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What is Service Design?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Service design is the process of efficiently arranging the offering of goods and services so that consumers enjoy a higher quality of interaction with providers in the delivery and consumption of those products. The general concept can be related to just about any type of consumer products that are offered by different businesses, and can have an impact on just about every function within the infrastructure of the company offering those products. Along with issues such as packaging design, ease of access to the products, and making the usage of the products simple and therefore more desirable, service design can also have to do with the selection of materials used to create products, the offering of effective customer service during and after a purchase, and even the follow-up that takes place after a purchase.

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One of the easiest ways to understand how service design functions is to consider the operation of a local restaurant. In order to attract customers, a restaurant will create a menu of food selections that are likely to appeal to consumers within the immediate area. However, the service design does not end there. The menu items must be prepared using quality ingredients in order to attract and maintain the business of local consumers. At the same time, the layout of the operation must be clean, visually inviting and easily accessible to consumers, both inside and outside the restaurant. The service design in this case means that along with the creation of a welcoming environment within the restaurant, the parking area must adequately accommodate enough vehicles to fill the seats inside, while also minimizing the amount of distance consumers must walk from the car to the interior.

Continuing with the idea of employing service design in the restaurant, consumers must be greeted warmly but professionally, shown to a table and made comfortable, and have their food and drink orders taken in a timely manner. Delivering quality food to the table within a reasonable amount of time also goes a long way in achieving a suitable degree of success with service design. Servers who periodically approach diners to refill beverage glasses and make sure the guests are comfortable and satisfied enhance the service system of the restaurant significantly, and often make a huge difference when it comes to building a steady clientele. Finally, making the process of paying for the meals simple and easy helps to crown the experience for consumers, and increase the chances for repeat business.

In order to provide all these amenities to consumers, a business must look closely at how it structures the service design of the business. This means designing infrastructures that anticipate customer expectations and fulfill them with no delays. Along with materials components, communication components that allow a clear line of interaction between the business and the consumer is vital. At the same time, the communication processes within the operation must also function at peak efficiency, making it possible to meet and exceed customer expectations without fail. An enterprise structure of this type requires a great deal of time and effort to create, but ultimately pays off in a steady flow of profits and a great deal of customer loyalty.

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