In Your Hands

You decided to give Service Blueprinting a go. Yaay! This page collects guides, templates and tools you need to begin this design endeavor with your team.

We base our approach on the work done by Practical Service Design. This is a global body of knowledge for Service Design. It proposes a structured and repeatable approach to Service Blueprinting. We intend this as a “DIY” (Do It Yourself) approach. One that can be executed without our participation. We do wish to learn from the various service blueprints you create, to make it even more frictionless for teams. Be sure to send your feedback to 0xD.

Slight modifications were made to use the above approach. For instance, the colors in the blueprint anatomy and the digital blueprint. Be sure to spot them! These are a result of observations and lessons learned from the Service Blueprinting workshops at ING.

So let’s begin. Familiarize yourself with the following artifacts:

Example Case

We’ll explain the different steps in Service Blueprinting using an example. This example is taken from a banking space. Here’s the service scenario. Lois is having trouble reading the small font of the banking website on her iPad. She asks her daughter Emma to help her with it. Lois and Emma embark on a journey into the world of setting banking preferences.

Six steps to Practical Service Blueprinting

1: Explore the Opportunity Space

The opportunity space of the example is the ‘Personalization of Banking Preferences’. This is essentially the space that needs improvement or understanding. Gather feedback on how different services are used. Interview customers, draw their journeys. Jot down key observations and areas of pain.

For example, in this space, you observe:

  • Customers are unable to locate where banking preferences are managed on the website.
  • Specific types of customers tend to prefer specific types of banking settings.
  • Instead of offering all preferences as a boring list of items, one can group them into themes and present them in a friendly way.
  • There is currently no way to leave feedback on the banking preferences customers use or would like to use.
  • A preview of the chosen preferences is missing. Most customers do not complete their new preferences due to this.
  • No revert back / undo is available. Customers need to remember their previous preferences and re-apply them.
  • The changes are not immediate. This results in lot of calls at the Call Center.
  • There is no way of changing different channel preferences at once.

2a: Choose your Scenarios

You can look at scenarios two ways. One is to look at them in the “as-is” service you deliver. Blueprinting these will promote a better understanding of the current service. It would also help generate ideas for improving it. Within the space ‘Personalization of Banking Preferences’, scenarios like ‘Setting preferences for the elderly’, ‘Setting joint account banking preferences’, ‘Setting corporate account banking preferences’ are most prevalent and ill-defined. Improving these will lead to a better service experience.

A second way is to look at scenarios as a “to-be” service you intend to deliver. You take a leap forward. In other words, this is not the current situation. This implies that you understand the pain in the current situation and have come up with a way to address it. Blueprinting these scenarios will help to get a grip on stuff that’s needed to implement them. Within the opportunity space ‘Personalization of Banking Preferences’, scenarios like ‘Setting different channel preferences for the elderly in one go’ fall in this category.

Choose as many scenarios it takes to get a good grasp of the service. There is no such thing as “Happy Scenarios” and “Rainy Day Scenarios”. These are all scenarios.

2b: Break your Scenarios into Steps

Sketch the “end-to-end” scenario as a series of steps. For an “as-is” scenario, this the existing flow. And for a “to-be” scenario, this would be a possible new flow.

For a “to-be” scenario ‘Setting different channel preferences for the elderly in one go’, the steps are:

  • Lois logs in on the banking website with Emma’s help.
  • Emma and Lois search frantically for the changing the font on the website.
  • Unable to find the way out, they call the “Call Center”. They are asked to identify themselves. The Call Center employee informs that the bank provides thematic customizations. And one of them is especially for the elderly. Happy to try it out, Emma and Lois try to locate the settings. Meanwhile the session times-out. They login again. And are able to locate the settings with the help of the call center employee. The settings are presented as a wizard. Feeling good about this, they hang up.
  • Emma and Lois configure the look-n-feel for the banking website. They choose the font size “Large”. They are shown a preview. They like the new changes and confirm them. The change takes effect immediately.
  • Emma and Lois configure the look-n-feel for the Mobile Banking App. The wizard asks them to get their device. They log in on their mobile app and continue setting their app preferences. They choose to receive push notifications when the pension money arrives. They are shown a preview. They like the new changes and confirm them. The change takes effect immediately.
  • Emma and Lois configure the look-n-feel for the ATM. They choose for a weekly withdrawal limit of 100 euros. They are shown a preview. They like the new changes and confirm them. The change takes effect immediately.
  • Emma and Lois leave their feedback on this experience.

3. Blueprint your Scenarios

3a. Blueprinting workshop

Arrange a workshop where different stakeholders delivering the service scenarios take part. Co-create with them, the service blueprints from left-to-right; one column at a time. Create one service blueprint for each scenario.

For facilitating the workshop, see:

Here are the layers/colors we use: Service Blueprint Layers

These colors can be had as Post-IT stickies from 3M. Here are their ordering numbers:

“Marrakesh”, MEMOBLOK 3M POST-IT 655-SSMK 76X127MM ASS

“Rio”, MEMOBLOK 3M POST-IT 655-SSRO 76X127MM RIO

“Bora bora”, MEMOBLOK 3M POST-IT 655-SSJP 76X127MM SS RD/GN/BL

3b. After the workshop

It’s time to digitize your service blueprints. Do this using Lush. Lush allows you to specify your service blueprint in Markdown and renders it using friendly HTML. Below is a blueprint created using Lush.

Digital Service Blueprint - Emma and Lois

For those of you not into Lush-y business, you can always fallback to Excel or Powerpoint templates.

See also:

4. Collect critical moments and ideas

Notice the teams, products and dependencies you need to achieve a better service experience. Collect information from the service blueprints and group them.

For the service blueprint ‘Setting different channel preferences for the elderly in one go’, the following teams and dependencies crop up:

Teams and Dependencies - Emma and Lois

5. Theme Identification

Once you’ve identified the teams, products and dependencies, it’s time to gather themes for their backlog. These are the themes you need to have done to improve the overall service experience. Some of these themes might depend on each other, while others might be independent. Before diving into themes, do check out the difference between themes and features.

For the service blueprint ‘Setting different channel preferences for the elderly in one go’, the following themes emerge:

  • Team Banking Preferences API: API Design, Metrics that enable continuous improvement, Failure scenarios
  • Team Website: Wizard to enable a seamless experience, Feedback capture, Metrics that enable continuous improvement.
  • Team App: Wizard for setting app preferences, Metrics that enable continuous improvement.
  • Team ATM: Minimal way of configuring ATM preferences, Metrics that enable continuous improvement.
  • Team Call Center: Direct call to the correct call center employee.

6. Strategic and Tactical Insights

It’s now time to prioritise the themes you’ve defined. Do this with the stakeholders who manage the different backlogs. Ensure that they understand the priority and dependencies on others. Create roadmaps and milestones from the prioritised themes. Review and steer the progress along the way. Repeat this whole process once every half year to track changes.