Design thinking

A catalyst for customer orientation

Stefan Moritz & Malin Orebäck

Increased competitive pressure, technology convergence and changing user behaviors require a new approach to future-proof businesses and organizations. Service design has a track record of being a catalyst towards customer orientation, organizational alignment and improving the total customer experience.

The paradigm shift

We are in a fundamental shift from the industrial to the networked society, where in Sweden 74% of the economy is in services. However, the quality and productivity is comparatively poor. The rate of failure of new services is around 60%. And customer behavior and expectations are changing fast, driving many brands to rethink their offering and marketing. CEOs recognize that solutions based on inside-out optimization are not enough and seek a new approach to reinvent their business strategy. Many brands refocus, from customer acquisition through advertising, towards adding value for existing customers, increasing loyalty, brand affinity and thus earning share of wallet and market by delivering a great customer experience.

Service design is the approach to innovate or improve services to make them more useful, usable and desirable for customers and efficient as well as effective for organizations.

Service Design – Practical access to an evolving field, by S. Moritz.

The six Service Design principles

We have been applying design-thinking and methods to services and customer experiences for almost any type of organization. And we have found that it helps our clients to focus, save time and money as well as invent new value propositions and revenue opportunities. Based on our experience and international best practice we have built The FabricTM as a systematic way of working. It includes six modular and interconnected principles.

1. Learn – As services happen in participation with customers and over time, it is important to map the customer journey and the customer experience over time, etc. Thus finding out what your customers really want and need . This ensures that any offering optimization is focused on delivering real value from the customer’s point of view. Also, deep insights generate future opportunities for differentiation as latent needs are uncovered.

2. Bring to life – Enable common understanding and buy-in throughout the organization by bringing to life and exposing insights and ideas in a way that invites and engages key stakeholders and customers. Use a dedicated project space where visualizations, role-play and tangible artifacts are used for the team to enable a more effective collaboration.

3. Engage – Foster essential participation and buy-in from customers and key stakeholders within the organization. This engagement throughout the process contributes with different perspectives and increases buy-in and impact.

4. Sense making – Map out and set a direction in context of the entire ecosystem. Use visualization and mapping to inform strategic decisions and enable designing product-service systems across organizational boundaries with the customers in focus.

5. Explore – Prototype, test and co-create options, ideas and solutions together with customers and stakeholders. Fail early, fail often and fail cheap. Get rid of bad ideas before you invest too much in them.

6. Scale and sustain – Make it happen, support implementation and measure outcomes. All back stage systems needs to be in place so that everything works smoothly front stage.


Saving costs and creating mutual value

Increased competitive pressure, technology convergence and complexity require a new way to think and collaborate with stakeholders and customers to focus, drive savings, build new revenue, create differentiation and re-think business models. Tapping into unmet needs reveals business opportunities and generates a greater strategic customer focus. It is a great way to bring departments closer together and mitigate the risk of failure. The benefits of service design, according to our experience, is definitely several.


The best way to get started

Are you curious about service design? Please contact Stefan Moritz or read more here.