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The Service Design Revolution: Elevate Service for All, Not Just the Elite

The Service Design Revolution: Elevate Service for All, Not Just the Elite

Navigating through various industries as a C-level executive has been an eye-opening experience for me, especially in Indonesia. Whether it’s waiting in a frustratingly long queue to deposit money at a local bank or going through a somewhat more streamlined check-in process at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, the differences are startling. Then I step into a Starbucks and, for a brief moment, I’m in another world—one where service design seems to be prioritized for all customers, not just the elite.

Aerial view Jakarta Tomang Toll, Traffic. Lingkar Luar
Complex Service Design for your Business

Service Design: A Universal Imperative

The role of service design is no longer a luxury or an 'add-on' for businesses. It's an essential part of how you attract and retain customers, whether they are high-net-worth individuals or everyday consumers. A Forrester report reveals that effective service design can multiply revenue by 5.1 times for companies that get it right. The key is to elevate the experience for all customers, not just a select few.

The Hospitality Paradox: The Indonesian Context

According to a study from Big Seven Travel, Indonesians are some of the world’s most hospitable people—a sentiment I’ve personally experienced compared to service in Singapore, Hong Kong, or the United States. But ironically, this natural affinity for hospitality often doesn't extend to the business sector. The all-too-common phrase "Maaf, Tidak Bisa Pak/Bu" ("Sorry, I can't sir/ma’am") is an example of this disconnect, indicating the need for a significant shakeup in Indonesia's approach to service design.

three Happy multi-racial indonesian asian customer chatting zip of coffee
Indonesia's Hospitality - Happiness. Photo: Ketut Subiyanto

Service Design Gone Awry: A Cautionary Tale from the Indonesian Banking Sector

When it comes to credit card operations in Indonesia, customers experience the red-carpet treatment during the acquisition stage, only to face a drastic service cliff as payment due dates approach. This stark contrast highlights a glaring issue in service design—a gap that’s not just annoying but also damaging to long-term customer loyalty, as cited by the Journal of Service Theory and Practice.

What Needs Revolutionizing?

  1. Data Privacy: Consumer privacy must become a priority in any service design model. Regulations similar to Europe's GDPR should be a key focus.

  2. Communication Channels: The transition from personalized communication to automated reminders and intimidation tactics needs to be strategically rethought.

  3. Employee Training: A Harvard Business Review study emphasizes the necessity of training all employees in understanding and implementing proper service design.

  4. C-Level Accountability: This issue transcends departments and must be on the radar of C-level executives who need to invest in proper service design.

Starbucks: Setting the Gold Standard in Universal Service Design

Starbucks serves as a stellar example of how to get service design right for everyone, from the business person conducting a meeting to the group of friends catching up over coffee. The takeaway? Other industries—airlines, fintech, B2B services, healthcare, etc.—can learn a lot from how Starbucks has managed to make every customer feel like the most important person in the room.

Indonesian customers at Starbucks Coffee Central Park Jakarta
Starbucks at Central Park Mall, Jakarta.

Why Service Design Affects Your Bottom Line and Brand

Ignorance of service design isn't just bad for consumers—it's bad for business. Companies risk damaging their reputation and losing out on significant revenue. A Bain & Company study confirms that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can result in a profit increase ranging from 25% to 95%.

Elevate Service to the Masses: A Summons to Businesses

It's time to democratize your service design strategy. Companies need to look beyond immediate profit margins and focus on creating a long-lasting brand that caters to all customers, not just the elite.

Traveler waiting on counter to be serve service design
Concierge People Waiting to be Serve

Call to Action: The Urgent Mandate for Service Design Revolution

The landscape of consumer expectations is changing at an unprecedented pace, making the need for a robust and inclusive service design strategy more urgent than ever. The ultimate question isn't whether you need to revamp your service design; it's how fast can you do it?

Your brand reputation is the mirror reflecting your commitment to service, and it's susceptible to cracks if you ignore the importance of designing service for all. A poorly designed service isn’t just detrimental to your customer experience; it's a time bomb for your financial performance. McKinsey & Company's research confirms that companies that invest in service design outperform their non-investing counterparts by as much as two to one in terms of revenue and shareholder returns.

So, how can you not afford to prioritize service design that elevates everyone, not just the elite?

  1. Assess Your Current State: Take a comprehensive look at your service offerings across all departments and customer touchpoints.

  2. Consult Experts: Whether it's through engaging with Bedrock Asia’s brand consultants or other industry experts, get insights tailored to your sector and market.

  3. Invest in Training: Ensure every level of your organization understands the value and methods of good service design.

  4. Implement and Monitor: Roll out your new service design strategy and keep track of key performance indicators.

  5. Iterate: Use real-world data and customer feedback to continuously refine your approach.

Your brand's longevity and profitability are on the line. Are you ready to take the necessary steps to make your service design universally exceptional? It's not just a question of ethics or customer satisfaction; it's a question of business survival in an increasingly competitive and discerning market.

So, as you pause to consider the next move for your company, remember this: Time is of the essence. Every moment you delay in revolutionizing your service design is a moment given to your competitors to get ahead. Act now to make service design a priority for all, not just the elite. The clock is ticking. Reach us Bedrock Asia Brand Consultants


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