A Peripheral Vision of Service Design

A great guest contribution by blogger & researcher Fred Zimny, who has been concerning himself with service design and service management for quite some time now. In this post, he kindly shares his insights into the topic.

As a human, as a professional and as a person I aim to elicit responses from people. That is the reason why I have been in customer service for almost 35 years. And may be that is one of the reasons why I use social media and blogs extensively.

In customer service one truly has to understand the beliefs of customers, leads, staff and team members, managers and stakeholders. Not comprehending their beliefs makes work and life very difficult. I will not refer to the 7 habits of highly effective people (although i just did).

Talking about effectiveness, to remain effective as a professional or person one has to be keen on new developments. One might argue whether the current service design approach is much different to that of Grönroos or the excellent work of Bitner, Zeithaml or Parasumaran in the ’80’s and 90’s, for example.

In my opinion it changed and changes impressively. Service management evolves as a science, a best practice and as art. And the growth of the importance of services in any economy has been phenomenally in the last 25 years.

Service design and service management have also become so much broader: applicable to profit and non profit organizations, being capable of implementing a strategy right into the heart of operations and integrating the outside world into the processes (and sometimes premises) of any company or institution. It is breathtaking to realize how in the UK government, healthcare and municipalities are using service design for their target groups, clients and customers. Or that some great scholars and practitioners in Austria apply service design in the traditional world of tourism.

And let us not forget how technology impacts almost any service activity: from self-service to collaborative consumption.

Talking about effectiveness again: peripheral vision enabled our ancestors to survive (because through it they realized that there was danger coming). It is my sincere belief that following the topic of service design and service management (or attending a conference about these kind of subjects) enables one to survive as a professional, as a person, an organization and as institution.
And indeed, as a blogger I aim to elicit responses from my readers.

Photo by Jonny Goldstein / License