Service Design Techniques: Blueprints

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Blueprint: in action during a workshop

5 steps that can start a blueprint

Step 1: Aware
So many service providers focus on what they actually provide and miss out
how their potential customers/clients will find out about it, or leave it to the end when the service is produced (handling it in isolation or delegating it to someonelse). The first step of the blueprint addresses this by asking ‘How do you find out about this service?’
The answer to this question will vary, from service to service, but making time to consider this and knowing where your most valuable/needy customers are is key. The main point
is that with cross channel communications, info sharing is part of the main product not a side order or after thought.

Step 2: Engage
The next step explores the access points to your product. ‘How do you access the service?’ and  indeed where and when? This information can open up ideas on how the service is designed, and how it connects with other products aswell as considering the platform(s) itself. How many customers start off in a conversation with a friend… or on facebook/twitter. Today we can make fast links in. But equally in the offline environment a carer may first access your service while on a visit to the doctors through a referral.

Step 3: Use
This step is pretty easy for the service designer or manager to answer quite quickly, or is it?
How do you use the service? You have spent so much time designing it, meeting the proposition teams’ brief and preparing what you will offer, but who is going to use it and how will they use it?

Step 4: Develop
How your use of the service can develop. What can your customer do, once they have started using your service? If you have gained trust with the success of your service, you are in a position of trust and have an opportunity to cross/up sell. This could be a commercial objective or simply an example of joined up thinking for a series of services that a customer/client may require/need/quite like to have.

Step 5: Leave
Making the leaving experience a positive experience makes the difference between a ‘not going back there!’ reaction and ‘oh… that was quite helpful, I’ll consider them another time.’ If the experience of leaving is bad, one thing’s for sure, they’re not going to be encouraged to return.

The left hand column then varies depending on your service/business.
In the example above we broke the journey down into four persona experiences, sketching the journey so to make it tangible and visible. Then below that we added what each department/part of the business would be doing to facilitate those journeys. Ideas that came from workshops were plotted onto this blueprint to be able to see the experience as a whole and see clearly where the gaps could be. Understanding the bigger picture gives opportunity for more linked up thinking.

Service Blueprints can be done as simply or as complex as needed…
Another translation of Blueprinting is the  Customer Journey Canvas found in the recently published book This is Service Design Thinking by Marc Stickdorn & Jakob Schneider (also available from Amazon).

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2 thoughts on “Service Design Techniques: Blueprints

    […] used a number of tools and processes to improve their ideas. Many used journey maps, service blueprints and the Happy Startup Canvas as well as the Strikingly Idea Chain cards and Constraints cards too […]

    […] Service Design Techniques: Blueprints […]

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