How to choose the right service design consultancy for your organisation

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In today's highly competitive business landscape, customer experience has become a critical component of success. As organisations strive to deliver better experiences, many are turning to service design consultants to help them achieve their goals.

A good service design consultancy can help a company improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and drive revenue growth through reimagining a customer’s experience by identifying pain points in the customer journey and developing solutions that meet the needs and exceed expectations of customers. Through their expertise in design thinking, customer research, and user experience, service design consultants can provide a holistic approach to designing seamless, connected experiences.

Selecting the right service design consultancy can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line - but with so many service design consultancies to choose from, how do you select the right one?

In this blog post, we'll explore the factors you need to consider when choosing a service design consultancy to help you choose the right one for your organisation’s unique requirements.

Step 1 - Be Clear on Your Objectives

Having clarity on your objectives is a crucial step in choosing the right service design consultancy for your business. Since service design can tackle multiple business challenges, it is important to have a clear problem statement so that you can identify what you want to achieve. Are you looking to…

  • Grow your business?
  • Innovate your customer experience?
  • Increase customer retention?
  • Reduce customer complaints?
  • Something else?

Whatever your objectives may be, it's important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve so that you can communicate these goals to potential service design consultancies.

Step 2 - Research Service Design Consultancies

Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can begin your search for the right service design consultancy.

When it comes to starting your research, it's important to consider the different types of consultancies available. Some specialise in a particular channel or touchpoint, such as digital services, while others may have a broader scope of expertise. Understanding the areas of specialisation of different consultancies can help you narrow down your search and find a consultancy that has the right expertise and experience to meet your needs.

To find potential service design consultancies, there are several methods you can employ.

Firstly, you can conduct an online search through search engines or professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn.

In addition to online searches, you can also leverage the resources of professional organisations, such as the Service Design Network. These organisations often have directories of consultancies that you can search through, which can help you to identify potential service design consultancies based on their areas of expertise, geographic location, and track record.

Lastly, you can also ask for referrals from colleagues or industry contacts who have worked with service design consultants in the past. By seeking referrals, you can gain insight into the quality of the service and the consultancies’ ability to deliver results.

When researching service design consultancies, it’s crucial to examine their portfolio and evaluate the case studies they present.
By reviewing their portfolio, you can get a sense of the consultancy's design style and see examples of their work.

Similarly, case studies offer a glimpse into the consultancy’s problem-solving approach, the methodologies they see, and the outcomes they achieve.

Examining case studies can also provide valuable insights into the consultancy’s ability to work collaboratively with clients, adapt to different contexts, and deliver results that meet their client’s goals.

Step 3 - Evaluate Your Options

After conducting your research, take the time to carefully evaluate your options. It's important to look for factors such as experience, expertise, and reputation to ensure you choose a consultant with the skills you’ll need to achieve your business goals.

Experience & Qualifications

When evaluating service design consultancies, experience and qualifications should be key factors to consider. Look for consultancies that have relevant experience in your industry or with similar business challenges. Additionally, consider the qualifications of the consultancy's team members. Do they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the services you need? Ensuring that the consultancy has the appropriate experience and qualifications can give you confidence in its ability to deliver successful outcomes.

Reputation

Next, examine their reputation and client references. Look for consultancies with a strong reputation in the industry and a proven track record of delivering results. In addition to business reviews, a great way to gain a deeper understanding of a consultancy’s capabilities and working style is by speaking directly with their previous clients.

You can gain valuable insights into the consultancy’s ability to deliver results, their communication style, and how well they were able to collaborate with clients - all helping you make an informed decision when choosing the right consultancy to partner with.

Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is equally important when choosing a service design consultancy. You should look for a consultancy that understands your business and shares your values. This can help ensure that their approach to service design aligns with your business objectives, making it easier for you to work together towards a common goal.

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Research the agency’s culture by looking at their website, social media, and online reviews to give you an idea of their work style and how they operate
  • Arrange a meeting or workshop to meet their team and discuss their approach to service design to help evaluate whether their working style aligns with your organisation's culture and values
  • Evaluate their communication style and approach to collaboration. How do they communicate with clients? Do they value transparency and open communication?
  • Look for shared values. Does your organisation place a high value on sustainability? Diversity? Creativity? A shared value system between your organisation and the service design agency can help ensure that their approach aligns with your mission and goals. 

Step 4 - Making The Decision

After conducting thorough research and evaluating your options, it's time to make your choice.

You should take into account the factors that are most critical to you, such as the consultancy's expertise, experience, reputation, and cultural fit. It's also important to consider the cost and scope of the project and whether the consultancy can deliver the results you need within your budget and timeline.

Once you have made your decision, remember to communicate your expectations clearly to your chosen service design consultancy. This includes defining your goals, setting clear timelines and deadlines, and outlining your budget and any constraints. The consultancy should provide you with a detailed proposal that outlines their approach, scope of work, and costs.

Throughout the project, it's important to work closely with your chosen service design consultancy to ensure that they deliver the results you need. This involves regular communication, feedback, and collaboration to ensure that the project is on track and meeting your expectations.

Conclusion

Choosing the right service design consultancy can be a daunting task, but it's a crucial step in enhancing your customer experience. By understanding your needs, researching service design consultancies, evaluating their capabilities, and making an informed decision, you can select a consultancy that will help you deliver exceptional customer experiences and achieve business success.

At Engine Service Design, we understand the importance of choosing the right service design consultancy for your business. Honed over 20 years and applied to a range of sectors, our Service Design System helps organisations create remarkable service experiences across all customer touchpoints that generate revenue, save costs, increase customer satisfaction and obtain investment.

Our team of service design experts have a wealth of experience and expertise, and we pride ourselves on our ability to understand our client's needs and deliver results that exceed their expectations.

If you're looking for a service design consultancy that can help you achieve your business goals and deliver exceptional customer experiences, we'd love to chat with you. Click below to book a meeting with one of our service design experts.

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