Service Design

What is Service Design ?

It’s important to realize services are not tangible goods. An interface is not a service. A product is not a service.People confuse services with products and with good manners. But a service is not a physical object and cannot be possessed. When we buy the use of a hotel room, we take nothing away with us but the experience of the night’s stay.

While Design Thinking is meant for product development,Service design is meant for services.Service design examines value and experience from a multi-user perspective (customer, staff, and business).It is the activity of planning and organizing a business’s resources (people, props, and processes) in order to directly improve the employee’s experience, and indirectly, the customer’s experience.

Service design as a practice results in the design of systems and processes aimed at providing a holistic service to the user.It is the practical and creative application of design tools and methods with the goal to develop or improve services.

Why Service Design ?

Typically, we think bad service design is the result of rogue employees or companies that just do not care. But, this fails to adequately address the root cause.Individual employees are acting on behalf of organizational policies and systemic process put in place via those same policies. The problem with bad service design stems from systemic failures and flaws.

Often, the design of a service is overlooked by organizations and decisions related to the service supporting a product are not routinely considered in relation to how they impact the overall design of an experience. This results, most often, in poor service design and a poor experience.

“When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, and each sells the exact same coffee at the exact same price, service design is what makes you walk into one and not the other.”

Key principles Service Design:

Service Design elevates software development to an entirely new level of efficiency.Services should be designed based on a genuine comprehension of the purpose of the service, the demand for the service and the ability of the service provider to deliver that service.This is best explained by the 7 core principles.

Services should be designed based on customer needs rather than the internal needs of the business. Also, it is crucially important to personalize the approach toward each customer’s specific needs and circumstances, to the greatest extent.
Services should be designed and delivered in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders (both external and internal).Everybody’s creativity plays the essential role, and it includes different customer groups, as well as various teams and individuals on the provider’s side.
Break a complex service into separate processes and user journey sections.Every service process includes the three-step transition circle: pre-service period – the need for a service is perceived and the offer is learned by a customer; actual service –a customer’s interest is enticed by the quality of experience; post-service period – a positive customer experience – in terms of a service/product quality, financial benefits, and a prompt delivery – paves the way for a rewarding feedback, via online comments and word-of-mouth.
Envision service experiences to make them tangible for users to understand and trust brands.While users want to learn the immediate assets and perks upfront, some important but intangible service/product elements tend to go largely unnoticed in the post-service period. In order to prevent a sense of customer disaffection, the process of creating memorable evidence is essential, along with the emotional association it ensues.It may ensure the increase in trust, and result in a long-term loyalty to your brand, along with recommendations to other prospective customers.
Services should be designed to deliver a unified and efficient system rather than component-by- component which can lead to poor overall service performance.Design for all touchpoints throughout experiences, across networks of users and interactions.Companies often love to hear how irreplaceable their brand is. On the other hand, there is a significant (and growing) disparity between the self-perception within a corporate mindset, and the result, as perceived by an end user.
Services should be designed based on creating value for users and customers and to be as efficient as possible.Services can and should be prototyped before being developed in full.Services should be developed as a minimum viable service (MVS) and then deployed. They can then be iterated and improved to add additional value based on user/customer feedback.
Technology design is to be flexible enough and agile enough to allow fast modification in the face of changing customer requirements.Technology should always be used to enable a service; it should not be the driver of a service.

In service design, we work within a broad scope including user experience (UX) design and customer experience (CX) design. A service design experience often involves multiple channels, contexts and products.