Service Design As A Part Of Your Brand Strategy
Branding Happens At Every Point Of Contact. One area that often gets overlooked is service design. Service Design is the holistic ecosystem of how service is provided to our clients and prospective clients. As an example, let's use for example, your chequing account. What kinds of services and offerings are provided if you're going in to the bank to speak with a teller? What does that transaction look like if you're at the ABM (ATM for our American friends)? How does that same service look like if you're accessing via the internet or through a call? How do those systems talk to each other if you decide that you're going to utilise the same service via another vehicle? In other words, if you want to pay your hydro bill today at the bank? What processes are in place that you can view this transaction online afterwards? And if you're paying online next month, what will happen if you go into the bank afterwards to check on it?
For small businesses, think about a singular transaction that you'll have with your client. How many different ways will your client interact with your brand through that customer journey and what do those interactions look like? What systems are in place to make the transaction not only seamless, but also in line with your brand?
SERVICE DESIGN & CUSTOMER JOURNEY
The customer journey is a huge part of Service Design; the user experience or UX. If you're speaking to a web developer, UX to them is that user experience and customer journey while they are on the website and/or mobile site. They're not talking to you about all the other ways that you interact with your clients' journey. Does their online experience with your brand reflect your offline experience? What sequence of events can you anticipate will happen at every level of your customer's journey in all areas of their journey with your brand? But more than that, what systems and processes are in place to ensure that your team is able to respond in all these different areas along that customer journey and how will they respond?
ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER
WHO - Who in your team is involved with the transaction?
WHERE - Where is this product/service being offered?
WHAT - What tools / ingredients are required to deliver the product/service?
ASSOCIATES - What other service providers are involved? ie., logistics
HOW - What processes are involved to make sure 1-4 communicate and interact smoothly?
As you embark on this journey, you'll likely find it overwhelming. Try using an AGILE approach and see what the big things are first. What are some of the major directional items that will set you and your team on the right path? Test it out, make adjustments, and test it again. Then take the next biggest thing in the direction, and the next. It doesn't have to be implemented all at the same time, but make sure to have a plan in place as to how you see this being rolled out.
You'll find that not only will you end up with happier customers, but you'll end up with a more streamlined system that your team can buy in to. This becomes ever more prevalent and important as you start scaling your business and systems play a larger role.