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Improve an existing service experience

When you are working on an already established service and you want to renovate it

1. Study the as-is experience in detail

Analyse the current experience provided by the service, unpacking each step in the journey in terms of actions needed, touchpoints involved, emerging pain points. Building the as-is experience journey allows to capture the overall picture of the service experience and immediately highlight the critical aspects that need to be addressed with the redesign, facilitating alignment within the organization. For complex services, building a service blueprint as a result of the analysis could be helpful - so to capture the critical aspects included in the process itself and in the relationship with the different touchpoints.

2. Analyse how the service is structured

The experience and process are just partial views on the service itself: another aspect to consider when analysing an existing service is how the underlaying system is structured in terms of components and dynamics. A comprehensive understanding of the system allows to see missing connections as well as duplications or potential waste of efforts and resources. Building a system map helps clarify those aspects to the entire team and discuss untapped opportunities for improvement.

3. Set specific target goals to guide the vision

Before jumping into ideation, take some time to reflect on the outcomes of the analysis of the system and experience, and identify some key goals you want to reach with the redesign initiative. Goals could be transversal (e.g. “optimization of the information flows throughout the entire journey”) or very specific (e.g. “onboarding: from filling a form to a warm welcome”). It’s important to ground the goals into a detailed understanding of the as-is state in order to set the right approach while being aware of potential limitations and blockers to work-around.

4. Generate lots of ideas and solutions

Come up with ideas that could address all the identified pain points in the journey or gaps in the system, as well as capture interesting opportunities. The ideas could go from small improvements of specific functionalities to broader concepts that impact the entire service model. At this stage, don’t give yourself any limit in terms of amount of ideas or feasibility: capture every single thoughts, share with other team members and build one on top of each other thinking.

5. Identify the most promising concepts

Collect all the brainstormed ideas and define an action plan for the next steps. If the project is simple, it could be easy to consolidate all the ideas into a single redesign solution, to be developed in progressive steps. In other cases, you may end up with 50 or even more ideas that can innovate the current service experience, and it’s obviously impossible to invest in all of them, so.. where to start? Building an evaluation matrix help defining some criteria to analyse each concept (e.g. value for the user, cost of implementation, distinctiveness, etc.) and score them accordingly. It will help distinguishing amongst very promising ideas that could be easily built and bring high value (probably the first ones to develop), versus extremely simple concepts that could nicely improve certain parts of the service without making a huge difference (low-hanging fruits), versus more complex innovation that takes more time and investment but will have high impact on the service experience in the long-run.