What is Service Design?
There's a lot of ambiguity around what exactly Service Design is. We hear about it in relation to healthcare and mobile technology providers, it is both tangible and intangible, and can involve environments and behaviors, alike. However, for businesses whose product is service-based, Service Design comes into its own. So, I wanted to simplify its definition, here, in this context. So that everyone can understand it better.
Service Design is a combination of interdisciplinary expertise, used to develop better processes.
Technology, logic, cognitive science and aesthetics are called into play to improve customer experiences, build long-lasting customer relationships and ultimately increase a business’s commercial success.
Why is Service Design important?
From banking to communication, consultancy to entertainment, we all use services, every day. While this makes services an intrinsic part of our daily lives, it also means the services market is the majority player in our world economy. In fact, according to the World Bank, almost 69% of the world’s GDP is generated by services.
Netflix, Google, Spotify & iPhone are all highly aware of the importance of good Service Design. We can see this through their business models. Did you ever wonder why Netflix charges customers on a monthly basis instead of per movie or why Spotify also only offers monthly subscriptions? And why did Apple switch from iTunes to Apple Music? The reason is simple. All of these providers wanted to move away from selling products and into selling services. Through well-designed services, providers hope to build and maintain a relationship with you, the customer. This relationship means that they can predict their revenue better, re-invest in improving customer experiences, up-sell and introduce new products and services more effectively to their existing customer base.
The benefits of brand loyalty, which companies such as Nike developed and cherished in the eighties and nineties, are reaped with more certainty through successful customer relationships within a service agreement.
This relationship creates a fluid, back and forth association between the user, the client and the stakeholders. Broadly speaking, what is good for one should be good for all. It is within this Venn diagram of interconnectedness that innovation has the most impact. Service Design is the methodology used to develop this innovation.