Service design and front-line ideation are two sides of the same coin, as the interaction between service consumption and the delivery of service typically occurs at the interface.
The interface? What do you think when you hear the word ‘interface’, probably not something that compels you to respond, “Mate, let’s go have a drink and discuss interfaces.” The reality is that most of the economic exchange is happening at the interface, the point at which customers and organizations interact. In most western economies the service sector makes up at least 70% of GDP and an inordinate amount of brand experience is being created at this point of interaction.
Despite so much activity occurring at this point of fusion, I feel as if the emergence of the practice of Service Design (an excellent concept) has not prioritized the value of ongoing input from front-line staff and the importance of continually capturing insights and their voice.
Service design is a relatively new, refreshing and very different way of approaching the way we think of the relationship between organizations and clients. Service design is the design of the overall experience, but it appears that most of the activity is focused on the customer, the user design approach, and not the staff.
We are getting better and better at finding out the needs, context and goals of the customer, but isn’t it also very important to understand and answer some of the similar questions with regard to staff. Supplying service is inseparable from the consumption by the clients, because they generally occur at the same time. Nevertheless, in many organizations it’s the least experienced people with the least amount of training that have the most customer contact.
Today there are many organizations spending big coin on knowing the customer. And despite the Service Design methodology looking at the delivery of service from an end to end process it doesn’t appear that there is enough focus on how integral staff is to the successful delivery of service.
I’ve heard that service is everything that can’t fall on your feet. Well the people who are delivering these intangible goods are the staff and I’m certain that organizations will get a ton of value through an effective approach to capturing the voice of staff. It’s simple, just needs to be a cultural priority