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Research

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PRELIMINARY SERVICE BLUEPRINT

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1 hour

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  • A large sheet of paper or white board

  • Coloured pens

  • Sticky notes

What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?

 

A service blueprint is a holistic visual model of a service detailing the process for the organisation and the customer including steps and actions, touchpoints, physical and intangible evidence, support processes, what is visible to the customer and what is not, and how its different parts are connected. In this phase, a service blueprint is used for recognising the existing customer journey and the company’s actions related to it. This provides a comprehensive overview and understanding of the service, the resources and processes that make it possible, and helps to identify weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities.

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Steps how to use this tool in practice

 

The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.

STEP 1

Download the service blueprint template and list all the actions and steps the customer takes when interacting with the service on the ‘customer actions’ row

STEP 2

Continue by adding organisation’s/company’s activities:

  1. Add first the frontstage actions. These are actions that are visible to the customer.

  2. Continue by adding backstage actions that support frontstage actions but are invisible to customers.

  3. Finally, add support processes which are internal actions that support the employees in delivering the service.

STEP 3

Add physical evidence. These are tangible items, props and spaces that are used to deliver the service, for example an organisation’s website.

STEP 4

Add the lines of interaction to separate the actions:

  1. Line of interaction to separate customer and organisation/business actions.

  2. Line of visibility to separate the actions that are visible to the customer from the actions that are invisible to them.

STEP 5

Add durations of actions and relationships between actions.

STEP 6

Once ready, start the analysis.

STEP 7

Look at the service blueprint and start analysing it. See if you can identify any weak points or complex interactions that could be optimised.

STEP 8

Invite customers or potential customers to go through the service blueprint and give their opinion of the different steps. Ask them to add emotions (very happy - happy – neutral – sad – very sad) with sticky notes to different actions. This develops an experience curve for different parts of the service and helps you to see which actions customers are happy with.

STEP 9

Take customer findings and your observation data, and make a short development document of the key research findings. This can be a table on a whiteboard, for example. Add the key development points, what could be optimised, what is good, and any interesting findings arising from the data. You can differentiate the data by target groups if needed. This should help you improve the experience for your customers.

STEP 10

Take the analysed data and use it in the next phase for ideation.

Other tools of this phase

6 questions for gaining a comprehensive view of the issue.

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Interview to get a better understanding and insight of an identified problem.

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A map to gain insight into customers’ emotional and cognitive perceptions.

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Interviewing with images to stimulate more spontaneous responses.

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A self-documentation method used for observation and reflection.

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A map of all stakeholders, and their importance and relations.

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Obtaining user experience information through observation.

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