Service Design for Business | Ben Reason

Summary of: Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience
By: Ben Reason

Introduction

In the world of business, the significance of design cannot be understated, especially as organizations strive to provide outstanding customer experiences. The book ‘Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience’ by Ben Reason delves into the realm of service design, its importance in economic activity, and how it offers an edge over competitors. This summary explores the key concepts of service design, such as understanding customer life cycles holistically, providing essential information at each stage, and developing an agile organization with a customer-centric focus.

The Power of Service Design

With services making up 70-80% of economic activity in developed countries, the importance of good service design cannot be ignored. While products have benefited from excellent design, services have lagged behind. Yet, services are less prone to commoditization, making good service design potentially more beneficial than product design. To improve service design, organizations must focus on understanding the customer experience by conducting qualitative and quantitative research and involving customers and employees in the design process. By visualizing solutions and testing prototypes, service design can be enhanced to meet customers’ growing expectations.

Service Design 101

Service design involves charting the entire life cycle of a customer’s experience from attraction to purchasing and afterwards. By analyzing customer engagement, one can identify opportunities for gaining a larger share of their business and design services tailored to their needs. Creating prototype blueprints of potential service designs and customer journey maps helps optimize the customer experience. Through customer differentiation, greater guidance and choice, and understanding their expectations and needs holistically, service designers can retain and engage customers, gain insights into trends, and identify business opportunities.

Customer-Centered Approach

The key to succeeding in any business is to put the customer first. This means providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions, and ensuring that their needs are met throughout their journey with you. Whether it’s through email or phone, you need to make sure you’re communicating with your customers in a way that meets their preferences. You can also make it easier for them to do business with you by offering flexible payment schedules and contracts. To truly understand your customers, you need to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. By doing this, you can make necessary adjustments to address customer pain points and offer a more seamless experience. Finally, it’s important to deliver on your promises and provide consistent, high-quality service. With these principles in mind, you can build a successful business based on happy, satisfied customers.

Crafting Customer Stories

Customers share stories about their experiences. To ensure these stories are good, businesses need to focus on service “basics” and surprise and delight customers. Basic adjustments can often remove “customer irritations” and improve the overall experience. The key is to view the organization through the eyes of customers and map their experiences, including removing obstacles that hinder enjoyment of the service. For example, policies should be explained clearly and in plain language. The insurance company that made switching coverage easy and developed exceptional claims management jumped to the top 10 in the industry. By observing clients and seeing the insurance process through their eyes and feelings, the firm prioritized and differentiated its claims management. The lesson is that focusing on the basics helps businesses stand out and provides the foundation for a delightful customer experience.

Get Rid of Customer Irritations

Providing customers with a clear, concise and compelling proposition while aligning it to their needs and removing irritations may lead
to repeat business. Companies should watch for complaints, talk to employees who interact with clients, and shadow their customers to uncover irritations. Once found, map and prioritize these issues, and break customer needs down along the life cycle. To improve each stage, remove hurdles and annoyances. Creating an optimal balance between business needs and customer desires is an essential step in winning over customers. Surprising and delighting them in specific areas after delivering on promises only sweetens the deal.

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