SERVICE DESIGN – ONLY WAY TO HARNESS ALL DIGITAL ENABLERS

14.9.2017
Headstart

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We are all in edge of new revolution. Or to be precise we are already in it. Have you noticed that today it seems to be that almost everything is possible? We can nowadays actually do and create things that we were only possible to imagine 10 years ago. We can have new kind of adventures in Virtual Reality, we can gather data from all possible resources, we can have smarter decisions and insights from AI and we can connect different devices, people and services seamlessly. At least for me it gets a bit overwhelming to think all the possibilities that new digital enablers make possible. Do you share the same pain? Gladly there is solution to overcome this. Let´s dive in.

Why does your business exist?

This is not ground breaking question but I think this builds foundation for whole thing and it is worth to think about. I see that there is no such business, company or organization which does not have customer. There is always customer. Whether you working in B2C, B2B or charity organization or governmental organization there is always customer for which you are working for. Even if you don´t face your end-customers for example in large corporations, you still have your internal customers. Or customer might be internal user that is using your service that you produce inside the organization.  All in all, your work if for customer and therefore customer is the one that matters. I´m sure that we share the same goal that in the bottom line we want to serve our customers in best possible way?

How to serve customers in best possible way?

The thing is that even if there are huge amount of possibilities, we should focus into possibilities that are important for our customers. Or is someone willing to spend money for example on IoT or AI projects only because it is cool to do such kind of projects? There should some context and purpose why to implement such enablers. To find that purpose, we need to step into customer´s shoes and see the whole process from holistic view. This is where service design steps into the picture.

Why is service design important?

In my opinion only way to harness all digital enablers is to adapt service design tools, techniques and concepts into use. Purpose for service design is to consider the whole process from customers or users point of view. And by meaning whole process, it means that process is considered even before customer is using your actual service and on the other hand what happens after service execution has happened. These can be known also as pre-service period, service period and post-service period. It is self-evident that the whole experience between different periods involves multiple, different kind of activities between people, systems, infrastructure and communication. This gives rather fruitful soil to enhance your whole service with newest digital and connected enablers.

How to execute service design?

There are various ways and tools how to execute service design. As a starter, I advise you to consider following key principles:

  • Service design is all about customer and user. So keep customer and user in the spotlight.
  • Co-innovate with people involved in the service process. Take your customers and people how are providing service into the same table.
  • Consider holistically whole process.

While moving into the service design action itself, consider at least following activities:

  • Create personas for your service. Who is using your service? Which kind of people they are? Which kind of motivations, concerns and backgrounds they have?
  • Visualize your customers journey. Try to figure out what different personas are doing and feeling while using your service.
  • Find touch points, key steps and integrations during the journey. Especially try to find the pain points within the process.
  • Try to visualize the inputs and outputs for different actions during the process.

After this you should be able to have overview of your process and customer´s journey within service. Now fill in digital enablers in different touch points, key steps and specially on pain points. Is there way to improve customer´s journey and experience for example with IoT-sensors, can AI help or guide your customer decisions or are you able response to your customer´s requirements better with big data or predictive analytics? Can new mobile app improve the journey? What about actions in social media or digital marketing before or after the service-period? I´m sure that through a co-innovation and with a little bit of imagination you are able to enhance customer´s experience drastically with new digital enablers. You might even end up to create something totally new and groundbreaking which your competitors only dreams of. It´s worth to try.

 

Tuukka Martikainen, tuukka.martikainen (at) headstart.fi

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