Like a friendly librarian guiding you to the item that’s right for your needs…
The long tail of a service blueprint
One of the main components of the recommendation my team proposed as part of a multi-year Service Design project was search as a primary navigation vector. We knew search was going to be important, but it takes time for a large site invested in clickthrough rates and explicit calls to action to build the infrastructure to support multi-branch conditional logic and disambiguation. Looks like the wait was worth it!
Improved search, and the intelligence layer to allow guiding the user to a relevant result was seen as hugely valuable by both stakeholders and customers we tested prototypes with. So valuable in fact that the client decided to do a foundational rewrite of their technical platform to enable this and other dynamic features of our recommendation. Now that’s positive change!
Based on observations from our in-home visits and trends at the time, Search was seen as a logical choice for the primary way of finding things on the site: products and services included. Customers told us they wanted the bank to “show me you know me” and lead them through the processes of growing their financial knowledge.
We explored several low to medium fidelity ideas of how a “guided search” or “goal-based search” could unfold. We talked with tellers and officers in the branch offices to see how they talked to customers to help them find the right product or service to meet their needs. We ended up with a recommendation that took the user through 2 levels of refinement on their original searches and guided them to either informative articles, account applications or the right service if they were already customers.
When this large national Bank engaged in a committing Service Design effort in 2004 they knew it was going to cause some change. They didn’t know that it was going to take 10 years to unfold the service blueprint, or roadmap, that effort delivered. The target of a 3-5 year plan to create a step-change from their offering at that time did pay dividends in that timeframe, and it seems to be unfolding still.