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What is a Service Blueprint?

A service blueprint is an artifact that visually describes the unseen — how the behind-the-scenes people, processes, and physical (or digital) resources ultimately support a specific customer journey.

Why Should You Use a Service Blueprint?

Your customer's experience does not depend on your org chart. Yet the sum of many parts in your organization are responsible for delivering this experience. A service blueprint gives employees the opportunity to identify how an experience is delivered, finding opportunities to optimize the resulting experience and to take ownership of various parts. 

Some key benefits of this work and the resulting artifact(s) include:

  • Uncover systemic organizational weaknesses and inefficiencies.
  • Identify opportunities for optimization.
  • Assign areas of ownership for the experience.
  • Flatten silos by sharing responsibility for the customer experience.
  • Help organizations make decisions that matter.

How Do We Do This?

Since a service blueprint reflects the operations of an organization, these artifacts must be created by pulling frontstage and backstage inputs from real employee accounts and validating these inputs through internal research. This research and validation will likely need to traverse functional groups across an organization. The basic ingredients of a good serve blueprint includes:

  1. Evidence – This represents the physical and digital touchpoints, or focal points for interaction. With the restaurant scenario, evidence could be a billboard or menu or emailed coupon.
  2. Customer Actions – A slimmed down representation of the steps, choices, activities, and other actions a customer takes with an organization to reach a particular goal.
  3. Frontstage Actions (What the Customer Sees) – A customer does not just act – they interact with you, so this layer should reflect what the customer sees during touchpoints along the journey. Who do they communicate with? What tools do they use to transact with the organization? What is the trigger? What happens next? How is the transaction completed?
  4. Backstage Actions (Unseen Steps and Activities that Support Frontstage Actions) – This is the most important information in this artifact, reflecting the actions taken by employees unseen by the customer (e.g., cook in the kitchen) or a frontstage employee who does something unseen by the customer (e.g., waiter entering order into a touchscreen system).
  5. Support Processes – This reflects the steps that must take place internally to fulfill the customer’s journey. This typically reflects actions from employees who do not regularly interact with customers.

Microlearning

4 Key Components of Service Blueprints

A service blueprint visualizes the relationships between different service components — people, props, and processes. Four key elements comprise a framework for service blueprinting that can be scaled to any scope or timeline.

The 5 Steps to Service Blueprinting

Five key steps comprise a framework for service blueprinting that can be scaled to any scope or timeline.