What is service design? What is customer experience? And are they the same or different? The answer is that they are different but closely connected.

Service Design is focused on overall value delivery:

  • What is the ‘job’ are you doing for your customers?
  • Who are the customers or customer segments who require that job to be done?
  • How do you perform the job?
  • What are customers paying for?

Customer Experience is focused on the interface between the organisation and its customers. It considers all ‘customer touchpoints’ – including advertising, sales, fulfilment, customer service – and seeks to optimise the end-to-end customer journey. For many companies, the focus of optimisation efforts are on ease, convenience, and providing a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Companies that combine service design and customer experience to create a ‘Service Experience’ create value for customers in ways that are much harder for competitors to copy. This is partly because delivering a Service Experience will be based on a system (vs designs and processes), and experience shows systems are much harder to replicate than the designs and processes required for products or simple services.

A Service Experience is where value delivery is inseparable from customer experience. Its focus is holistic around making customers lives easier and better. Innovation opportunities include different types of engagement with customers, and including third parties, such as building communities, and crowdsourcing.