A service blueprint is a visual representation that describes the sequence of steps as well as people, systems, processes, data and components involved in the delivery of a service from the customer’s perspective.
A service blueprint provides a holistic view of the service experience, including both frontstage – meaning what customers see and experience – and backstage processes – meaning how an organisation delivers the service – as well as all interactions and touchpoints involved in service creation and delivery.
Image: Example service blueprint
A customer journey, as described in this blogpost, forms a part of a service blueprint and is usually the starting point for creating service blueprints.
Why should you create a Service Blueprint?
There are many benefits to creating a service blueprint, here are some of them.
- Customer focus on service creation and delivery by visualizing the customer journey and the goals, needs and pains your customers have when engaging with your brand through your service.
- Holistic view of the service across the stages of the customer journey and how your organization is set up to deliver the service revealing possible bottlenecks and breaks in the process stages and handover between people, teams, units and systems.
- Optimized use of resources and better targeted investments by focusing on the most important and impactful aspects of your product or service and delivery process for it.
- Increased innovation and creativity by discovering new ways to add value and delight to your customers by having an overview of their interactions with your brand.
- Improved internal communication by aligning behind a shared understanding of your customers, how they interact with your brand and how you deliver services to them.
How to create a Service Blueprint
Just like how every customer journey is different, so is every service blueprint since the way you are set up as an organization will be different from your competition. Typical steps in creating a service blueprint include
- Identify the service you want to create a service blueprint for and define the scope of the blueprint.
- Understand who your customers are and create personas to represent them.
- Create a customer journey or set of journeys for the selected service.
- Define the front- and backstage activities that happen during the stages of the customer journey and the processes, systems, data etc. involved in them.
- Define the target state of the service blueprint and create a plan for how to get there.
- Validate, refine and update the service blueprint as it is a living document supporting your service development.
Once you have created a service blueprint your job is not done. A service blueprint is a good tool in service development and operation only if it is kept up-to-date, so be prepared to invest time in constantly updating and maintaining it so that you can extract the value from it that you expect.
So, if service blueprints are something you think can add value to your organization, as you should, and you need help in getting started, reach out and let’s discuss what the right approach for you looks like.