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The Importance of Story(thinking) in the Age of Service Ecosystems


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n an age of increasingly portable and ubiquitous content, digital products have been liberated from the notion of place. As Peter Morville has written, the lines between product and service have blurred to create multi-channel, cross-platform, trans-media, physico-digital experiences. For marketers, it’s becoming less effective to think about a “drive to”, and for designers it’s not enough to simply design for discreet channels and platforms. People are starting to use products and information in uniquely individual ways. And as products evolve into larger ecosystems, they become systems of services.

So how do we design for such spaces? How do we get to a strategy for facilitating the best customer experience at the right time and in the right place and on the right channel? And why is this a good thing? How can we grow a service ecosystem in a way that makes sense for customers as well as business?

Storytelling, as a framework for both strategy and design, is one way to get there. In a world of personalized experiences, we need to begin thinking about multi-strand narratives involving the integration of a digital product in the context of everyday life. Storytelling, used this way, becomes the bridge between the data (flow of information) and the customer interaction (across multiple touchpoints). It can inform “the what” as well as “the how” of product and service design. It helps us coordinate larger, multi-disciplinary teams. And, most important, it helps us build better more personally relevant products and services.

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The Importance of Story(thinking) in the Age of Service Ecosystems

  1. 1. The Importance of Story(thinking) in the Age of Service Ecosystems <br />CINDY CHASTAIN<br />@cchastainIDEA 2010<br />
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  5. 5. what a service ecosystem looks like<br />
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  7. 7. information, tools, and guidance for every aspect of healthy weight loss<br />
  8. 8. surrounds your reading with new resources, products, and services<br />
  9. 9. stokes customer passions at every level<br />
  10. 10. different types of content for different occasions, locations, media<br />
  11. 11. Two types of service ecosystems<br />A single product or servicein multiple places… <br />A variety of product or servicesin different places… <br />
  12. 12. Business Benefits<br />Creates more opportunities for engaging customers <br />Make it easier for customers to engage repeatedly and in ways that suit their needs<br />Helps grow and retain a loyal customer base<br />Introduces new revenue opportunities<br />
  13. 13. Challenges<br />Identifying the thematic center of an experience. <br />Orchestrating a wide range of customer touch points.<br />Choosing what service tools, features and content to offer and where.<br />Managing the architecture, flow and consistency of data across multiple channels, platforms and services.<br />Aligning the efforts of large, multi-disciplinary teams.<br />
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  15. 15. story (thinking) = building narrative strands as a framework for mapping customer experiences within an ecosystem<br />
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  20. 20. mapping the existing ecosystem<br />
  21. 21. Verizon’s service ecosystem<br />
  22. 22. bringing you the best technology in all the right places? <br />
  23. 23. finding existing storylines<br />
  24. 24. three primary storylines<br />
  25. 25. storylines and subplots<br />
  26. 26. define themes and events<br />
  27. 27. Five Personas for the Shopping Storyline<br />The Collaborator<br />The Get It Done<br />Decision Maker<br />The Wheeler/Dealer<br />The Methodical Shopper<br />The Opinion Seeker<br />It’s difficult enough to meet everyone’s needs in the house – why does the process have to be so complex?<br />Too much detail slows me down. I just want to check this off my to-do list as quickly as possible.<br />I love the feeling of gaming the system and getting a great deal.<br />The more I know, the less likely I am to be ripped off.<br />I’d hate to make the wrong choice so I check with people who might know more than I do.<br /><ul><li>Considers the needs and preferences of other members of the household
  28. 28. Gathers research and questions to discuss offline with a collaborator
  29. 29. Knows what they want and needs to take care of business efficiently
  30. 30. Sets time limits for decision making process
  31. 31. Willing to spend the time and effort to negotiate and find deals, coupons, offers
  32. 32. Believes they need to talk to a person in order to get the best possible deal
  33. 33. Has a thorough system for gathering and evaluating information from a lot of sources (blogs, reviews, articles, reports, etc.)
  34. 34. Creates personal lists and charts to compare findings
  35. 35. Insecurity about their own knowledge and expertise drives them to validate decisions with other people
  36. 36. Considers opinions from friends, family, colleagues and online peers </li></li></ul><li>set up the main story line<br />
  37. 37. define experience themes<br />
  38. 38. develop subplots<br />
  39. 39. use as the foundation for experience strategy<br />
  40. 40. foundation for experience strategy<br />
  41. 41. mapping subplots to the ecosystem<br />
  42. 42. storyline mapped to locations<br />
  43. 43. existing learn events mapped to locations<br />
  44. 44. new opportunities in the ecosystem<br />
  45. 45. Existing sign-up events<br />
  46. 46. creating stories for design<br />
  47. 47. collaborator learn journey<br />D. <br />E. <br />A. <br />B. <br />C. <br />
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  72. 72. final thoughts<br />
  73. 73. The Benefits of Story<br />Helps define a collection of experiences around a common theme<br />Keeps customers needs at the center of business decisions<br />Informs the value and quality of the customer interaction at various touch points<br />Help us define where to put the right features and service interactions<br />Informs the data model that will support those interactions<br />Make marketing efforts more relevant<br />
  74. 74. Story lines and plots are the bridge between our collective thinking aboutwhat customers need to do and how andwhere they need to do it. <br />
  75. 75. THANKS!<br />@cchastain<br /><br /><br />