

Airbnb not only lets the consumer rent a home temporarily, but it also provides them with experiences. They have options for customers to choose from a variety of experiences in the fields of art and design, health and wellness, sports, food and drink, nature, fashion, and social impact. Each experience targets a specific audience and improves the interaction between the host and the guest by opening channels of communication. By successfully customizing experiences based on specific customer types they have proved that real-life feedback and good service design can not only make the brand more approachable and realistic but also more desirable. To further this, they released Airbnb Plus which features homes vetted by Airbnb staff around the world to build further trust.

Company: Uber
Problem: complicated communication process between the company and the user according to the support issues. Maybe the driver couldn’t find where the future passenger is and couldn’t pick him up. So the client needed to cancel the request. Uber still charges a fee. You need to request a credit return to Uber.
Uber uses many technologies to serve customers better. You can find their technology stack in Stack Share. It seems that Uber is using Zendesk for support. Probably the user can create a support ticket in Uber app and the ticket goes straight to Zendesk. The Uber rep, whoever it is, picks up the ticket and sends an email to the user via Zendesk.
From “Trip History” the user can send a request within three taps. This is also incredibly simple and short steps to do what the user wants to do.
Uber is doing an extremely good job incorporating human elements in UX. Nothing is perfect though. Uber continues experimenting with phone support.

Company: Oral-B Smart
Problem: The idea came up after one simple question for consumers: “How exactly do you brush your teeth?” It turned out that 80% of the respondents spent too little time on brushing, and 60% either did not brush their back-teeth at all or did not do it carefully enough.
Solution: The creators have combined a smartphone and a “smart” brush in the Oral-B App, which tells you how, where and how long to brush your teeth. High-tech motion sensors inside the brush and the front camera of the smartphone track the movements of the brush, and the application prompts the correct actions. At the same time, the smartphone does not record or transmit video, while maintaining confidentiality.

What may happen to your business in case of NOT using the service design?

Company: Nokia
Problem: Nostalgic mood of Nokia’s users
Solution: When in recent years, many people claimed to feel nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ before the omnipresence of the iPhone, Nokia, was quick to react. Newly acquired by Microsoft, the mobile division of the Finnish company decided to seize the opportunity to make its comeback. In 2017, Nokia re-launched the 3310, a phone with which you can make calls, send texts and of course, play Snake. However, the comeback was short-lived. Six months later the project was all but abandoned.

Their phones delivered as promised, they had features, but no services. And once the phone was in your pocket, your rekindled relationship with Nokia quickly ended. They couldn’t sell you any more services and without innovation in their service design, our nostalgic passion for them faded.

Prospects for service design, or why you should be in a hurry

Consumers are becoming more and more spoiled for service, and most importantly – they want to save their time. If a business takes this into account in process optimization, it will have more competitive advantages and a chance to break ahead.

Any company that is not yet experiencing difficulties in business, after six months or a year, will not be able to work effectively without service design. Its competitors will begin to tread on their heels. In predicting the future, a business cannot exist without designing ideal services and products. That’s why service design is actively gaining momentum, and while someone is just thinking, others are already starting to use this tool.

Service design is the true trend in marketing in 2020. A few years later, no product or service will enter the market without service design.

Scheduling Worldwide is a company that specializes in customer experience management. We help companies around the world to improve their service! We find non-standard solutions, provide service design services for clients, help businesses to increase the number of loyal customers, keep them and increase profit. Implement service design and your customers will never go to competitors.

Still, have questions about the subject of this article?

Write or call us right now and get a free consultation of a company specialist in service design.

We will analyze and prepare a personalized solution for your business needs.

5/5 - (2 votes)
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Employees

PDFLeave your e-mail for get PDF