Service Design Thinking for your Business
Creating a service that best meets the needs of your clients requires a great deal of strategic design, collaboration, trial and error, and a leap of faith.
The first and foremost position to start with when developing your business or re-designing your current business is to ask 5 whys?
- Why would a client require your services?
- Why are you selling?
- Why do you put in the hours to make your business work?
- Why are you unique in the market?
- Why do you really, really, really want this for your business?
Plan, Plan, and plan some more. Time is the only expense when you continuously plan. Planning can open up Pandora’s box but it helps you define what key themes you wish to pursue within your business.
This is when your business moves away from product driven, and instead moves towards a social design platform that nurtures and supports clients. This then becomes the 1st WHY of the business.
Developing the social paradigm of each client allowed myself to create a business that was solely designed to meet their individual needs. The best way to do this is to speak to your clients and ask them what does a typical day look like. It is here that you realise that people are so time poor and you are supporting their lifestyle through time-add strategies. This is a 2nd WHY.
In developing a social design strategy for your clients you will soon discover that there are key signs and symptoms that can make or break their commitment to turning up to working with you. We can call this the businesses critical wellness instrument. What this means is that there are critical aspects of each of your clients’ social context that will affect whether they commit to working with you long-term. It is important for you to design a strategy that creates alternatives to make your clients feel that they are supported even in the presence of life’s pressures. This is a 3rd WHY.
When does a business know whether to pivot or persevere? It may be difficult to accept but all businesses are destined to fail unless they have the tenacity to know when to pivot at the right time to keep up-to-date and become innovators within your field. Service design thinkers are programmed to continually challenge the status quo and find solutions to new and arising problems that arise within developing societies. The simplest behaviours that you have done every day for many years can be tweaked ever-so-slightly to improve the design of your business.
For example, a client of ours who ran a Personal Training business would weigh each client once weekly and record their results. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that the social paradigm of their clientele did not feel comfortable weighing in. They were focussed on health, well-being and mobility through exercise to know whether they are improving or not. They all knew that they would be weighed-in the next time they visit their GP. This awareness created an extra 10 minutes of training without the added angst of the dreaded weigh-in. All in all a win-win for the trainer and clients. A fourth dimension to WHY we are selling?
Service design thinking does not always need elaborate, complex changes to the way you run your business. They are usually cost effective and authentically designed to support clients and bring them to the forefront of service.
And finally you must ask yourself WHY are you in business? What is the lifetime value (LTV) that you can provide to your clients AND NOT what they provide to you. You have a corporate social responsibility to provide for your clients, as well as for the families and friends that they interact with. This is when your business accepts its why in creating a social ecosystem for the services you have designed and offer.
When designing your business or re-designing or pivoting your current business, ask yourself the 5 Whys and consider the social design of the services you offer with your client’s needs first and foremost in mind.
Written By Joseph Kazzi