Service Design Tidbits

A potpourri of service design tips and tricks….

1.  Service Design “best of” book list

2. Service Design: Practical Access to an Evolving Field by Stefan Moritz (A great starting point).

3.  Service Design:  On the Evolution of Design Expertise.  An overview of design discipline convergence for service.

4.  What is Service Design?  A Thesis by Kristin Fritsche

5.  Designing for Services: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective. Edited by Lucy Kimbell and Victor P. Seidel.





Four Premises About Growth – The Teachings of Krone


Often, in order to move forward, one must break long-held patterns and beliefs.  Growth, and how a business grows, is one such belief/pattern area to explore.  Here I offer 4 premises for growth as presented by Charlie Krone when were in the the process of taking DuPont Nylon from 20% global market share back to 27% market share in the mid 90’s as part of the “Generation project”. The principles have held up well over time.

1. The pursuit of growth and evolution is essential to the perpetuation of the state of existence that a value adding process can provide its stakeholder constituencies.  For a school the value adding process might be curriculum and teaching methods with the outcome metric based on development of a student.  Pursuit is about the ongoing dynamic change to continually push the edge of collective vision.  An underlying concept is also that a value-adding process must be steady-state to evolve, or in the negative – an organization can go into turmoil as complexities of growth work are added.

2.  Growth should be a vehicle for differentiating the product offering of each value adding process, implying that each value adding process should be distinctively able to support particular market spaces or segments.  This is tough work. All too often the commodity effect settles into a organization pattern to “maintain” and “be cheap enough” and “just good enough”.  Bring forth a new “distinctive” and organizing to be “differentiating” requires critical thinking about evolving both value adding processes and the people that execute those processes.  Distinctive is about bringing forth an offering value that is differentiable from current and future competitive offerings and that will be of a higher order in that marketplace.  Often the work of growth is about redefining the market space (aka segment) and driving for deep customer understanding in order to reposition a current offering or pursue a new offering.

3.  When thinking about growth an important critical thinking shift is better over bigger.  Healthy margin growth is a function of clearly being better driving BOTH margin and growth.  How?  Perhaps through focusing on:

  • a more perfect product (perfecting ahead of the competition vs waiting for the absolute perfect product);
  • a product that integrates more effectively with the value adding processes of the customer and industry;
  • a product the BEST matches the discriminating judgments applied by the decision makers and stakeholders in the market space you are targeting;
  • a product that establishes the best harmony with what the stakeholders are seeking to accomplish.

Each of the four points is an imaginary growth level to cross… the more perfect offering; that better integrates with the customer’s value adding process; that creates distinction within the marketplace; and wins superior approval and acceptance from all stakeholders.

Think about how Apple responded when there were stakeholder concerns about the quality of life issues from society stakeholders regarding their contract Chinese labor practices. The reason that Apple could respond with credibility is the the other three levels were “crossed”.

4. Creative thinking about growth involves creating a vision of an offering and/or its value adding process that has greater potential.  Then execute that vision by translating back into virtues and qualities that need to be brought forth; implications to changes in your value adding processes and those of your customers; and implications in being and changes in being.   Most of this reverse engineering is the hard work – making the possibility real – and requires a different mental energy from the day-to-day organization.  Being and changes in being relate to the spirit and level of energy from your stakeholders – and while concepts of branding and marketing can enable the perception escalation in that regard – the “core” of offering, value adding process, and most importantly – the people executing to deliver that new offering and process need to be choreographed

Ready to grow?



By |November 1st, 2014|Business Design|0 Comments

10 Principles for Implementation of Sustainable Practices

I’m always looking for principles to guide change…  the International Council of Mining and Minerals developed 10 Principles to guide implementation of a Sustainable Development Framework.  Test these as you start to build a more “sustainable company”.

The 10 principles

  1. Implement and maintain ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance.
  2. Integrate sustainable development considerations within the corporate decision-making process.
  3. Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities.
  4. Implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.
  5. Seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance.
  6. Seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.
  7. Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning.
  8. Facilitate and encourage responsible product design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.
  9. Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.
  10. Implement effective and transparent engagement, communication and independently verified reporting arrangements with our stakeholders.
By |October 20th, 2014|Business Design|0 Comments

Money Can Buy Happiness – 8 Principles

OK.  Normally I don’t think about the notion of “money can’t buy happiness” but I was doing some research on top level executives and “money motivation” and discovered this paper, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Are Not Spending It Right,” written by Elizabeth Dunn, Dan Gilbert, and Tim Wilson.  While focused more on individuals I pondered how these same 8 principles might apply to executive pay and compensation:

  1. Buy Experiences Instead of Things
  2. Help Others Instead of Yourself
  3. Buy Many Small Pleasures Instead of a Few Big Ones
  4. Buy Less Insurance
  5. Pay Now and Consume Later
  6. Think About What You Are Not Thinking About
  7. Beware of Comparison Shopping
  8. Follow the Heard instead of the Head

Go figure…read the paper for more insight.



By |July 2nd, 2014|People|0 Comments

Design methods for developing services

infoThe folks over at UK’s Innovation Connect (a free service) have put together a great overview of the tools used for service (and customer experience) design.  You can read the PDF here.



By |December 22nd, 2013|Customer Experience|0 Comments

5 Steps to Better Customer Experience Management

I was cleaning out my computer basement when I ran across a picture of a whiteboard I was working on a few years ago…

So the five steps often overlooked when setting up a customer back CEM program…

1.  Service Segmentation – This marketing adaptation focuses on understanding how various sub-segments of your customer base chose to interact with your business throughout the customer life cycle.

2. Net Promoter System connected back to the service segments “critical to quality” attributes.  The thought here is to use product based tools such as Kano or quality function deployment to set up service delivery attributes and then us NPS as an early warning radar of CEM course correction changes.

3. Use a framework like Service Profit Chain to better engage employees in service execution.

4.  OK, here is where I go customer experience guru geeky… develop customer journey maps and service blueprints to identify no less than 10 key touch points and then create customer performance delivery dashboards (performance management tools) using the concept of customer connected KPIs.

5.  Track the linking of 4 to profitability (aka CX profit outcomes).

Just shake and bake….




The Branded Customer Experience

Customer experienceWhile at Capital One I was working on a thesis about how to improve the retail customer experience… a continuation of the work I did improving the De Novo experience at Bank of America during the Fleet merger (which was the basis of my Master of Science Thesis).   This  was the interview  to tee up my talk at the IQPC conference on the CES_Branded Associate Owner – placing employees at the core of experience delivery in retail.

My work at Capital One had evolved significantly from the work I did at Bank of America.  At the time it seemed “revolutionary” to apply Six Sigma and basic product development concepts to re-engineering the customer experience by working back from a “target brand promise” and translating that into service delivery requirements via a Kano Chart to train employee and help prioritize projects.  An example of my team’s work is the kano chart included in the attached presentation on the Six Sigma Enabled Merger.

I should also mention that the foundation of branded customer (and associate) experience thesis is really rooted in the service profit chain model and that the folks at Joe Wheeler’s Service Profit Chain Institute were invaluable resources during my decade in banking.



By |September 22nd, 2013|Customer Experience|0 Comments

Service Design and Innovation from The Guardian

Design Golden MeanA while back, the British newspaper The Guardian released a ten page supplement in co-operation with the Service Design Network.   The Guardian has produced a supplement themed on Service Design and Innovation in partnership with organizations from the Service Design and Innovation markets. Included are many interesting case studies and best practices with perceivable business impact but also enjoyable and easy understandable examples. 10 Pages,  350.000 copies…. great stories!

Here’s the link to the content.

Show me the money!

Bad service goldenmeanOne of the challenges in executing a great customer experience program is to translate gains in customer satisfaction to profit. My past experience is that there is an appropriate optimization between driving net promoter scores and cost-to-serve and lifetime customer value. I believe the best CX transformers blend art, science, and profit understanding to make the choices needed in where to focus and by how much. I was looking for a primer on the profit mechanics of a great customer experience and ran across Brett Whitford’s white paper – Measuring the Financial Cost of Bad Service is a great read on how to approach the value and ROI of a customer experience program. Enjoy!

What Santa Can Teach You About Leadership

Santa goldenmeanWow… I never knew that Santa and I had so much in common – in terms of leadership philosophy. What Santa can teach you about motivating employees. Check it out!

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