Viewing all ideas posted in Service Design
[photo credit: Maria Cordell]
Why do people love Uber? Why do you hate going to the DMV? Can visiting the dentist feel more like an appointment at a spa? What makes for a good service experience?
Over the past few years, our work at Adaptive Path has increasingly focused on questions like these in the context of service design. As we've been working more closely with organizational leaders, product managers, business process engineers, and others whose role it is to define, maintain, and execute experiences that span touchpoints, channels, and traditional business silos, we have seen how design can help boost customer and employee satisfaction while also improving business metrics.
We want to share what we’ve learned and bring together some smart people who are in the trenches doing this challenging work. On October 3-4, we will be unveiling a new conference that focuses on the role design plays in creating great service experiences. We’re calling it SX.
While in Berlin for our (awesome) workshop series, UX Intensive I accepted an invitation to speak at a local meet up with only the promise that I would speak “about service design.” The resulting talk, on Service Design, is a mixed tape of sorts. It’s a compilation of my work married with some of the great thinking on service design coming out of Adaptive Path from people like Jamin Hegeman, Brandon Schauer, and Chris Risdon. And it reflects the practice work we’re delivering week in and week out as we tackle systemic problems in organizations looking to provide better and more human experiences to their customers. In other words, it’s just not conjecture; it’s service design in action.
As products become services, and services become more thoughtfully and holistically designed, we are breaking out of our digital silos and endeavoring to support a more seamless cross-channel customer experience spanning every touchpoint between the customer and company. But what constitutes the channel in cross-channel? And what implication does this have on the customers' experience when interacting with your product or service?
Last week I posted about how businesses over-invest in advertising and under-invest in the improvement of the service experience, which creates what I call a Service Anticipation Gap, or SAG. Customers are falsely led to expect a service that's better than what it can be. The result is wasted ad spend and revenue losses from customer (dis)engagement.
Businesses have gotten used to confidently connecting spending on ads and seeing the returns in revenue. Or as @odannyboy overheard, “Advertising is a lazy man's monetization.”
And here's where the folks that plan and design services have stumbled. We haven't been able to make the same connections between investments and results that make an investment decision in good service design a no-duh. The efforts to improve services haven't historically met with the same financial success as ad spends, and therefore business lack the confidence to spend on it. Confidence is lost because coordinating systems and people with a vision of how the service really should be isn't as easy as pumping out ads via a partner agency.
Has a commercial ever brought you to tears? Images of families reconnecting in an airport or a child hugging their parent with delight because a service was able to bring together a magic moment? I think we've all seen some wet eyes resulting from a well crafted 30-second ad spot.
How about tears brought about from an actual service? Or someone jumping in the air with joy because of how great that check-in process was? Nada. It's a rare, rare bird.
But what if—WHAT IF—services were just as good as they were advertised to be? What if they were even close? Wouldn't that be a shocker? Or OMG, wouldn't that be an incredible business!
Last week saw the latest release of Instapaper, a service for saving web pages for reading later. It seems like a simple thing, but Instapaper has embedded itself into my life surprisingly deeply, and is a must-have for folks who find themselves with dozens of tabs in their browser of articles they want to read, but don't quite have the time for right now. Instapaper also proves quite instructive of how to deliver great experiences.
If you design services or want to learn more about how design is being applied to the design of services, do not miss your opportunity to grab an early bird ticket to the Service Design Network conference in San Francisco this October.
As co-chair of this event, I've been helping to put together some great content around the theme of business and design, or From Sketchbook to Spreadsheet. The conference will explore what happens when service design meets business. We’ll look at how, where, and when the two professions work together to generate value, what we can learn from each other, and ask what the future of this relationship might be.
I'm currently working on a project looking at the future of commerce. One area of interest, particularly after the announcement of Google Wallet, is payments. In our research, we've paid particular attention to the payment act, and it's interesting what it reveals about the broader commerce experience.
Most current point-of-sale setups are directly descendent from ye olde cash registers. As such, they provide a distinct division between the buyer and the merchant. Such a division may not have been a big deal when all that a cash register did was tally up items. But recently, I returned a rental car, and was faced with…
Today’s announcement by Apple that the App Store will support a subscription model for users to pay creators for digital content is a declaration of the inevitable. For customers, subscriptions can deliver what is perceived as more value for a better price. For creators, it establishes a relationship and a longer, repeatable revenue stream.
For these reasons, subscription models will become an increasingly popular payment method not just through the App Store but across industries. The App Store and Netflix are just the tip of the iceberg. But what does the change mean for experiences and experience design?
The baby boomer generation is starting to retire and policy changes mean more people will have access to healthcare services. How will the healthcare system cope with the influx of new patients? That’s a question Chris McCarthy, Director of the Innovation Learning Network and an Innovation Specialist with Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Consultancy, brought to the table at the latest San Francisco Service Design Drinks event hosted by Adaptive Path*. The challenge: how can non-healthcare services and systems support or offset the existing healthcare systems?
Designers, healthcare experts, and a fair number of non-designers interested in the topic came…