Mario Bros. Finds Service Design Templates

[Video at the end of the blog]

In service design the goal is to create an end-to-end journey in which you capture all the stages the customer goes through. But which steps are used the most, which steps customers like and dislike, and in what order do you put them? Because not all customers follow the same path during an experience. Beside that, they also don’t make the same mistakes or face the same issues during the trip. To better understand how you can design a service based on the model that most customers follow, I want to use a simple example from the gaming industry. It explains how service design models work.

In the Mario Bros video game, there are many possibilities to complete a level, and you can make choices at multiple times. You have to jump over holes, you can take a green tube to take a faster path, you have to kill enemies, speed up when there is fire, and destroy stones to enter a new path. There is no one better way, because for example there are different possible motivations per user. Like collecting the most points, killing as many enemies as possible, discovering new areas, finding the fastest way or collecting coins to get free lives. For each user, there are different motivations for choosing a path or activities, just like in the journey of your customers in your organization. Another measure is the level of experience, motivation and reason for playing. Some users want to improve their score, some want to save time, and some want to have fun playing with each other and showing off their skills. There is no ideal path, there is no single path, and there is no “one” client. But there is an interesting method that gives us a lot more information than when we are looking at one user at a time. When we look at the model, when we analyze almost a thousand users at the same time, we see something incredible. Because then we see the behavior of individuals compared to the behavior of the whole group. We see a pattern and in that pattern we can recognize what most users are doing, what mistakes they make, which path is faster, where they need to recover or change their strategy, etc. It’s really easy to see, you will see when you watch the YouTube video. This simple method allows you to understand the behavior of most of the users, as we see the large group doing the same. With this analogy, we can perfectly translate the great Mario Bros user group, to your customers in the service design of their journey. Because imagine that you could watch your customers at the same time as they walk the path of travel in your organization. Then you will see where most of them have trouble, they do a step twice or more, they skip some steps you built on purpose, they stay in one place longer because they like it, etc. . You see more when you see them all, because interviewing or observing a customer doesn’t give you enough information to see a trend. And the interesting conclusion is that when you look at multiple clients at the same time, you see this ideal path. Just look at them all and watch from a distance, you will see it. And this is the one you need to design, this is the one that most of your customers want. Good luck!

Danny Peters is Certified Customer Experience and co-founder of Milkymap, specializing in customer journey mapping and customer experience management.

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