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Page history last edited by Victor Lombardi 13 years, 2 months ago

This is a wiki for capturing design patterns about service design. There are other places to learn about design process and methods; these patterns try to describe aspects of the service itself.


You also be interested in the Service Design Glossary.



  1. Play Concierge-- A single point of contact for all consumer interaction with a service.
  2. Compute at the Speed of Conversation - computer systems should be fast enough that they don't slow down customer service calls. But with data centers, customer service, and consumers distributed globally, sometimes long time delays occur.
  3. Appeal to the Senses -- like a restaurant that pushes out smells from the cooking or baking (e.g. fresh bread) to the sidewalk as you go by. 
  4. Say You're Sorry -- After making a mistake, an apology is made in the form of a message or action that turns anger into happiness. 
  5. Differentiate the Service -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differentiated_service_(design_pattern) (Perhaps we can divide this into more specific patterns? -- Victor Lombardi)
  6. Keep In Touch -- when a process is in progress for an undetermine length of time, let the customer know they haven't been forgotten. For example, the customer orders a custom pair of eyeglasses. Depending on demand and product complexity, it may be hard to know exactly when the finished product will arrive. So the store sends updates, in this case with new state messages like, "The order has been sent to the optics lab and they have created the lenses. Next they will fit them to the frame and ship them to the store..."

  7. Put a Face on It -- When a human is communicating with customers via phone, computer, or any non-face-to-face medium, the messages should be identified as coming from that person. The customer will feel like they're not talking to an impersonal bureaucracy and the employee will feel a sense of personal responsibility. For example, the Accounts Payable department shouldn't hide behind an "accounts_payable" email address. As a corrolary, auto-generated messages identified as such can help customers interact with them appropriately.

  8. Name With Respect -- When assigning a service to a person using their name, use a label that respects the person's name. For example, neil.patel@company.com is an email address that properly represents Neil Patel's name, whereas npate@company.com does not.

  9. Greet the Customer -- greet the customer upon each new customer use of the service

  10. Take their order -- allow each customer to customize their order

  11. Remember their story -- remember each customer's previous orders and preferences and tailor additional interactions with that history in mind.




Anti-Patterns are patterns which make life more difficult for the consumer or service provider, worse for the environment, or difficult to profit financially.


  1. Black Hole Customer Service - the consumer sends a message and receives no response at all. 
  2. Hidden Customer Service - consumer can't figure out how to contact customer service


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