LOGBOOK: Design your Services to Success

You have come up with an excellent business idea, done a business plan, have your services ready to rock and started your to business. Your website is open and the social media is buzzing. Yet the sales are dragging – what is the problem? Take help in design!

What is Design?

Design (it. Disegno: drawing, plan, model) means planning or manufacturing the shape and usability of an object. During the age of Renaissance “disegno” meant in a large perspective the concept of image of a work of art. Sometimes it is translated as “creative capacity”. Federico Zuro  came up with the word “disegno” from the saying “Segno di Dio” (It. A sign of God).
Designing is creative, holistic and user driven planning. Design helps to visualise the look or the shape, features and usability/ feasibility of a product. One can design products, services, communication, business processes, organisational culture, experiences, user interfaces, brands and concepts. Design can have an impact in operational, ecological and economical effects of a product.
Service Design is about innovating, designing and developing services by using methods of design and Design Thinking.
It is a systematic approach and a value adding process helping to develop business and customer experience. Above all it is user driven teamwork focusing on the needs of the end user and the business targets of the service provider.

The starting point of Service Design is customer insight. In order to achieve customer insight one needs to involve them in planning and producing ones services. The focus in service development is in customer experience and it enables to act in a customer centric way.

Customer Driven or Customer Centric – is there a Difference?

A customer driven mindset could be described as an approach where you are aiming to produce services and products that meet the needs of the customer in a best possible way. Satisfying these needs of your target group is the starting point of your business. In a customer driven business the client is a representative of the target group without an actual involvement.

Customer centricity is a mindset where all the business activities start by meeting the customer needs and the customers take part in business development. In a customer centric business the customer is an active participant and not just a mere passive member of the target group.

The difference is very fine and the terms are used to varying degrees but I guess that the most essential difference lies in the role of the customer and how to benefit the customer insight in service and product development. However both approaches aim to create value for both parties.

A successful organisation strives to understand and define in the best way the needs, wishes and motives of its customers. A profound customer understanding enables the service provider to design, target and communicate it’s services in a profitable and competitive way.

Customer Insight is Essential

Customer insight means a profound understanding towards human needs and motivations as well as the concept of value creation. Value is created through needs, expectations, habits, ways,values, others opinions, product features, price and accessibility.

What is essential is to gather customer insight in order to recognize their needs. Equally important in the organisation’s perspective is to recognise the most valuable customer segments and clients. Customer centricity creates a significant competitive advantage!

Choose the Right Partners – Networks have Power

A successful business needs also compatible partners. Partners create a network of different actors in various roles. They can be business partners or other entrepreneurs, employees, suppliers and experts of different fields. All partners are connected with a mutual goal to serve customers the best way and to create successful business.

There is a lot of talk about people’s operating styles, areas of expertise and collaboration between different fields. It is worth to be bold and to make connections and networks with all different stakeholders. Business today is human-to-human business and the core is interacting with others and sharing knowhow.

T- shaped People in Networks

T-shaped people have two kinds of characteristics. The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill, e.g. in marketing or business administration.The horizontal stroke indicates the ability to understand other disciplines and to be enthusiastic about them. It includes empathy which helps to see things in different perspectives and to stand in somebody else’s shoes. (Read more).

It makes sense for experts from different disciplines to build teams mixing people across fields.
Experts from the fields of science, art and technology can form hyper-performing team and build a basis for ecosystem thinking. Individual intelligence (IQ) becomes collective intelligence (WeQ).

The most Important Skill is Sales

It is often asked what is the most important skill for an entrepreneur or service provider in business. Resilience for uncertainty, boldness, empathy, creativity, need to do something meaningful. All these are good and useful skills but in business sales count.

Without sales there is no clients and without clients there is no business. It is crucial to be able to sell your products and services just for the right clientele. In order to succeed it is also important to be able to sell your ideas to investors, employees and other stakeholders. Few things come to success alone and success is happening together with others.

There is an indefinite amount of great sales advice and tips. Entrepreneur and startup investor Sonny Vu gave a speech at Slush Helsinki. He talked about learnings from failure and sales skills. Here are some points he made to take home:

Tell a story that resonates. Tell why your services are important to yourself. Use your own products and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Focus on on the value and tell examples. Do your homework and learn to know your customers.

Finally

Plan and design your business idea, services and operating model. Grow your network boldly ja combine your knowhow with others. Learn to sell. Always keep focus in the customer!

Experience Designer

Marja Immonen
Experience Designer

HAPPYMOOR Crew is a community of entrepreneurs that co-creates user-oriented service formats, makes assignments and own productions, and markets, sells and produces them in a new way together. We have a passion for moving people, both emotionally as well as returning customers. HAPPYMOOR combines cities, businesses and communities to share experiences, resources, expertise and experiences to create better customer journeys, more personalised experiences and happier customers together.




Marja Immonen
Experience Designer
https://www.happymoor.fi/crew/

HAPPYMOOR Crew is a community of entrepreneurs that co-creates user-oriented service formats, makes assignments and own productions, and markets, sells and produces them in a new way together. We have a passion for moving people, both emotionally as well as returning customers. HAPPYMOOR combines cities, businesses and communities to share experiences, resources, expertise and experiences to create better customer journeys, more personalised experiences and happier customers together.