Design Thinking: Service Blueprint?

Service Blueprint (from cooper)

Design thinking is a collection of tools that helps to design your product or service by focusing on usages and users. Among those tools is one which I would like to put some light on today: Service blueprint.

Customer Journey vs Service blueprint

While the Customer Journey map is focusing on User Experience and how he interacts with the Service you are proposing (feeling, actions…), the Service Blueprint is focused on the process of the Service. What is behind the Service and makes it suitable for the customers (front and back office, touchpoints…). Saying so the choice of one of those two tools is easy: Customer Journey map when trying to modelize and improve the Customer Experience, Service Blueprint when trying to modelize and improve the process behind the service.

I personally really like the table given by Cooper.com, trying to find the right way to choose between those 2 tools.

The blueprint is best when your goal is:

  • to identify process breakdowns and opportunities for process improvements
  • to inform an implementation plan for a new service
  • to examine service metrics in the context of service delivery processes
  • to define a vision for how a service or touch point(s) could become higher or lower touch

The journey map is best when your goal is:

  • to identify customer pain points and service gaps
  • to design a new service with customer experience at the core
  • to examine the customer experience across touch points of a service
  • to define a vision for how a service or touch point(s) could change the customer experience

Of course, Customer Journey Map (a great canva is available here) and Service blueprint could be one tool with one side for the Experience and one side for the Service with the Service itself in the middle. Doing so one has the global view of its Service, both process and experience. However, one has to realize that this kind of representation come with less details as if only one tool was used.

Service Blueprint and Customer journey map at a glance
Service Blueprint and Customer journey map at a glance

Feedback

I have experienced each tool and even facilitated one group making a blueprint. My advices to apply wisely such tools are:

  1. Don’t c are about the tool, care about the goal you want to achieve.
  2. Journey and blueprint enrich themselves. Avoiding to mix them is dumb and even counter productive as you may need the mix by itself to better design your process.
  3. Focus on the time line and on how things happens (UX or process).
  4. Hire someone who has experience in such tools but don’t know your business. It will help to enlight blocking points and challenge status quo.

Did you experience Customer Journey map or Service Blueprint? Share your experience and leave a comment.

 

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