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Service Design; over-hyped buzzword or powerful transformation tool?

Customers understand their experience of a service very well. The problem is that most organisations often develop their services at arm’s length, or even further, from their customers. The underlying premise of service design is acknowledging that we cannot effectively design services without involving our customers. Sounds obvious right? We agree, which is why we take a service design approach to a wide range of digital transformation projects at Cucumber.

In an upcoming post, we’ll go through ‘how’ to run service design projects but first let’s run through the benefits of taking a service design approach to developing or improving services:

  1. Acknowledging that you are not the customer – and that you cannot deliver a service independent of your customers. A human-centered approach to service design provides a framework to gain and use customer insight.

  2. To implement change of any kind will have an impact on an organisation. If you want this to be positive, you have to create the change with the people impacted by the change both within the organisation and customers.

  3. Increases organisation-wide collaboration and user focus. As service design works the end-to-end experience of a service, you cannot look at parts of a service in organisational silos. As such, more parts of the organisation become involved in a change, which means that you have more chance of success in terms of generating new and better ways of operating and also when it comes to implementing the improvements.

  4. Usually improving services for customers has a financial objective for an organisation. Service design helps us focus on doing the right thing and then doing the thing right.

    For example in a recent project, a large educational institution recognised their online signup was decreasing. They approached Cucumber to optimise the signup process. By taking a service design approach, we were able to save them from spending money on something that was already working well for prospective students (the online enrolment process), and instead refocus their investment in the things that prevented students getting to the enrolment step - in this case, finding and accessing content that helped them decide on a course of study.

So now we’ve sold you on the key benefits – stay tuned for an overview of how to do it.

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