This list represents a summary of the past forty years of service design literature. The citations were compiled from the Emergence conference at Carnegie Mellon University as well as the Designing for Services project in the UK, service design syllabi at CMU and independent research. I've included the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it's easy to follow the development of ideas such as "service blueprinting" across multiple papers.
Select any underlined term to filter the list, showing only papers that share that particular concept, example, author, journal or decade. If you'd like to help fill in the gaps by suggesting other canonical papers, e-mail the citations to service at howardesign.com. Thanks!
From the article: "The service encounter frequently is the service from the customer's point of view. Using the critical incident method, the authors collected 700 incidents from customers of airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The incidents were categorized to isolate the particular events and related behaviors of contact employees that cause customers to distinguish very satisfactory service encounters from very dissatisfactory ones. Key implications for managers and researchers are highlighted."
Examples: Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Life Insurance
From the article: "Examines service provider behaviors that influence customer evaluation of service encounters. Develops a list of service provider behaviors relevant to customer evaluation of a service encounter. Examines performance of these behaviors in specific restaurant and medical transactions. Then examines the relationship between performance of each behavior and encounter satisfaction. Behaviors are grouped, using factor analysis from consumer surveys, into three dimensions: concern, civility, and congeniality. Each is defined using multiple behavioral measures. Measures include concepts not widely addressed in current services literature, including conversation, respect, genuineness, attitude and demeanor. These dimensions and constituent behaviors provide a framework for future research and service training and management."
Examples: Medical, Restaurant
From the article: "Considers the role of non-verbal communication in consumers' evaluation of service encounters. Non-verbal communication has been extensively studies in the psychology and psychotherapy disciplines and has been shown to have a central effect on participants' perceptions of an event. As services are essentially interpersonal interactions it follows that non-verbal communication will play a major part in service evaluation. Uses an experimental methodology based on video scenarios to demonstrate the effect of this type of communication on consumers. The results indicate significant differences in respondents' reactions to the scenarios according to the non-verbal behavior of the service provider."
From the article: "Behavioral science offers new insights into better service management. In this article, the authors translate findings from behavioral-science research into five operating principles: 1) finish strong; 2) get the bad experiences out of the way early; 3) segment the pleasure, combine the pain; 4) build commitment through choice; and 5) give people rituals and stick to them. Ultimately, only one thing really matters in a service encounter--the customer's perception of what occurred. This article will help you engineer your service encounters to enhance your customers' experiences during the process as well as their recollections of the process after it is completed."
Examples: Cruise Lines, Airline Baggage Pickup, Malaysian Airlines, Health Care, Business Consulting, Phone Menus, Trade Shows, Walt Disney, Banks, Hotels, Copier Repair, McKinsey Consulting