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: "It is dangerous to take the marketing concepts that apply to products, and try to transfer them to services. Products are tangible; services are not-and that makes a lot of difference in how you market them."
Examples: Airline Travel, Automobile Transportation, Citibank, McDonalds
From the article: "Suggests that behavioural hypothesis, which rearranges or alters any element, by design or accident, will change the overall entity, just like changing bonds or atoms in a molecule creates a new substance, and this is known as molecular modelling — and this can help the marketer to better understand any market entity. States that the first step towards rational service design is a system for visualizing this phenomenon, enabling services to be given proper position and weight in the market entity context. Proposes that people are essential evidence of a service and how they are dressed or act has a bearing on this. Identifies benefits, standards and tolerances, and discusses modifications using tables and figures for emphasis. Concludes that modelling and blueprinting offer a system for marketers which can lead to the kind of experimentation and management necessary to service innovation and development."
Examples: Amusement Park, Fast Food Chain, Automobile Transportation, Airline Travel, Dry Cleaners, Tax Return Preparation, McDonalds, Corner Shoeshine
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: "A typology of service organizations is presented and a conceptual framework is advanced for exploring the impact of physical surroundings on the behaviors of both customers and employees. The ability of the physical surroundings to faciliate achievement of organizational as well as marketing goals is explored. Literature from diverse disciplines provides theoretical grounding for the framework, which services as a base for focused propositions. By examining the multiple strategic roles that physical surroundings can exert in service organizations, the author highlights key managerial and research implications."
Examples: Hotels, Restaurants, Professional Offices, Banks, Retail Stores, Hospitals, Ticketron, Federal Express, Supermarket, 7-11, Cinnamon Roll Bakeries, Airports, Club Med, Benihana, Scandinavian Airline Systems, Fast Food Chain, Supermarkets, Department Stores, ATMs, Miniature Golf
From the article: "Since its launch in 1985, SERVQUAL has become a widely adopted technology for measuring and managing service quality. Recently, a number of theoretical and operational concerns have been raised concerning SERVQUAL. Reviews these concerns and proposes a research agenda."
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."