LBH is taking Service design seriously – setting up a dedicated team to help deliver services.
So, what is Service design, well it is what is “says on the tin” the design of services, and what is a service I hear you ask? Well, that is simply something that helps a user to do something, eg report a missed bin, become a childminder, buy a theatre ticket.
Conventionally council teams work independently and yet often the services they provide are really made up of separate items, and tasks many of which are reusable. Service designers look at how the pieces of the puzzle fit together checking how well they work for the users of the services (customer/businesses/residents/visitors/staff etc.) and suggest way to rebuild so that the user experience is simple and effective.
A bad service is expensive, if the user is unable to easily achieve what they set out to do, then it will be costly to LBH in terms of phone calls, repeated communications and often duplication of data entry. It is also costly to the user, they must spend more time trying to do something, chasing the council for updates, and writing more complaints when dissatisfied. Staff are also frustrated and demoralised as they seem to always be firefighting and workload pressures are high and no one’s needs are satisfied.
In creating a service that your customers can use easily, that does what they want, they will return and reuse, and even tell their friends. We will have more happy customers satisfied at first point of contact, therefore fewer repeat conversions about a single translation and fewer complaints. This also reduces workload for internal teams, win win.
Service design is about understanding your users:
- What do they want to do?
- How can we make it easy for them to do?
Check out the video for an example of service design which I am sure many of us relate to. Think about why Uber, Amazon, and Expedia are successful.
Projects we are currently helping with:
- Housing – understanding the user journeys, mapping processes in use currently
- Children’s safeguarding – mapping complex processes in use and identifying touch points with other agencies.
- Digital & IT – looking at internal processes for managing assets eg laptops and software to improve efficiency of process (reduce double entry).
- Web design and accessibility – providing advice on best practice for website design to improve customer journey and ensure accessible to all.
- Pest control – understanding the customer’s needs and defining a prototype to allow users to book online rather than call the Contact Centre; developing an end-to-end process.
What does this mean for our residents and businesses?
- Available services – we understand that you want to be able to access the services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
- Reliable Services – the service should work and be easy to use.
- Joined up services – to minimise the number of times we ask you for the same piece of information.
- Keep you informed – providing you with simple updates so you know your request is being handled.
- Improved efficiency – by reviewing our processes and removing duplication, and reusing the elements that work well, we will improve efficiency and “make every penny count.”
Check back to find out ways you can help us to help you, we will shortly be looking to recruit residents and businesses, to better understand how you want to access the services we provide.