A service blueprint is a template that is used to map out internal operations and external customer actions. In addition to providing a visual overview of customer interactions and touchpoints, service blueprints also illustrate the ‘backstage’ processes and systems required to deliver the service. When creating a document that details so many moving parts, it can get confusing and difficult to manage. In order to make that easier, we’ve created a list of some important service blueprint best practices to follow.
Service Blueprint Best Practices
Here are some service blueprint best practices to follow when building your template.
A blueprint should be created for each core service, similar to how customer journey mapping is done. Blueprints are complex enough already – don’t make matters worse by trying to include multiple services in a single blueprint. Make sure you limit the scope to a single service. You can always connect multiple templates at a later date if this is required.
Add Indicators to Each Step
It may take the customer five seconds or 5 minutes to complete a step in the blueprint. Adding time to the top allows for a better understanding of the service. Measuring quality metrics is about understanding where you may succeed or fail in your interactions with the user. This is especially important when the product/service has a given wait or loading time that customers need to get past.
Rooted in Research
Creating a service blueprint requires primary data sources (e.g., workflow records, work-log sheets, or customer feedback). If these aren’t included, you can’t be positive that the template will be fully accurate. Make sure that your template is rooted in research to make it credible.
Creating a service blueprint should be an iterative process. Think about using personas and empathy maps, journey maps, and experience maps to get the first pass, then come back to refine the blueprint.
Value Both Output and Process
Engaging employees and stakeholders across groups and visualizing an otherwise abstract infrastructure can spur collaborative conversation and change. This is all possible without even mentioning the end results of the service blueprint. Make sure that you find value not only in the results of the template but also in the process.
5 Tips for Creating Successful Service Blueprints
We’ve listed our five tips below to get the most out of your service blueprint.
It is crucial to involve representatives from multiple teams in the blueprint creation and iteration. This helps to ensure that all information gathered is accurate and representative, as well as helps to keep those who will implement the services up-to-date on any changes to existing or new services.
Create Clear Swim Lanes
The rows of a service blueprint are known as swim lanes. All service blueprints come with a number of swim lanes, such as customer touchpoints and backstage actions. However, if you want, you can add more swim lanes beyond the standard format to customize the blueprint to your needs.
If you use the standard format or add more swimlanes, you should provide context to the titles. Not all users will know your work. So providing a short description will make your blueprint more readable and understandable.
Consider the Size
If your blueprint is too large, you may have trouble using it. Thus, you may want to consider also providing a view broken down into smaller sections like journey stages to maintain engagement and usability. This can easily be done on an online whiteboard and makes life easier for everyone involved.
Make It a Living Document
Service blueprints should enable teams to create new service channels and assess and maintain the services over time. As a result, they should be easily editable so that they can be updated over time. When deciding what tool to use to create your service blueprint, it is important to keep this in mind.
When developing your blueprint, it is important to remember that not everyone who will use it will have been involved in its development. If you do it right, the blueprint should grow and develop over time. Therefore, a contextual overview can be useful to those who are using it.
With the above service blueprint best practices, it’s easy to see how service blueprints are an ideal solution for companies seeking to understand complex systems, services, or processes. If you liked this article about service blueprint best practices, make sure you look at our articles detailing how to build one yourself and the various advantages of implementing them.