It has been a while since my first blog post. I’ve been really busy with school especially assignments. This 2nd year has not been easy for me but I’m trying to get things done, thanks to my university and lecturers. My university (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science, Porvoo) is very flexible and makes one love school. The lecturers are amazing, they don’t just teach, they involve you, make you practice what you’ve learnt and share your ideas with the lot.
Are you already wondering if this is an advertisement post for my university? Well, my topic for today is creating value through good services and I would like to start with my university. Many a time, people asked me “why did you leave all the universities in Helsinki and travel to Porvoo every day? Its far and the transportation is expensive”. My response has always been “My University is different and only the people that experience it will know what I’m talking about”.
I was in a university in Helsinki less than 20 minutes from my place. There I felt I go to school because I had to, no connection with the lecturers, no team work, and no practical. It was just “lectures and go home”. While in Porvoo, I feel happy to go to school, I feel welcomed and accepted. The teacher-student relation is priceless. The laptops given to us make studying easy for us. The teachers do not photocopy endlessly but upload learning materials to our learning platforms leap and Moodle. This saves us space and information are secured. The way the campus was built is relaxing and makes you experience real life working situations. Working in real life projects with companies is one of the advantages we have against other schools. It’s not just a university, it’s a place that makes you feel like an employee instead of a student.
With this example above, I wanted to show you how creating good value through service design can attract people to your organization or business. Nowadays, people don’t want to feel like they are using a service because they have to. They want to feel like they’re using it because they love to, they want to experience the best. When you design a great service for your customers and employees, you make them stay and be loyal to the organization. Distance and price do not matter anymore as far as they get to have what they’ll love and enjoy.
What is Service Design?
“Service design is the overall experience of service as well as the design of the process and the strategy to provide that service.” (Morritz, 2005)
“There is no common definition to service design. It‘s a (new) way of thinking as its focus on human rather than organization and stakeholders. The way ideas spread and how organizations are organized is shaping how service design plays out in the company. More important than thinking if service design is part of marketing or something else is to understand the value and relations between people and other people, between people and things and between people and organizations. Gaining authentic customer insights the service designer slips into the customer‘s shoes to understand their individual service experience and it‘s wider context.” (Stickdorn, Schneider 2010, 37)
Here is a short video by Yosef Shuman on ‘What is service design?’
In order to have a successful service design, companies have to study their customers to know what they really want. Put yourselves in the customers’ shoes and try to feel what they feel. Understand their lives and try to see their invisible needs. To get these insights, companies have to make research on their customers. The research or collecting information can be through interviews, surveys, through social media, etc.
Service design should not just be about the customers only. Companies need to consider their employees too. You do not create a service to please your customers and forget about your employees. Your employees should be part of the creation, they should have a say like the customers. The service should be designed in such a way that, the employees will be happy to use it.
Companies have to realize that, they cannot satisfy everyone. With their findings, they need to make logical decisions to make the customer value creation easier for them. Different people want different things, as the saying goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Companies should create services that all their customers will love and benefit from. This might take time but using services come in stages. Be patient, don’t force it and make adjustments along the way. Good services sell themselves. Do your best and make them choose you!
‘’When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, and each of them sells exact the same coffee at the exact same price, service design is what makes you walk into one and not the other.’’ (Stickdorn, Schneider 2010, 33)