Identify opportunities for process optimisation with Service Blueprint
26 August 2022
Many organisations have a firm grasp on the customer journey. They know the touchpoints and how customers move through them. But looking at it in a more in-depth way – how do we optimise processes and customer contact? – is not something many businesses do. Mostly because businesses don’t look at their operations from the customer’s point of view, but only from that of the organisation. The Service Blueprint takes care of that.
With just a couple of clicks, you can order a parcel from a webshop that will be delivered the next day. Super simple. But not so simple behind the scenes – there are so many complex processes that make this simple thing possible. From placing an order, payment and processing, to creating an invoice, assembling the parcel and delivering it to a pick-up point or a home address. All these small processes need to melt together into a well-oiled machine. A Service Blueprint takes this as a starting point and looks into the processes that make different touchpoints work:
Which actions are being performed?
Which departments are involved?
How do they work together?
Which systems are used?
What does the contact with the customer look like?
Based on these aspects, a Service Blueprint gives you a complete overview of all your organisation’s processes, touchpoints, actions and channels in relation to customer contact. It’s a tool that gives insight into how internal processes are experienced by the customer. In other words, the customer experience takes centre stage. It gives you a better idea of which processes and services could use some improvements.
“A Service Blueprint gives a complete overview of all your organisation’s processes, touchpoints, actions and channels in relation to customer contact.”
What is a Service Blueprint if not a customer journey?
Think of the Service Blueprint as a more in-depth look at your customer journey. The customer journey mainly revolves around the various touchpoints (moments of contact) between your organisation and customers. Or, in other words, front stage. While the Service Blueprint also looks at the backstage: everything that happens behind the scenes to facilitate that contact.
Service Blueprint example
But what does a Service Blueprint look like in practice? At uxdesign.cc, you can find a practical example of the Service Blueprint for a theatre visit. The customer journey is incorporated, but also everything that happens behind the scenes to make every touchpoint a positive experience for the customer.
First, the customer journey is mapped out.
The Service Blueprint then adds some depth.
It seems so simple: buy a ticket to a show and watch it. But there are loads of processes going on behind the scenes to allow you to watch the show and have a pleasant (customer) experience.
When do you use a Service Blueprint?
The goal of making a Service Blueprint is the creation of a customer-centric roadmap to analyse everything that supports your organisation’s touchpoints. Then, you can get to work. Improve your current services or develop something entirely new.
At iO, we use the Service Blueprint for the development of products that facilitate a service but also for customer experience optimisation in the broader sense. This reminds us to not just look at the solution from the organisation’s perspective, but also from the user’s perspective. In a successful solution, both need to come together and fit together seamlessly.
A fool with a tool is still a fool
A Service Blueprint focuses on the contact your organisation has with customers. It’ll show you the problems in your service and processes – and solve them one by one. Resulting in more satisfied customers and more business. But a Service Blueprint is still just a tool and a way to structure your thoughts and visualise them. So, it can’t be a goal in and of itself – it should be a way to create a better customer experience. Don’t create a Service Blueprint because it’s a part of the service design process. Create one because you want to improve your organisation and customer experience!
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