Using Tools of Service Design to Facilitate Knowledge-Intensive Service Activities

Not only professional service designers can apply tools of service design in order to create and develop offerings. Service providers themselves can use those tools to facilitate communication with clients. Following post describes how knowledge-intensive services could benefit from integrating tools of  service design into service delivery process.

Perceived value of a service is quite an abstract term, mainly due to immaterial nature of service itself. It is actually quite rear that you can measure a concrete and precise value of the outcome, like ROI for example. Legitimacy of perceived value becomes especially questionable when you try to define in a knowledge-intensive service: client may simply not have enough competence to evaluate on the outcome of a complex problem-solving process.

One may ask, why is it important at all that the client would equitably evaluate on the value of knowledge-intensive service. Answer is quite simple: these services engage a large amount of competence (ex. training, consultancy, specific technical service, etc.). Price list for this type of work is rather high, outcome very intangible and the amount of actual effort to deliver the service is quite vague to customer. As a result service buyer often feels that he has overpaid. Bottom line: client is unhappy.

To fix the problem one would need to make the process of service delivery more transparent. We suggest that service design tools integrated into service process could achieve it.

Typical issue with knowledge intensive service activities is that a client first contacting the service provider does not really know what he needs. Why not apply the tools that service designers use to empathize and define the problem, ex. empathy map? Respectively there are tools to be borrowed and implemented also in the stages of creating a personolized offering and implementing it.

As many tools of service design are ment to engage service buyer and to visualise the process they could also make the delivery of knowledge-intensive business service much more transparent and help the client to evaluate on the outcome value.