An external agency that offers everything from strategy to finished solutions is imperative to help silo-based companies close the gaps in their development processes and deliver great user experiences.
Service design has taken a great leap forward during the last three years. As a direct result of a sudden and rapid development of new technology and self-service solutions as well as a strong trend in customer insight-driven development, digital disruptors have put many established companies in a vulnerable position. On the flip side, some companies have found themselves in a position where they can save great amounts of money and create more efficient processes.
Outside in, not inside in
As a result of previous, failed attempts to innovate based on quantified data in the internal development process of services and products, companies have finally realized that they need to understand the end user’s real needs and his or hers journey throughout the entire service in order to innovate, prioritize and make the correct improvements. The customer’s journey through the entire service equals the customer experience of the service.
”The customer’s journey through the entire service equals the CX of the service.” – @erikwesterdahl
An outside point of view is required for companies to avoid the internal politics and silo-isolated development process experienced in most large corporations. Many have therefore turned to external service design consultancies to advise them. Companies that have had previous, negative experiences in the handover process between different consulting agencies and/or internal departments have seen the benefits of collaborating with an agency that can guide them through the entire process from strategy to finished product or service.
The handover process
Today, there are a select, few agencies that offer services from strategy to solution. Service design can discover genuine customer needs through the entire process, but to build outstanding customer experiences in the digital field, most companies need the services of user experience designers and developers. Because of the growing service design market in a field of tough competition, many design agencies have suddenly started to offer service design packages as a part of their businesses. Designers have changed their titles overnight to ”Service Designer” or even ”Senior Service Designer”. Even though many design companies claim to offer both service design and user experience design as a part of their businesses, they still offer them as isolated projects that can cause problems in the handover process for their clients. They also generally don’t have the developers on hand, which creates an even more complicated transition where a lot of private information about the customers can get lost.
A partner from strategy to solution
Screen Interaction detected these issues and expanded into the area of service design with the ambition of merging it with their user experience designers and developers already on hand. Since then, several successful projects from strategy to final service or product have been developed in close cross-silo collaboration with the client. These are solutions that will soon be released to a new and demanding digital market.
The process of merging service design with user experience design and development is a challenging and ongoing process at Screen Interaction. In order to avoid the problems caused by the handover process the client needs to be challenged with a new type of collaboration project that stretches through a longer period of time and through the many different company-silos, a process that today can be difficult at larger companies.
In my next blog post, I’ll describe the differences and similarities between service design and user experience design and how they can work in symbiosis to generate exceptional services, products, business models and customer experiences.
// Erik Westerdahl
Digital Service Designer @ Screen Interaction