Services Blueprinting: a client-focused process mapping

Client au coeur des processus

There are several ways to map a process or value chain. I would like to introduce a little known customer-oriented mapping : the service blueprinting. It is particularly suitable for the service sector and the hospital environment.

A customer-centric mapping

In fact, every time the customer is at the heart of the process. Many organizations can no longer be content to offer a good product or service: they must focus on the customer and its needs. This mapping highlights the actions of the client with those of employees, whether they are value-added or not; contact points and support processes of the organization.

Customer-oriented mapping is poorly documented. Yet it is very simple to build and read, even for the beginners. It respects the basic symbols of any cartography: rectangles for actions and rhombuses for decisions, connected with arrows … nothing new to begin with. Where it stands out is that the actions are grouped into five lanes, depending on the client (and not a sector or workstation, such as the BPMN).

Mapping is built from the second corridor: customer actions. In this corridor, the team will record all the steps performed by the client for the process or value chain. The steps are placed in chronological order.

Separating what the client sees and doesn’t

Then, all the actions made by the employees that are visible to the client are indicated: these are the direct contacts that the client has with the employees. The arrows that cross the line of interactions are moments of truth. The line of sight separates the actions that the client sees from the one he does not see. In this fourth corridor, we find the actions that the employee performs to be able to serve the client. Finally, we end down with the internal interaction line and the support actions. It includes all actions performed by individuals or areas of the organization that are not in direct contact with the client, but whose action is required to deliver the service.

The final step in mapping is to indicate all the material elements in the first lane. These are all tangible things to which the customer is subject and which can influence his perceptions.

Here is an example (high level) to understand the construction of this cartography:

Mapping can be done at different levels of detail depending on the needs of the organization, however, there are two particularly important things to consider before you start building the map:

  • What are the limitations of the process, from the customer’s point of view: what is the first and last step?
  • For which customer segment do we build the map?

More information, in Shostac’s article in Harvard Business Reviews or on Arizona University website.

Comments are closed.