The purpose of a service blueprint is to visualize the relationships between customer service interactions and the internal resources and processes that support them. Service blueprints separate those activities that are visible to the customer (Frontstage) from those that are not (Backstage). Relationships are illustrated using lines that communicate operations and flow. Service blueprints expose the innerworkings of specific scenarios that are typically a part of a larger customer journey. A large end-to-end customer journey may require multiple service blueprints. Service blueprints are most relevant to marketers when exploring how to introduce or change a customer-facing service. Multiple departments are typically required to create a service blueprint, particularly when the customer scenario involves different touchpoints and cross-functional coordination.
What happens behind the scenes to support this customer service scenario?
- Determine the start and end point of the customer scenario you are focusing on, including the ultimate goal of the customer. Capture the flow of the relevant actions taken by the customer to achieve this goal.
- Identify the relevant frontstage actions taken by your organization (including people or technology) to support each customer action. The internal actions are visible to the customer, and meet at the Line of Interaction.
- Identify the backstage actions that support your frontstage activities. These activities are not visible to the customer, but may be completed by frontstage personnel. Capture these below the Line of Visibility.
- Identify the relevant support processes that are required for your backstage actions. These may involve underlying technical operations or partners that support your personnel. Capture these below the Line of Internal Interaction.
- Finally, capture the physical evidence that the customer comes into contact with at each step of the scenario. This may include communication and touchpoints used to serve and influence the customer.
- Service blueprints are designed to expose the current state, resist the urge to jump ahead to future solutions.
- Consider adding timing to your blueprint to illustrate how long certain actions should take to complete.
- Service blueprints can be used to diagnose existing services and explore how to provide new offerings.
Shostack, G. Lynn. "Designing Services that Deliver", Harvard Business Review, vol. 62, no. 1