Why good service design is integral to the customer journey
Service Design is a rapidly emerging discipline in the digital marketing sphere. It can be a complex term to communicate and is loaded with information, but essentially it involves designing services with users in mind. Services help users to carry out a function and service design aims to fine-tune the components within a service and ensure that its parts work together to create an effective outcome for users.
If users can’t understand how to use a service or encounter problems in their user journey then the service can’t provide a function properly. It’ll also take much more time for the user to get to where they want to be, users can then abandon a service along the way and their needs aren’t addressed. Consumers can easily switch between brands because of their improved access to information about other competitors, so usability is more important than ever.
A good place to start with service design is to think about how users engage with a brand, their reaction towards it and the ease of their interaction. Combining data about behaviours, emotional response and usability can help digital marketers to inform their service design strategy. Effective service design is about putting in lots of work, thought and effort to create something that looks like less and feels simple to use. There’s a trend across the board, as companies invest in design acquisition and involve design professionals in their senior leadership, so they can improve their digital architecture.
An integral part of service design is about offering value to a consumer. If a brand can work out how to be even more useful to a consumer then they will stand out in a crowded market place. Services should grow, as the consumer’s loyalty or association with a brand grows. There are a multitude of different entry-points through various platforms, where consumers can start an association with a brand. Whichever platform someone chooses, they usually enter once, so the challenge for brands is to provide a service that gives a consumer something new and delivers useful content over time.
Using data and analysing every part of the user experience is important and allows marketers to apply research and create a more personalised service design. A consumer wants personalisation and if they feel a service knows who they are and what they want then they’re more inclined to keep coming back or stay satisfied.
A focus on the customer journey means that service design should bring in a whole host of team players from designers to sales professionals. Collaboration is required. The service design process encourages cross-disciplinary groups to focus on every part of the user journey to make it simple and accessible. User experience is not the sole responsibility of one part of a digital team; it’s a responsibility that everyone should share. One of the biggest obstacles in service design is managing user experience across physical and online platforms, so it’s important that everyone is involved in the process to ensure that gaps are identified.
Service Design will continue to gain traction and the need for cross-collaboration between everyone from developers to designers will increase. Marketers will need to use the consumer data they have available to them to test new methods for personalising and simplifying user journeys. Brands must add value to their users’ lives and retain their attention, which will happen with seamless, simple service design.