â€œâ€¦ the line between product and service has become blurryâ€¦ what matters more is the total experience. â€By: Manuel Saez, Creative Director at MS&P
[Article first published on June 19, 2008 on Fast Company Expert Design Blog]
For a long time customer service has been a strong strategic tool for many service-based companies like USAA Insurance Company and the Four Season Hotels and resorts. However, today, product-based companies like Apple and Lexus are relying more on customer service as a complement to their products. The strategy works, although the line between product and service has become blurry. Today, what matters more is the total experience.
This is great from the consumer point of view but it could be a costly proposition for a company if the products are not designed to work well and support a customer service driven structure.
It is here where the power of design can bring enormous value. A well-crafted design/business brief that considers aspects normally ignored such as return policies, warranties, shipping information, maintenance and service. By combining these entities into the design/business brief, companies are able to provide a tangible and instructive resource from which everyone including the customer benefits.
Manuel Saez, Creative Director