At Make it Clear we love to map processes. It provides clarity on ways of working and enables teams to align and continually improve and maintain practices. Not to mention the positive impact this has on delivering a best-in-class customer experience.
A service blueprint is one example of mapping a process. Service blueprints provide a visual overview of customer interactions and touch points as well as the ‘backstage’ actions and systems required to deliver the service. The ‘backstage’ is what goes on behind the scenes that the customer cannot see such as: support processes, teams involved, tools and systems needed and in some cases can also include insights such as employee pain points.
We’ve listed our six tips below to get the most out of your service blueprint.
For more insights on how to create a service blueprints and why they are useful, check out our latest report ‘Delivering an outstanding customer experience’ here.
1. Make sure the right people are in the room
Having representatives from all teams involved in the blueprint creation and iteration is essential. This not only ensures all information gathered is representative and correct but also helps with getting those who will be implementing the service onboard with any changes to existing or new services.
2. Start lo-fi first
When first creating the blueprint start with a spreadsheet or post-its to gather and organise all of the information. This will allow you to continue to collate, refine and iterate information needed as well as place focus on the content without being distracted by the visual layout. The fidelity of your blueprint should then continue to develop as the content is confirmed.
3. Ensure your blueprint swim lanes are clearly defined and well understood
The blueprint ‘swim lanes’ / channels / sections, whatever you like to call them, are the rows of the blueprint. Blueprints have standard swim lanes such as ‘Customer touchpoints’ and ‘Back stage actions’, but in some instances you may choose to add a number of additional swimlanes beyond the standard format to tailor the blueprint to your needs. Whether you add more swimlanes or use the standard format, it’s important to add context to the title. Not all users of your blueprint will be familiar with the work you have done, so adding a short description to each will support clarity and usability e.g. Back office systems: Supporting systems, tools or technology that need to be in place to enable teams and customers to complete the above actions.
4. Consider the size
If your blueprint is too large it may become unusable and confusing. Consider whether it would be appropriate to also provide a view of your blueprint broken down into smaller sections such as by journey stage to maintain engagement and usability.
5. Make it a living document
Your service blueprint should enable teams to not only implement but also assess and maintain the service. Therefore the blueprint should be easily editable to allow it to grow and reflect changes over time. It is important to keep this in mind when deciding what tool or program to build your blueprint in, we like to use Miro to enable easy collaboration and editing.
6. Provide context
It is important to consider that not everyone who will be using the blueprint will have been involved in its development. If done successfully, the blueprint should grow and develop over years to come. Therefore adding a contextual overview to your blueprint can be handy to onboard users. We like to include information such as an introduction to the project, what the service blueprint can be used for, what information can be found in the blueprint and who to contact should the user have questions, feedback or suggestions. This could be a simple one pager or if the blueprint is significant in size consider creating a short 2-3 minute walk-through video.
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