Use things such as souvenirs to extend the service, and think holistically to find new ways of improving.

Now that we’ve covered the first three principles of service design let’s turn to the last two – evidencing and holistic thinking.

When designing a service, it’s good to think of a tangible item, or physical evidence, for your service. This is something that can prolong the service and act as a reminder for a customer after they’ve used the service – a sort of service souvenir, if you will.

Tourists and travelers bring home evidence from their trips in the form of coffee mugs, snow globes or postcards that depict the places they’ve been, whether it’s a hotel, the French Riviera or Niagara Falls.

Your service souvenir should function similarly. It should extend the experience into a post-service period and remind your customers of the great time they had, thus increasing the chances that they’ll become return customers.

Finally, to help you see the complete, big picture of your service, it’s time to take a holistic approach.

So far, we’ve mostly covered methods to help you see every tiny detail of your service, the goal being to overlook nothing. But it’s just as important not to get lost in the details and fail to see the grand design.

For example, you might be thinking a lot about what people see – but don’t forget what they hear, smell and even taste while interacting with your service. All of these senses can ultimately play a part.

Going back to the barbershop, customers are sure to be affected by the interior design, so rather than having harsh colors, you might want to choose a calming pastel.

Thinking holistically will also help you see the potential for alternative sequences that could improve how the service begins, ends or unfolds.

For instance, what if there was always a pot of freshly brewed coffee in your barbershop? Customers would not only have the option to enjoy a cup; the fresh brew would also fill the shop with a pleasant aroma. Talk about making a good first impression.

Now that we’ve covered the five principles of service-design thinking, it’s time to break out the toolbox.

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