Woo, Wow, and Win

Principles of service design

At the heart of Woo, Wow, and Win is our identification of the five essential principles of service design and delivery: a way for you to shape service design initiatives and bring coherence to service strategy.

1. The customer is always right—provided the customer is right for you.

You have to decide which customers you want and which you do not. Deciding which customers you engage with and what you are willing to do for them is a powerful exercise in defining your brand—as is deciding which customers are wrong for you and which services you will not offer.

2. Don’t surprise and delight your customers—just delight them.

You delight your customers by meeting their needs within the expectations they have for whatever you are offering, whether those expectations are high or low. Why should they come to you? Why should they stay or return?

3. Great service must not require heroic efforts on the part of the provider or the customer.

Employees should not need to be superheroes, bend the rules, or take shortcuts to give customers a great experience. And saving time and money for customers—being easy to do business with—is just as important.

4. Service design must deliver a coherent experience across all channels and touchpoints.

Any place you choose to play, you have to play well. And anything you are going to do, you have to do well in every way. A corollary to this principle is that partners that provide complementary services are as much a part of the service value chain as your own touchpoints, platforms, and channels.

5. You’re never done: Anticipate, create, innovate, iterate—and repeat as needed.

The lifecycle of a service needs to be managed as carefully as the lifecycle of a product. And by managed, we mean treated as nonstatic, organic, and constantly open to change and improvement—not just by developing new services, but by innovating in every customer interaction.

Copyright © Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O'Connell. All rights reserved.