You may have noticed that our world today is flooding with products and services that are confusing, annoying or almost impossible to use. At worst, you can’t even tell for whom and what the service is made for. Shortly, they don’t serve a real need or make an impact. This the reason why we need service design. Its duty is to reveal real world problems and offer executable solutions that have value for their users.
We see service design as a holistic creation or improvement of a service that provides value-in-use and excellent experiences from the end-customer’s perspective. Prosperous service emerges when customer problems and needs, technical and organizational solutions and a profitable business model collides. For this we need a service design process that takes into consideration all of these aspects. This is our recipe how to use service design in order to co-create competitive services and customer experiences.
Embrace the problem!
The whole process starts by finding a need or a problem that is worth solving. There are no shortcuts. If the service doesn’t provide real value for the customer it will not fly. Thus you need to serve a significant need or tackle a problem that has an impact.
We do this with customer research and service design tools that involve the end-customers in the service design process. Interviewing, observing, design probes and other ethnographic methods are used to explore the customer’s world in order to find the significant customer problems and needs. When you understand what are the problems or needs in a specific context, whether they emerge in the hectic family life, industrial environment or organisational and professionals settings, you are able to design solutions that won’t miss the point.
Skin in the game - co-create and test to perfection
Designing the solution. It's not easy. It's often unpredictable in this complex world. Thus we use co-creation or co-design and rapid prototyping to develop and evaluate new concepts. Co-creation means that we include both the service provider and the end customers in the design process. The customer is the one that defines the value of the service and is thus involved in all of the service design phases. If the service cannot deliver value-in-use for customers, they will find another provider that fulfill their needs.
In addition to functional solutions, that solve the primary customer problems, we need to focus on humane experiences. The interactions between the customer and service provider needs to deliver excellent customer experiences throughout the service process in digital and physical touchpoints with technological systems and our fellow humans.
Thus we design with empathy and take into account the emotional needs, that are identified together with real customers and users. In order to refine the relevant nuances, we use co-creative design methods and usability research that also allow them to test and discover solutions collaboratively with the design team.
Provide the right resources and fix the business model
After we have discovered the right problems, the most valuable solution need to be adapted with resources and processes that create a profitable business model. This means connecting right people, right information, right physical and digital touchpoints with right features in an order that forms a valuable and profitable ensemble.
For a lucrative service, we need to involve service provider’s personnel in the co-creative design as well. This means breaking the silos and letting people with the best understanding about the customer interaction from production, marketing, tech, front-line and management to create a shared plan how the service is developed and delivered. Similarly to the iterative design of the service process the business model needs to be refined. Thus we validate the cost structure and cash flows of the service in order to evaluate its profitability.
Surprise the market
When it comes to technical solutions and development model, Eficode’s designers and developers use agile methods. Therefore the service will be out in the market with a competitive advantage of momentum and tested customer value. At this point the service or the minimal viable product, MVP as it is called, can still be a bit rough and green, but it will hit the spot when it comes to fulfilling customer needs. For this we have created a sprint method called Service Jam, that will shorten the design process and time-to-market. It gets you ahead of your competitors!
So if you want to improve your existing service or disrupt your market with a novel solution, let us help your organization to find the service sweet spot with your customers! For more information about Eficode’s design services, please contact our design director Janne Tompuri by email firstname.lastname@example.org or directly from +358 (0)50 375 9473. Thanks for reading!