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Success Through Service

Optimize Blog - April 3, 2017 - 0 comments

Service Design is a discipline that is gathering pace and we think it has plenty to offer organizations as they struggle with the dynamic of great customer service and the need to control costs. Let’s face it, great customer service is easy if you have cash to burn but the reality for most of us is that a balance must be struck to ensure sustainability of the business going forward.
Service Design is a strategic tool because it links your strategy to the customer experience. At its most fundamental, the discipline requires that services should and can be designed with as much care as products. This ensures that your customers get the service you want them to experience every time they touch your organization.
The core elements are based on who you are as a company, what your core competencies are and your chosen response to the competitive environment. However, the benefits come to life when you rethink, reimagine and recreate each and every step and aspect of the interaction between your customer and the company regardless of the product being sold, and regardless if a sales transaction even takes place. Success of Service Design is measured against your ability to delight the customers you have chosen to serve while at the same time advancing your strategic goals.
The three key elements are first, being able to deliver on your customer promise (not just trying to do everything your customers ask). Second it needs the ability to create consistency and third it needs the ability to be proactive and not reactive.
Service Design is about designing the customer journey and great service companies analyze and design every step of the customer journey and specifically every customer touch point because each of these interactions is an opportunity to succeed or fail. However, most companies do not think this way and prefer to ignore the measurement of customer value. This is even more concerning when we consider that it is difficult to think of a transaction between a buyer and a seller that cannot be made more valuable to both parties by improving its design.
Well-designed service is able to succeed on two dimensions simultaneously – technical excellence and the customer experience. The five principles of Service Design are as follows:
• Which customers do you want to serve and which ones you don’t
• Great service should be efficient, effective, error resistant and scalable
• Be predictably excellent – deliver the delight but not the surprise
• Develop a formal mechanism for innovation – don’t leave it to chance
• Be consistent across all channels and delivery mechanisms
The mindset and principles of Service Design are a critical way to improve how services are managed. Too many companies talk a good fight but leave much of it to chance. This is made clear by the daily experiences we all have of underwhelming service interactions.
Once you are able to fully assess how well your customer service addresses the requirements of your customers you can use that assessment to set the priorities for improvement. Service design sees customer satisfaction and cost management as complimentary and not contradictory.

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