Monday, October 31, 2011

Here for the Coffee, or for the "something else"?

No much intro .. intro will come later. For now, I'd like to share with you the following research questions and results.

Research Objectives
The research aimed to answer the following questions:
  1. What are customers’ drivers to visit a coffee shop?
  2. How much is the coffee shop’s offering in synch with those drivers?
  3. What are the other areas the coffee shop should look into to grow the target and redefine a new focus?

Following is a brief of the Results of the research
  • People come to coffee shops for many reasons; amongst which is not to just drink coffee.
  • People do create their own categorization and classification of coffee shops and on "what coffee shop fits for what purpose."
  • Customers reported some cases where coffee shops are doing more than just offering coffee like the cases of meeting rooms and match-watching setup.
  • Being not coming for coffee, all customers have substitutes for coffee shops that also offer some extra value.
  • All customers agree that they wouldn’t drink coffee if they don’t have to.
  • Coffee shops are designed to make customers consume coffee. The decoration in researched coffee shops included nothing but texts on coffee, pictures of coffee, they were all shades of brown and yellow, all equipments in place and staff are there to sell coffee.
  • Customers can’t understand what else could coffee shops offer them to make their value creation better, but when certain concepts are offered they like them.
  • There’s low involvement in the value creation process, this resulted in all happy moments and pain points having nothing to do with the service being delivered but more with the activity (he’s happy when his friends arrived, he’s upset when subject of study got harder).
  • Some customer’s were affected by the perception of value creation of other stakeholders (one customer goes to coffee shops with his wife because for her “happy families go to coffee shops”)
  • Service providers don’t keep consistent value proposition and delivery. Some branches of the same brand were smaller, more confined, noisier than others. Some come in multistory, independent buildings while some would be small stores. In return, customers create their own virtual value proposition and perception of each individual branch and act accordingly.
I would like to ask if this makes anything spark in your mind. Is it the same way in your community? Is there a service you know suffers from similar problems or root causes? what's it we're missing and what could be done?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Would You Vote For? 5 Topics for Service Innovation & Design Research

 Ok, I'm about to start my thesis for masters in service innovation and design and I'm also reactivating my PhD initiative for Service Design.
For your own information, The masters is in business administration so it's a business school more than design school. For the PhD initiative in service design it's a design school.

I do need your vote for what topics you see are the most needed and valid for service Innovation & Design. You can be as detailed or as brief as you wish. Again, masters project shouldn't be that long while I'll have more time for the PhD. Following is 5 topics I came up with and I do appreciate your input. For voting you can just arrange them from the most that you like and descending (e.g. 3-5-4-2-1). Following is the way I shared them with potential sponsors from business so the language is more copywriting oriented :)

1-Service Design Meets Service Design
There’s currently 2 main approaches for service design who’re not integrated and don’t work together. We’ve the operations management and product innovation approach led by six sigma and TRIZ and we have the design thinking-inspired approach as known in design-inspired service innovation. Both are needed but they’re never applied together and the gap between practitioners of both fields is huge. If you need inspiring and engaging radical innovation, yet measurement-oriented approach that facilitates the implementation complexities, service efficiency and productivity, you surely need this outcome.

2-Sustainable Experience Networks Through Diamond Touch Points
Experience flows in networks. Brands get created in the relationship between the firm and the staff and come alive in the interaction between the staff and the customers. Current service design tools are customer-centered. They rarely address the experience of the other stakeholders involved in the value network who surely affect the experience network. If you believe we’re in need for diamond touch points that would consider the design and alignment of the experiences of those stakeholders and support the sustainability of the experience network, then you surely need this outcome.

3-Is it too intangible? People and Physical Evidence in Digital Services
Intangibility is one of the main attributes of services, especially when compared to the so-called tangible products. But as we moved to digital and e-services, we started to realize that services used to actually be tangible. We used to shake hands with employees, drink coffee, like or hate ambiences, pay cash, line in queues and so on.
Now these aspects are vanishing with the penetration and revolution of the e-services. We remain human beings and touch points can’t be all touchless. Customer experience in digital services is not all about UX. How can we extend e-services to cover the tangibility gap in physical evidence and people? If you’re digitizing and enabling the technology in your service interface then you need to consider this outcome.

4-Service 2.0
Ok, Tomorrow as a business you may getup from your sleep not too late as you would think then, to find that your industry is not the same anymore. Your customers do have the tools to create their own experiences and share it with each other. Moreover they believe you’re unable to deliver their experiences, as they should get them. It’s when your industry becomes more shared, more co-created, more personalized, more crowd-sourced, more democratized, more long-tail oriented, more design-for-generosity themed and more customer-generated.
You would step-back to focus on serving as the best platform for them to deliver their experiences on, while they decide how it should look like. How will your business model be? What would your organizational requirements be like? How would you compete? And what would be the market landscape? If you need to know a bit more on that, then you need this outcome.

5-Service Innovation Body of Knowledge

Service innovation encompasses a wide collection of knowledge areas. The fast development and growth of the field requires the development of a structured body of knowledge that would define the basic knowledge areas. Unlike other BOKs that get created to standardize domains, SIBOK is required to support the growth and adoption of service innovation on the practice level. This body of knowledge would create a room for improvement in this critical area of organizational excellence and business competitiveness. If you’re in need for a structured framework for qualifying your internal service innovation leads, then you’re in need for this outcome.