Service design thinking and customer experience

Service design thinking and customer experience

Service design is the cornerstone of service innovation, covering not only the process of developing a new service, but the whole way of approaching a firm’s delivery of customer value added.

Service Design and Customer Experience

Service design is the cornerstone of service innovation, covering not only the process of developing a new service, but the whole way of approaching a firm’s delivery of customer value added. Competitive advantage can be enhanced through service, i.e. theapplication of specialized competences (knowledge and skills), through processes, and performances for the benefit of customer experience. Therefore, design for service, is increasingly important going forward for service firms, and demands new questions and opportunities for empirical work and theory development in terms of the role, application and impact of service design.

  • WP1 focuses on theoretical and conceptual studies to explore the core of service design by taking a multidisciplinary approach of combining design thinking, service-dominated logic and management science for driving change and innovation for customer value added.
  • WP 2 aims to explore the importance of service design thinking for developing dynamic capabilities. It particularly focuses on the microfoundations of the dynamic capability - e.g. distinct skills, processes, decision rules as well as procedures that both hamper and support the firm’s ability to recognize, sense and shape change through design thinking.
  • WP3 addresses new challenges and opportunities for creating innovative customer experiences when digitalization is rapidly increasing. It particularly focuses on digital trust and risk, and personalization. Furthermore, it focuses on antecedents and consequences of online co-creation between customers and service providers.

Watch the video from "Designdagen" at Telenor TELENOR Service Design, AHO from Govertsen Film on Vimeo.

Transformation toolkit from the BIA Project: Customer Care 2015

CSI publications for business:
Automation and Inconvenience: A Dynamic View on Service Productivity

Annita Fjuk

3.1: Design for service: Theories, methods and tools

This WP has three sub-topics as presented below:

  1. Studies and further understand the field of Service Design. Service Design is a recent development of design and is in rapid growth. Theory about, and the practice of, designing for service is therefore in development and an area of research in itself. This WP will carry out theoretical and conceptual studies to explore the core of service design, its characteristics and boundaries. It compares and contrast ongoing work within the area of design thinking and its relation to service, including the relationship between Service Design and service-dominant Logic. Further, it explores core issues in service design, such as the materials of design, design and meaning and the nature of designing for service.
  2. The development of process support to improve the application of service design thinking The WP aims to develop process-support for service design as part of New Service Development (NSD) in terms of methods and tools for co-design and iterative processes. This will have a focus upon design for experience, with particular focus upon understanding and influencing emotions and behavior (employee and customer), social norms (such as rituals and sacred objects), and the semantic transformation process. Further, the WP explores and develop the area of experience prototyping - how to prototype and conceptualize the customer experience during the front end of the innovation process.. The role of open innovation in the service innovation process. The WP addresses how co-creation with customers, employees, and other actors is maintained by combining approaches from open service innovation, HCI and participatory design. Successful implementation of open innovation processes, mediated by associated ICT-platforms, highly depends on different elements such as motivation of contributors (e.g. customers, employees), usage of appropriate processes and tools, manager’s capabilities and decisions as well as development of the new service. Thus, the further aim is to build competence that bridges the gap between design thinking and open innovation approaches beneficial for successful adoption of the service in the marketplace.

3.2: Design for service: Organizational capabilities

A major obstacle encountered in the process of adopting service design thinking in a firm lies in the firm’s existing culturally embedded behaviors and dominated business logic. This WP aims to explore the importance of service design thinking for developing dynamic capabilities, i.e. the firm’s abilities to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competences, needed for sustaining competitive advantage and delivering superior customer experience. We are particular interested in the microfoundations of the dynamic capability - e.g. distinct skills, processes, decision rules as well as procedures that both hamper and support the firm’s ability to recognize, sense and shape change through design thinking. In this WP, we have identified the following main sub-topics:

  1. Dynamic managerial capabilities: Arguing that the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities reside exclusively in individuals within organizations, often managers and leaders, we conceptualize dynamic managerial capabilities as personal routines used to integrate, build and modify organizational routines, processes and competences. We are particularly interested in what constitutes dynamic managerial capabilities, how they are developed and actioned, and what kind of effects they bring. Further, the aim is to explore the value of strategic design management to optimize the result of an organization's investment in service design.
  2. Organizational resources and processes: Individuals do not act alone, but within social groups, including teams and departments. We are interested in what makes these social groups within firms, as well as firms themselves, receptive to the ideas and actions of individuals with dynamic capabilities. Thus, we aim to examine success factors and hindrances for adopting new ideas, concepts, and processes characterizing service design thinking - by social groups in firms.
  3. Service design methods and tools in action: Scholarly discourse is limited on the effects of service design on firm performance. Thus, we aim to investigate how service design methods and tools are actually applied within firms, how they are interpreted, applied and advanced by employees, and what kind of effects they have.

3.3: Design for service: Customer experience

Commoditization of services has generated an interest for the concepts of brand and customer experience among marketing scholars and practitioners. With the proliferation of digital touch points, service providers are faced with new challenges and opportunities for creating innovative customer experiences. In this WP, we have identified three main sub-topics:

  1. Digital trust and risk: Customers generally believe that digital self-services involve higher risk compared to traditional services. Therefore, designing and implementing self-services that consumers trust is becoming vital for companies.
  2. Co-creation: Co-creation of value is relevant in situations where customers actively participate in creating value through use of self-service systems. Research projects in WP3 will focus on antecedents and consequences of online co-creation between customers and service providers.
  3. Personalization: Rich database and behavioral data offer opportunities for personalizing services to individual consumer needs. However, research has also documented negative effects of personalization. The research group will investigate how personalized services best can be designed to provide the best brand

Herbjørn Nysveen and Siv E. Rosendahl Skard