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Human-Centred Service Design and IDEO

Katy Miller

Services surround us, almost every customer experience has a service component, whether a trip to the mechanics, getting shoes repaired, buying coffee grinds or getting a website designed - it's all service and we can design it.

I have always had an affinity for IDEO  and design thinking, particularly following the work of my masters, And, have loved following what IDEO  do from afar. A few months back they introduced a new course, Human-centered Service Design to there online curriculum, and I jumped at the chance.

Service opens up new challenges and opportunities for nearly every organization to differentiate themselves, cultivate customer loyalty, and create sustained business value.”
—Melanie Bell-Mayeda, IDEO Partner and Managing Director

Service design allows us to observe and tailor the moments and interactions in a customers journey, including those before and after.  Attached is an introduction video 'What is service design' put together by Fjord Innovation, it encapsulates it wonderfully.

The six-week IDEO Human-Centred Service Design course explored the world of service and how a service can be designed and redesigned for higher valued customer experiences. 

Key thoughts for great service design:

  • Identify and focus on moments that matter, these may not be the biggest moments, but they do offer great value.
  • Balance moments and how they are physical, digital or interpersonal components delivered.
  • Be intentional about designing both visible (front of house) and invisible moments. Great service experiences are holistically designed, every element is working together interlocking seamlessly to achieve success.
  • Great service experiences are co-created, a service will involve many different people from team members and different departments to customers and suppliers, and it is for this reason that it is important that we (and your team) understand the role of each and how they inform the customer experience. it is through this understanding that better experiences are crafted.
  • Stay focused on people, keep your customer at the heart of what you are doing.

"Great Service Design isnt't only about making moments that are effective and effieicent. It's also about creating magic... finding special moments to surprise and delight customers in ways they'll never forget," 
—Ilya Prokopoff, Managing Director & Partner, IDEO SF

Think about a great service experience you have recently had, what made it so memorable? Likewise, think about a poor service experience, what made it so? Now, think about how these experiences affect your opinion of the company as a whole. The experience your customer has is the most pivotal component to your brand and its success and will define your reputation, we can design an amazing brand, a phenomenal digital solution and build an engaging marketing campaign that will get your customer through the door, but if the in-person experience (online support, customer sales etc) doesn't live up to the hype the rest is history.

For the course my primary assignment looked at content development, and how we might redesign this service for our clients.  Content creation is the number one stumbling block for our clients and the one thing that will obliterate the project timeline. Through my work, I have been exploring different ways to make this deceivingly innocent task more manageable. You will see many of these innovations later next year. So stay tuned or if this sounds intriguing and you are interested in playing a role as we introduce and further develop the new content creation service enhancements in 2019 get in touch!

Moreover, the learnings from IDEO  Human-centered service design course have cemented my confidence and provided me and the team with additional techniques for prototyping and redesigning a service. For us, the customer experience has always been more than a digital or print solution, it is about how it fits into the collective whole of your business and brand.

This is where we come in, well versed in user/customer experience (not just that of digital origins), Lynda and I will work with your team to workshop out your service, from observing your service in action, interviewing your customers, developing the various customer journey’s, to identifying the moments that matter and exploring opportunities for redesign, elevating your brand position and setting you apart from your competition.