How to Use Service Design in Your Guest Experience

Guest Experience leaders care about their Guests. Many leaders understand Guests and have some insight into their experiences and needs. Often, though, these same leaders struggle to turn insight into action. Fortunately, the ninth session of the summer term of the 2016 GsD program – a reading survey course – introduces solutions for this topic.

This reading survey journey has been a broad overview of some of the recent literature in the field of customer service – and you will quickly see how it connects to Guest Experiences! It’s only an introduction to whet your appetite – the application to the world of Guest Experiences for churches will come in the second summer term!

2016 GsD Summer Term 1: Survey of Customer Experience Literature 201

Text: Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience

Author: Ben Reason, Lavrans Løvlie, Melvin Brand Flu

Synopsis: A practical approach to better customer experience through service design

Service Design for Business helps you transform your customer’s experience and keep them engaged through the art of intentional service design. Written by the experts at Livework, this practical guide offers a tangible, effective approach for better responding to customers’ needs and demands, and provides concrete strategy that can be implemented immediately. You’ll learn how taking a design approach to problem solving helps foster creativity, and how to apply it to the real issues that move businesses forward. Highly visual and organized for easy navigation, this quick read is a handbook for connecting market factors to the organizational challenge of customer experience by seeing your company through the customers’ eyes.

Livework pioneered the service design industry, and guides organizations including Sony, the British Government, Volkswagen Procter & Gamble, the BBC, and more toward a more carefully curated customer experience. In this book, the Livework experts show you how to put service design to work in your company to solve the ongoing challenge of winning with customers.

  • Approach customer experience from a design perspective
  • See your organization through the lens of the customer
  • Make customer experience an organization-wide responsibility
  • Analyze the market factors that dovetail with customer experience design

The Internet and other digital technology has brought the world to your customers’ fingertips. With unprecedented choice, consumers are demanding more than just a great product—the organizations coming out on top are designing and delivering experiences tailored to their customers’ wants. Service Design for Business gives you the practical insight and service design perspective you need to shape the way your customers view your organization.

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Book Outline

Service Design for Business is structured around 12 challenges where the authors have seen service design impact business. These challenges are grouped into three areas: Customer Story, Business Impact, and Organizational Challenge. Before the challenges are tackled, the book introduces the basics and core concepts of service design. The book closes by unpacking some of the key tools used in the day-to-day practice of service design.

  • Why Service Design
  • Foundations: Three Critical Factors in Service Design
  • The Customer Story: Understanding Customers Better Provides the Basis for Customer-Driven Service Improvement and Innovation
  • Business Impact: Designing a Service Around Customer’s Needs Provides a New Way to Address Age-Old Business Challenges
  • Organizational Challenge: Using Customer Centricity to Move Your Organization Forward
  • Tools

About the authors: Ben Reason, Lavrans Løvlie, and Melvin Brand Flu are the founding partners of Livework studio, a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled team of service designers, systems thinkers, business designers, researchers and consultants. They believe that service design combines analytical and imaginative thinking.

Additional Resources: Check out the Livework website and its Customer Experience theme page, where you will find a great deal of information about the customer experience.


A Quick Comment: Design isn’t just choosing the right images and fonts for your next website revision. It’s a problem-solving process that incorporates the needs of Guests, team members, and partners in your mission. It’s a way of working that creates and refines real-world situations.

Design is the secret weapon of organizations that gives them a strategic advantage in figuring out what services their Guests need and in defining the exact characteristics of every Guest interaction. Design helps you understand how a Guest accesses your website, what a Guest is likely to do as they approach your campus, and gives you clues about creating a welcoming environment.

Design is the most important discipline that you’ve probably never heard of.

The right Guest Experience changes, implemented the right way, won’t just fall into your lap. You must actively design them. This requires learning – and then sticking to – the steps in a human-centered design process.

This book is for leaders interested in services and how design can help innovate and improve the Guest’s experience. Service design offers a new and powerful way to approach challenges, impact results and undertake change. This book provides the insight into how to apply service design in your organization.

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Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval of the Walt Disney Company. The use of GsD (Doctor of Guestology) is my tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations that really want to understand and deliver a WOW Guest Experience need to study the best practices and principles in use today, and then adapt them to the context of their own environment.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the 2013 GsD Summer Reading 101 classes, you can begin reading a 10-part session here.

For more reading in the area of Guest Experiences, check out my Essential Guest Experience Library. I am always adding new resources for your learning pleasure!

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