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    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    What The Hell? (Talking Service Design)

    I've been spreading the word on how important it is to stop treating service as a commodity for quite some time. I am, as you might already know, an enthusiastic supporter of the methods and tools 'service design' provides us. I feel like a preacher sometimes.

    But soon after I started answering my calling, there is one thing I learned. I had to change the language I used. There is a particular jargon that accompanies this new field of expertise, and it can take some time getting used to. It can make everything sound a bit mushy and alien.

    If I start orating about co-production, empowerment, service-delivery-blueprints, costumer-journeys, touch-points, service-ecology and so on, my clients generally start to get nervous. "What the hell is he talking about? I thought we were working on a marketing plan?"

    So I changed my language. I started using words from the more familiar fields of branding, experience-marketing and, my personal favorite, life in general. This sounds easy, but customised words are sometimes pretty handy if you want to get to the point very quickly.

    But until everyone knows what exactly a 'service-ecology' means, I'm going to shut up about it. It makes my quest a lot easier. And if clients still don't know what the hell I'm talking about, at least the familiar words give them a warm fuzzy and comfortable feeling. And that's all I want really.


    Jeff said...

    I think the term touchpoint was originally borrowed from branding, but I can see some of the terminology like "service ecology" and "moment of truth" being a hard sell the first time they hear it. Can you give some examples of the kinds of things you say instead?

    Arne van Oosterom said...

    I don't use 'service ecology' but just diagram. Of course this means I'm explaining a lot more, use more words. I believe that in a year (or two) most marketing and branding professionals will speak 'service design' fluently.

    And you're right touchpoint is not a new word.