Thursday, April 30, 2009

Service Design

Design is both an art and action of conceiving and producing a plan or drawing illustrating the thought process behind an action.  Regardless what it is you’re designing, be it a product or service, certain things involved such as:  goals, tasks, tools, actions, and results will always be different.  However, whether you’re designing a product or service, it requires planning, organizing, and set of processes.  These processes determine the quality of your products and/or services.  In order to improve products and/or services, processes need to be improved along with the design process itself.  This involves knowing and understanding what your company is about, your products and services, your customer base, and the value that you provide your customers.

Service offerings for example, requires key strategic design choices to be effective and to get the best return on investment.  They must be relevant to the market, provide value to the customer, and increase revenue.  In addition, there are also certain product characteristics (complexity, customization level, customer knowledge, capacity) and process characteristics (technology, tasks) including touch points (customer, employees, and system interaction) to take into account.  Each of these decisions affect the final outcome measured by performance metrics (customer satisfaction, customer retention, market and economic indicators).  

Success in this area is not simply about performing a good technical task or delivering on projects.  Success is also about making a wider contribution to the success of the organization.  When dealing with service-oriented functions, value is critical.  You need to provide customer value, deliver brand values, contribute to the bottom line and deliver organizational contribution.  

These internal and external components are very important aspects to take into consideration not only to design new services but also improving existing ones.  We cannot improve what we cannot measure and more so, we cannot improve what we do not understand.

Stay tuned for our next topic on “value”. 

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