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7 Elements of Service Design

Service design is the creation and reinvention of services that have value to customers. This is an extensive practice that can include the design of the end-to-end customer experience and supporting processes that make that experience possible. The following are the basic steps in the service design process.

Market Research

Engaging the customer to understand their needs, preferences and perceptions. The goal is typically to find a valuable market position for your service that you believe you can win. Market research can also include a look at the competition and trends in your industry such as technology driven change.

Service Strategy

Developing a set of end goals for your service and concrete plans that achieve these goals. This can be a big upfront process where you set goals for many years in advance. More commonly, strategies are developed on a continual basis and placed into a backlog. The backlog is then regularly prioritized and implemented.

Service Marketing

The design of your branding, promotional, pricing and distribution capabilities. Marketing a service is much like marketing a product except that the economics may be different. For example, it is common for customer satisfaction and customer loyalty to be more important to a service business that is generating recurring revenues and repeat business.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is the design of a service from the perspective of the customer. This often involves looking at the end-to-end customer journey to identify interactions with the customer that impact customer perceptions and actions.

Customer Service

Customer service is any interaction between your employees and a customer. This is a particularly critical part of the customer journey as it is a common source of customer dissatisfaction. For example, a customer may be extremely displeased if staff are perceived as unprofessional. As such, service design may include customer service principles, training and practices.


The design of user interfaces, digital and physical environments such as a mobile app or a hotel lobby. Service design may also include product design if your service offers physical or digital products.

Business Processes

The design of the business processes that make a service happen. For example, there are thousands of revenue management, operations, procurement, customer service, facility management, quality management and partner management processes that go into running a hotel.
Overview: Service Design
The creation and reinvention of services that have value to customers.
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