Five Key Service Design Considerations

December 20, 2021 by Alejandra Garcia, UX Practice Leader Innovation Center, Stefanini EMEA

Businesses succeed by delivering products or services that meet or exceed customer expectations. Getting to this point isn’t always straightforward, however, and typically requires adopting a smart approach to service design.

Service design describes a comprehensive strategy for aligning a customer’s values with a company’s objectives, while considering all touch points around the service.

It can also prove difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating or transforming a product or service. You want to make sure that you are effective and efficient, while providing something tangible and valuable for customers. Do you start by analyzing the market? Or with the technology and resources you want to work with? Or maybe the business model that you know will be the best fit?

The truth is these are all valid tools to help transform a service but they rely on a set of strategies and methodologies that include future thinking, system assessment, design thinking, UX and CX practices, lean and agile thinking, and innovation team building. There are also five key factors when pursuing successful transformation strategies:

People. Any strategy is always about people. The main goal is always ensuring that the service meets people’s requirements at every level: cognitively, physically, socially, economically, and emotionally. What are their needs, wants, priorities, and values? As long as the perspective centers on the customer and the stakeholders involved, you will have all the necessary information at your disposal to create a great experience. When the service and products provide have been developed with empathy toward your customers, you will capture their attention and loyalty. Whether the service is meant for a consumer, employee, or other stakeholders, it is vital that they are properly understood and that they are able to recognize the fact you understand them. As their priorities and values evolve, your services and products will also need to evolve.

Open mindset. Keeping an open mindset means being willing to explore new possibilities for growth in the face of uncertainty or new needs that arise. This will not only allow you to use all the data gathered from customers and stakeholders to its full potential, but also to pursue your vision of how you plan to evolve your services. It’s important to remember that being open minded during the transformation process also requires a team that can guide you. With the right guidance, acting with clear goals and an open mindset will be a liberation that will lead to exciting opportunities for your business.

Break it down. Don’t be afraid to look at the details. What are the actions needed at each touch point of your customer’s experience with your organization? Which one has the potential to deliver the most value? Details are the elements that enhance an experience, adding uniqueness and personality, ultimately making the service not only memorable but desirable. The big picture relies on the small details being taken care of.
By examining the interactions at each touch point and then adjusting them to best align the values of the customer and the company, the overall picture becomes credible, transparent, and effective. This means catering to the realities of the customer, while at the same time creating the opportunity for consistency and growth.

Zoom Out. These components rely on each other as a set of interlocked gears. All the moving parts that exist as part of the service must have a purpose that makes the experience holistic and sustainable. Zoom out and make sure that all the resources, the business structure, operational strategies and applied market knowledge add value to the service. By having this macro view, you have an informed ability to edit out anything that hinders the experience of your customers and the flow of your business.

Tangibility. Finally, while all these key elements might sound important, they can also be abstract. The best way to truly put these concepts into practice is by making it real. Whether you call it an MVP, iterative prototyping or mock-ups, you need to make your service or product tangible. Make sure you always have something to test and contrast with representatives of your target audience and inside management. These iterations can be anything from a simulator of possible results to a set of videos or mockups that best explain certain functions. Having something tangible, with or without results, allows you to make decisions faster and more efficiently at a lower cost. Beyond decision making, tangibility is your vision in your hands.

We know from extensive experience that taking all of these things into account can significantly enhance any transformation process. At Stefanini, we are with you at every stage, taking your business principles and needs into consideration, with co-creation at the heart of our services. The result can be expertly designed services and products that build deep engagement with your customers and prospects – transforming your business efficiency and profitability.

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