Friday, February 10, 2012

Blueprinting the Service Design

When we experience exceptional service, we are instantly taken by the person who delivers it and give some amount of credit to the company. We talk about it to friends and family at tea parties and tell them how a certain guy changed our day with some great service. We talk about it at every opportunity and gradually the story becomes the story of the heroics of one service representative. In the process we often forget to give enough credit to the company who set the right conditions for such an act to be performed. You might just have overlooked a very well planned service design which is in play to provide you that memorable service. So let’s explore this idea a little further.

Southwest Airlines is miles ahead when it comes to a well planned service design. They have manuals and instructions for every action that seems so unique and memorable to you. Southwest has designed things in such a manner including their training formats that allows any newcomer to embed themselves in the Southwest service culture. At no point does a well detailed design take away from employing the right kind of people. But identifying the right set of people in a market where they are in incredible demand makes for a challenge of a very different kind. Building a service design that allows an employee to adapt and deliver can be the key to providing that elusive customer satisfaction your brand is expected to deliver.

A couple of questions you might want to ask yourself as companies are: Do you already have a design in place which is not adequately defined? Do your employees fully understand it and is it being audited from time to time? Are there any loopholes in your design which allows employees to under deliver? Does your service design need a revamp to manage your brand’s current expectations? A plethora of questions, but ones that need pointed answers. Answers that can help you design that memorable service experience that your customer would talk about at that next tea party.  

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