A design thinking approach to customer experience and service design
Walk in your customers’ shoes. Design thinking helps you do just that.
Delight customers with well-designed experiences and you’ll be rewarded with high rates of user satisfaction and retention—elements that contribute to increased profitability and market share.  Organizations that invest in design have about 50 percent better long-term financial health than organizations that skip design.  Elevate how customers experience your brand to elevate your bottom line.
Our design thinking approach puts customers at the core of customer experience management and service design, helping you listen in new ways to gain new insights that help you map remarkable customer journeys.
What is customer experience management?
Creating an authentic customer experience is a bit like heading out on a hike. You have a destination in mind. We’ll bring the compass and map. We can travel this uncharted customer territory together. Here’s a look at the landscape ahead: Customers are hoping to experience your brand in a unique way.
They want consistent yet personalized experiences at every turn. These customer expectations provide an opportunity to learn about your actual customers’ journeys and identify opportunities to replace ordinary experiences with extraordinary experiences.
While the terrain may change, the landscape itself remains the same. Customers expect your organization will be easy to do business with, your products will work as expected, your services will be seamless and they’ll be delighted by their interactions with you.
What is service design?
Service design is an improvement method. It’s the creation of the social, physical and emotional context in which people experience your brand. Successful service design improves processes for internal and external users and eliminates inefficiency. It’s a way to drive growth through product and market innovation, and it’s a way to test concepts before releasing them into the wild.
Service design brings together diverse collaborators to resolve unmet needs. At service design’s core is the fundamental belief that collaboration yields the best solutions.
In order to facilitate collaboration, service design focuses on listening to understand client needs. That’s because for service design to work, our ears must be open—and our eyes, too. We listen to clients and aid them in listening to the people they serve.
Tools of the trade
When working on customer experience and service design projects, we work with your team to develop a deep understanding of your customer touchpoints and users’ interactions. We help you develop these insights by ‘listening’ to your customers in a variety of different ways. Interviews, focus groups, customer engagement surveys, visit pathways, heat mapping and social media monitoring are among the tools we use.
To turn data into insights, we collaborate with your team to create one or more of the following:
Dashboards help you visualize changes in customer experience and satisfaction and identify exceptional and underperforming touchpoints.
Empathy maps aid your team and organization in understanding the unique needs of specific customers. By mapping these needs, teams can better anticipate how customers might respond to changes or enhancements in an experience or identify opportunities to personalize an experience.
Customer personas provide detailed portraits of key customer types, helping you visualize the very customers who will be interacting with your organization to ensure the experience you create can be personalized for their needs.
Journey maps outline customer movements through touchpoints. For new customer journeys (start-ups, expansions, new channels), journey maps offer a visual explanation for the expected experiences. For existing customer experiences, journey mapping exercises create a shared understanding within your team and organization of opportunities to enhance or personalize the customer experience.
Get real about how things get done. If journey mapping is about people, process mapping is about things—where things fall off and how things are accomplished.
Brainstorm solutions. There are zero bad ideas in ideation, because they help us better understand the “why” and “why not” of our work.
Get objective, yet encouraging, feedback. We provide productive friction to challenge your team, pushing them to shift perspectives and dig deep.
Jam Planning and Leadership
Improvise during a “jam session.” We lead you through a day of brainstorms, prototypes, priorities and iterations in your service design project.
Experiential Learning Development
Get hands on. Together we develop ways to run through the service experience, identifying areas for improvement.
Disciplined service design process
We use a simple three-step service design process. And, we execute with discipline.
We use a simple, repeatable process to optimize the customer experience, collaborating with your team and your customers to create shared understanding as we work.
The first step is a needs assessment. We’ll interview your team and review available analytics to learn about your customer base. To supplement this information, we can deep-dive into customer interviews, jam sessions, satisfaction surveys, social media monitoring, pathway analysis and more. To make sense of the data, we’ll develop empathy maps, customer journey maps, customer personas and more.
Based on what we learn, we’ll either map the ideal journey (for start-ups or new channels) or identify the channels or experiences we want to target for improvement. We’ll plan these customer experience and service design enhancements to determine how we will measure their effectiveness.
Following the planning phase, your team will take action. Because this process is iterative, we’ll work with you to determine whether the changes are producing the expected results. (If you guessed that the findings take us back to Step 1, you’re right!) There, we can build on the changes that are working and iterate to improve touchpoints not seeing the expected outcomes.
What differentiates Blue Door Consulting from other service design firms?
Our extensive digital experience equips us with tools to deep dive into data and find insights in unexpected places. We pair that analytical know-how with a passion for listening. The storytellers among us know few things are more powerful than hearing real people tell real stories.
To hone our design thinking skills, we’ve participated in international service design brainstorms (aka “jams”) and brought it home by facilitating regional design initiatives for corporate clients, education and government agencies and non-profit organizations.
The way we see it, the whole world needs more relevant, user-friendly and streamlined experiences. Thoughtful customer experience and service design is a competitive advantage. Experiences “that just make sense” don’t happen by accident—and the loyalty you’ll earn won’t be an accident, either.
 Razavi, Lauren. “How to Design a Business That Charms Customers.” The Guardian. The Guardian News and Media Limited, 16 Nov. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
 Kolarz, Peter, Paul Simmonds, Oliver Cassagneau-Francis, Helena Kovacs, Tammy Sharp, and Martin Wain. Innovation by Design. N.p.: n.p., n.d.Design Council. Design Council, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
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Contact us today for a complimentary, one-hour consultation.
If your organization is looking for a design thinking firm with which to partner and meet new customer and market challenges, we stand ready to help.
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