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Qualifying Questions for Potential Service Design Clients 20 Apr 2009

I have been reminded recently about the famous Wayne Gretzky quote that "a good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." It made me think that it can be adapted to Service Design as it applies to potential clients. As an emerging discipline, Service Design is not for everyone and for every service company, not because they don't need it or wont benefit from it, more so because they are not all ready for it.

So, in this environment where it is tough to get companies to invest any money unless they can clearly see a return, I have a sense that it is a more efficient and effective use of time for Service Design firms to "skate where the puck is going", ie with those companies that believe that creating outstanding customer experiences is a way to increase their profitability in an environment that is generally struggling to grow through traditional methods.

So here are some qualifying questions I thought might help all parties ensure they are aligned from the outset.

1. Is your company committed to customer service as a growth driver of the business?

2. Do you believe that the company has the capability to systematically shape the customer experience?

3. Do you believe that you could improve your customer's experience with some focus on it?

4. Do you believe that improving customer satisfaction will increase revenue and profitability?

5. Are you open to a relatively new approach that can improve customer experience and profitability?

Given we are all pressed for time and results in this climate, it might be valuable to ensure that we determine very early on whether their is a potential marriage in the offing, or we should just leave it coffee.

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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