Companies are under increasing pressure to provide personalised, customer-focused services. We live in a world where products and services are getting more and more
commoditised, and companies are struggling to compete solely on price. In order to stand out from competitors, companies need to recognise themselves as service providers and strive to make what they do more useful, usable and desirable for their users.
Service design practice helps an organisation understand where an offering idea resides in the organisation's product-service ecology, how can it shift in the space and how to make it desirable and sought after because it delivers value and meets a need.
Products and services differ in a number of ways. The main implication of those differences is that services, as opposed to products, rely on the interactions between the users and providers of the service.
The design of services must include an analysis of all the points of contact between the user and the service provider. These are usually called ‘touch points’, and include the brand, customer-facing staff, environments, sales and communications materials and channels.
For this reason, design for service is a very practical approach to implementing a wider, design-led business strategy. Small businesses can use design as a creative and
accessible form of business planning to align their strategy, brand and communications around propositions that enhance customers’ experiences.
Source: Bringing design to services science by Shelly Evenson, Stefan Holmlid; Design for service