Service Blueprint – Know everything you need to

what is service blueprint

If you have been running your business and have been experiencing loopholes and issues lately, chances are that the lack of strategies and a proper outline of the processes involved could be the reason to blame. With so many possible things going wrong in a process of an organization, having a service blueprint is a necessity above anything else.

Owing to the lack of knowledge, many organizations fail to have a proper structure to their service blueprint which is one of the reasons why we are going to explain all the nitty gritty that you possibly need to know about the service blueprinting process.

What is Service Blueprint?

The Service Blueprint helps in creating an outline to explain the overall core of the business including the prospects of the behind the scenes that are included when it comes to the process of how one operates and delivers the services aligned to the customer’s needs and satisfaction.

service blueprint example
Image Source: Lucidchart

This helps in drawing out all the steps that are involved in the service process to further help in understanding the design process a little better to ensure seamless and error free execution in the end.

While many tend to have confusion how the service blueprint differs from the customer journey mapping, know for a fact that a number of things in the same are different.

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What is the history of Service Blueprint?

Service blueprint was first drawn and then introduced by G. Lynn Shostack in the Harvard Business Review back in the year of 1984.

These were designed to help businesses have a better structure for their service process to ensure seamless execution. Given how effective it is in helping businesses grow and evolve, the same has effectively become a lot more popular over the years.

These models are now being used by majority of the operational management to help gauge the overall work efficiency in an organization.

What are the elements involved in a Service blueprint?

Before we help you out with the ways by which you can create a service blueprint, it is very important for you to understand what kind of elements are included in a service blueprint and the kind of importance that they have on the final result.

Some of the important elements include:

Customer actions

This is the information collected based off of what the customer does during the overall service experience, be it bad or good.

Front-stage

Also otherwise known as the visible employee actions, the front-stage includes the information regarding what the customer is interacting and witnessing with. For example, in case of a tech based company, it would talk about the kind of technology that the customer is interacting with.

Backstage

This is also known as the invisible contact employee actions and includes all the possible actions and preparations that are done by the customers that aren’t physically visible out on the front.

Support process

This includes all the additional service and the processes that are provided to the employee to further provide seamless service to the customers in question.

Lines

These are the elements that are used to easily separate each of the categories present in the service blueprint. It helps in providing better clarifications on how the components in the service process are interacting. This also provides the employees and the higher authorities to get a better understanding of their roles involved.

Optional categories

These include the excess elements and information that are needed but can’t be categorized under the other elements involved in the process.

Physical evidence

Lastly, the physical evidence are the information and the prospects that both the customers and the employees come in contact with. This is the last element that is added to the service blueprint.

How to build a Service Blueprint?

service blueprint example 2
Image Source: Wikipedia

Now that you are aware of the basic elements and what service blueprints entail, it is important that you know of the ways that can come in handy for building the blueprint.

For this, there are some important steps that one needs to know of that we are going to be sharing along with you.

Some of the important steps to follow include:

  • In order to successfully create a service blueprint, it is necessary that an employee successfully identifies a specific end to end journey of a customer that one would be focusing on blueprinting
  • Apart from the customer journey, often times, these scenarios that one needs to choose can also stem from an organizational scenario as well. This should explain every step of the process involved
  • Including cross functional collaboration among varying sections of the organization is an absolute must to create a fool proof service blueprint
  • Also ensure that you clear and clarify all the lanes of responsibility and action for better illustration of the stages and steps
  • Once each of the categories are mapped out, it is important that another level of detailing is added with highlighting the cross functional relationships. These elements come together to help provide with better solutions to the service processes and the overall customer experiences as well
  • Once these are sorted, the end result with the created blueprint will help draw a complete picture of the entire experience from the prospects of end to end and surface to core

Creating a service blueprint will vary from organization to organization and won’t have any kind of specific standard template. The best thing about this is the fact that the same is highly customizable and completely depends on the requirements or the lags that the organization is experiencing.

Are the customer journey mapping and service blueprint same?

When we are talking about service blueprint, it is likely that many will confuse it for customer journey mapping as well.

While these might seem similar in terms of the purpose they serve, they also do have dissimilarities.

The major different between the two is the fact that the customer journey mapping helps in finding the end to end pathway of the customer’s journey from the start to the end while the service blueprint helps in providing with a better outlook on the overall reality of the organization and the kind of services that they are providing.

The service blueprint provide with an objective picture. While you are likely going to have multiple journey maps based on the number of customers, the service blueprint is often just one for your organization.

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The service blueprint helps in getting a glimpse into the end to end and the surface to core capabilities of the organization and is multi dimensional which isn’t the case with the customer journey mapping which is restricted by the internal capability.

What are the benefits of service blueprint?

Now that we are aware of all the highlights and the important elements involved in a service blueprint, let us go over the list of benefits of using it for an organization, shall we?

Better scalability

The first and possibly one of the primary reasons why organizations now-a-days swear by the service blueprint is all because of the better scalability option. It has the capability of including as many or as little information, based on the requirements which do make it quite a flexible option for you to look into.

Improved cross functionality

When everyone is working on a large scale, employees and the managers tend to experience the issues surrounding losing sight of the bigger picture. The use of service blueprints does provide with an enhanced outlook on things and provides with better clarity and reduced siloes.

Better comparison

Having a service blueprint drawn is one of the best ways to compare the services that you are currently providing with the one that you want to provide. Additionally, it also allows you to make the comparisons with that of a competitor as well.

Early failure analysis

If your organization has been experiencing failure, drawing out a service blueprint can chalk out the loopholes for better understanding of things. Not just that, it also helps in early analysis of the possible failures, further ensuring to keep that to a bare minimum or cut it out completely for enhanced work execution.

The End Note

If you have been meaning to find ways to mitigate the issues regarding possible failures and have a better mode of action, having a service blueprint can help keep that in check.

This helps in creating a visible structure for having a layout for better implementation of the operational goals. The prospect of the cross functionality of this diagram helps in fostering better understanding and communication in the long run.

It also lets the management and the operational teams in an organization understand their customer better and respond accordingly based off of the needs and requirements as mentioned by the customer.

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