What is a Service Blueprint?

What is a Service Blueprint?

In this episode of the CX Matters Podcast, host Justin Tippett discusses Service Blueprints with special guest Rod Netterfield.

The episode includes:

  • An overview of Service Blueprints.
  • Why and when you should use one.
  • The difference between Customer Journey Maps and Service Blueprints.
  • Top tips!

If you’ve been interested in learning more about Service Blueprints or aren’t quite sure where to start, click the play button below now!

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CX Matters Podcast

21 December · Season 1 · Episode 4

13 Min, 28 Sec · By ACXPA

In this episode of the CX Matters Podcast, host Justin Tippett discusses Service Blueprints with special guest and CX expert Rod Netterfield. The episode includes: An overview of Service Blueprints. Why and when you should use one. The difference between Customer Journey Maps and Service Blueprints. Top tips! If you've been interested in learning more about Service Blueprints or aren't quite sure where to start, click the play button below now!

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S1 EP 4 Service Blueprints
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Welcome to the CX Matters Podcast my name is Justin Tippett CEO of ACXPA and in this episode we’re going to be talking about service blueprints now when it comes to service blueprints I’m going I don’t know what the hell they are I need to speak to some expert and I go straight to our advisory boards and in particular Rod Nettlefield welcome Rod hey Justin how you going really well so for those that don’t know Rod ah Rod is a member of our customer experience Advisory board so he helps expert on all things CX and in his day job he works in the customer experience space as a director of a company called a humind so Rod thanks for joining us on this episode we are going to be talking about service blueprints we’ve already got a couple of other episodes that we’ve recorded and in particular and I guess because it’s related customer Journey mapping so I guess I want to go right off the bat and go what is the difference between a service blueprint and a customer Journey map definitely and I think it’s probably one of those ones where people use the terms interchangeably so um because if you if you go to that previous conversation we’ve had Justin we talked about a journey map being that visual summary of what the customer goes through from their perspective yeah if you think about the service blueprint though it goes deeper and so it goes deeper to more what’s happening than I guess backstage and behind the scenes to make or enable that experience for the customers to happen right so it’ll start it’ll oh sorry no I was gonna say so give me an example yeah like yeah Bingo yeah so like the if you looked at just sort of the top let’s call it the top sliver of a service blueprint it actually may look quite similar to a journey map that you’ve produced yeah and this is what we call the front stage but then again we go deeper we go deeper again into the backstage activities and then down into the processes policies and even down into systems that will enable that experience to happen um so if we think about maybe a really simple example you might be going to a restaurant and so the restaurant will have an experience then there’ll be the wait staff and then there’ll be the kitchen that’s actually producing the food in the background or if you think about Hospital you know and unfortunately if you have to go to hospital you’ll have an experience there you’ll have people providing you care and then there’ll be all these people behind the scenes processing your paperwork or preparing operating theaters and that that enable that experience to happen for you right okay so Services gives us insight into what’s happening at those levels is that they just keep going deeper and deeper um and and though what what is probably common about them and certainly what I think about when I think about great service Blueprinting is that there is that capture about the emotive journey in there um but the difference will be it’s not just the emotions of the customers you’ll want to think about delight and pain and everything in between for your people and the employees that are providing that service throughout the map um if I think about probably the other parts that distinctly make a journey map and a service blueprint different um are typically in great service blueprints start seeing a lot more timing starting to come into play and I’ll see a lot more metrics and measures start coming into play that help to qualify and quantify some of the problems or the opportunities that you’re having right so it sounds to me in in simple terms that a service blueprint is a lot more complex than a customer Journey map would that be fair yeah definitely so I think if I think about from a scope perspective if you’re doing um you know a journey map from you know A to B yeah and you’re doing the corresponding service blueprint from A to B the surface blueprint will typically take you a lot longer to complete because you’re going into a depth of information and a depth of analysis that you haven’t completed in just Journey mapping alone yeah and I know people listening are probably screaming at me right now saying asking well how much longer is it 10 times longer or five times that’s probably putting you in an impossible position because there probably is no answer to that right yeah look it it may maybe maybe if you if you’re not budgeting well I don’t know at least I don’t know 50 more um it’s probably in my experiences but again it is really hard to know um every service blueprint will be different and it probably depends on the level of depth that you’ve got to go to to meet the needs of what you’re being asked to achieve yep so with a journey map I’m just trying to wrap my head around this now we obviously drag people in from all over the organization and we drag them willingly of course because they want to be part of improving the service um but with a um with a service blueprint um I mean are you dragging different people into that meeting or are you just asking them a lot more questions and drilling down a lot further yeah great great question so look to be honest it probably is much the same sort of people um it’s but yeah the context of the conversations that you’re going to be having with them and the information and data that you’re collecting from them will look a little bit different right um what what I do find and and this is is maybe is that sometimes people find service Blueprinting actually a little bit easier to wrap their head around um when when particularly if you’re at an early stage of your customer experience maturity and I think the reason I say that is that in Journey mapping sometimes people can’t see themselves in it but when you have a service blueprint that’s starting to go into process and policies and systems people are actually much more easily or readily Orient themselves to where in the journey they see they sit right so they would sort of identify and go oh that’s my job to stamp approved on that piece of paper and give it to the next person all right so they can they can see themselves in what’s being created yeah so sometimes it is certainly is that little bit easier I find particularly if it’s a if an organization isn’t an early stage of its customer experience maturity yep so I guess it begs the question then when it comes to sort of going wow we need to wrap our head around what’s going on with our customers and you know most people would gravitate to Journey mapping just because I think it’s more well known how do you make that decision uh around oh do we do a journey map or do we do a service blueprint yeah great question and look it also and this is this may sound a little bit common to the to the journey mapping um podcast that we’ve recorded if people have listened to it um but it’ll all start by having a really really key conversation at the front with your sponsors about what it is they’re trying to achieve and so if the you know the outcomes they’re trying to drive a customer in nature and only customer in nature that may lend itself more towards a journey map yeah but you’ll get you’ll get subtle cues from your sponsors when they’re articulating what are the problems or the rationale or the opportunities they’re trying to explore as part of the process if they start talking about processes or they start talking about employee experience or you know um you know waste or any of these types of terms which start indicating they’re speaking more in a process a process place that actually a service blueprint may be more appropriate because what you’re actually trying to do there is not just solve a customer problem or look look to explore a customer opportunity but you actually need to change the organization to do that too yeah understand so so with uh the journey mapping podcast that we recorded we spoke about potentially different states that a journey map can be done in so current state or future is is a nice simple way it is Blueprinting more current state because you’re actually dealing with Pro like real process this is some real kpis Etc or does it still lend itself to Future state where it’s a desired process and desired kpis yeah definitely and so look I I create both current and future State okay um again I don’t want to it’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all but more often than not in my experiences of a service Blueprinting project will go through a current state and then a future State um because you know you want to get an articulation of what is it that we are doing today but then you do want to some point pivot it to go well what might be so what is this ideal future State what is this North Star I guess I want to hear it referred to what we want to take this experience and this product and the service and sometimes as well you may be creating something that doesn’t exist today and in that case yes you’ll be going straight to a future State type of blueprint yeah um in your experience in dealing with with businesses sorry that have gone through doing service blueprint printing what what primarily seems to be the driver for them is it sort of to you know we always want to think it’s about making the customer experience better but is it is it really a cost you know we want to be more efficient we want to reduce costs or you know is it genuinely it’s around customer experience what are you sort of seeing in your day-to-day jobs yeah and look it’ll really depend on where the the let’s call it the initiating sponsor is coming from and whether that be that you’re an internal customer experience team you’re in a Consulting space you’ll often get cues from who it is that’s actually reaching out for the contact to start your service Blueprinting project um I think what is lovely and before I spoke about you’ve got a customer but you also start getting the sort of the employee lens as well and you start capturing pain and Delight throughout your blueprint and and what I sometimes see is that you know you can actually do two things simultaneously in terms you can improve a customer experience and potentially improve an employee experience and or potentially even eliminate waste or drive costs out all in one because when you have the service blueprint starting to come together you start seeing these patterns where you can go wait a minute this this problem for the customers and you’re tracking your net it’s new like you’re doing root cause analysis for your blueprint yeah you can actually start seeing wait a minute that pain point for the customers is coming from here and coming from here and if we can alleviate this problem here for this employee actually it eliminates this waste and subsequently improves the time we could respond to a customer for example yep yep and I think that’s one of the key messages I think we want we want to help from an industry perspective is to that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive you don’t you don’t have to just deliver cost reductions at the expense of customer experience you can actually get you know great benefits across all of those yeah and I think as well by lying with the customer experience as well you can work out what are the moments that truly matter so if we are going to try to make savings where might those savings be more appropriately done along an experience yeah but where are the points where we actually really need to supercharge our efforts to really Flex up our brand or to really Flex up a moment that matters from a customer experience so making better investment decisions about where to invest in your customer experience as well yeah fantastic um right before we we let everyone uh go sayonara for this particular episode we always like to grill you for some top tips around uh whatever the topic is we’re talking about so when it comes to service blueprints what are your top tips of people contemplating going down that path yeah so top tip number one is probably that they’re all exactly the same as the journey mapping conversation that we’ve had previously Justin so go and listen to the journey mapping podcast because it’s got all of the great great top tips nice good cross-selling particularly yeah you’re welcome you’re welcome but look probably for service blueprints in particular um when you’re doing this these things do take time and it’s not like you can tell the whole of the organization to stop the whilst you complete a service Blueprinting project so you really need to think carefully about how you will manage and will Monitor and manage probably the better way to say it for changes whilst you were doing the work but also how are you going to actually make this I guess living in some description when your project is finished because the service blueprint is only as it’s useful sorry is only as useful as its ability to be relevant and accurate and so you’re gonna have to think about how you’re going to maintain it yeah so yes that’s important mapping but it’s even more important for the service blueprint yeah because as you said it’s it’s Dynamic things change all the time you might have a business unit might optimize a process they might change kpis for employees and if you haven’t captured that then as you said it’s it’s kind of useless already isn’t it so yeah and look some of the magic happens here where you’ve got two silos in an organization that you smash together into a workshop and off the back of that Workshop they go and optimize some things and that level of organic change you don’t want to stop it that’s right it’s great but it’s not great for your service blueprint right yeah so yeah it hurts your blueprint it blows out your time frames but you know at the end the day it’s not about producing a really pretty service blueprint we’re trying to drive Customer Center change here yeah and and if we’re doing that and that that’s the outcome then yeah how does how do we just again monitor for that and then manage that through to our efforts yeah yeah great tip uh any other tips you want to leave uh our listeners with Rod put you on the spot oh putting me on the spot again no if um you know if there is anything that I can do that helps you make this more relevant to your organization please reach out my contact details are on the acxpa website um and yeah obviously lots of great resources there you can download and leveredge as well absolutely so we do have an article on service Blueprinting we’ve also got articles and templates and resources Etc on Journey mapping as well as some courses if you want to sort of wrap your head around Journey mapping or even CX more broadly uh even if you want to apply to become a certified customer experience professional such as Rod we have a an introduction course for that as well so thank you everyone for listening now if you want to stay across all the podcasts on the CX matters podcast all you need to do is hit subscribe on your favorite platform and for now thank you rod and we look forward to talking to you again in the future ciao for now bye

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