We live in an experience and service economy. There is a general rule of thumb that 75% of “mature economies” (i.e. economies where most Service Designers operate…) is centered on services. The rest is natural and produced tangible goods.
For less wealthy economies, the natural and produced goods have a higher proportion (see the 2017 World Bank graph below), but as they are developing into wealthier economies, there is reason to believe the service share will increase:
This means that there is a lot of work for Service Designers to carry out. The economic driver is there, and the technology driver is definitely there. As new tech emerges, they will play a bigger role in people’s lives, and the services will be augmented with new ways that can potentially improve efficiency, user experience, and value-creation. That is, if they are designed well (read that again). Technology is not neutral by default. If it’s not designed well, there is a great risk that it will have a negative net impact on the people and organizations it is supposed to serve.
The key is of course to know what the customers’ experience is like. And without a holistic view of what your customers are actually doing, thinking, and feeling while they’re dancing with your service (or interacting with your touchpoints, to use Service Design lingo) — you are missing out on opportunities for creating and harnessing meaningful value.
As Service Designers, we have a vast range of tools at our disposal to help resolve the customer experience. Curiously, most of these tools have the word “map” in them: experience map, customer journey map, stakeholder map, impact map, etc. In fact, Service Designers like to paraphrase a familiar saying: “there is a map for that”. (A caveat though: neither of these “maps” are actually maps, but diagrams. But only grumpy academics with an interest for semantics and etymology bother to comment on that, so I guess we will continue to call them maps anyway :)
To start you off, I have put together an introductory online class called Customer Journey Mapping from Scratch on Skillshare. Please feel free to check it out, and hopefully you’ll find it useful. It’s 9 video clips, 30 minutes total, including a small project that will help you learn to use customer journey mapping in your work.
Here is the introduction video:
Skillshare class: http://skl.sh/2BfujNn