Archive for May, 2007

Business Week has a nice little podcast from April with the head of the CMU School of Design, Dan Boyarski, talking about Service Design and Carnegie Mellon’s upcoming Emergence Conference, September 7-9, 2007. This friday, June 1 is the deadline for submitting papers and July 1 is the early registration deadline.

My friend Phi-Hong and I were talking the other day about how to measure service quality as a critical step toward making the business case for Service Design. It’s tough since services are so ephemeral and hard to capture, but I came across a post over at Consumerist about the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) that seemed like it might provide some direction.

They posted some findings from the Journal of Marketing that found top companies on the ACSI outperformed the stock market, generating a 40% return. Of course, service quality is only one component of customer satisfaction. Price is another important factor and judging by McDonald’s unexpectedly poor showing, prevailing cultural attitudes can have an impact. Still it seems helpful to put numbers to the argument.

So which companies have the highest customer satisfaction ratings? Consumerist has got that list too.

Prototyping Services

Came across an article in the Financial Times about London-based PA Consulting Group using Second Life to prototype new services.

…we have a model of a bank branch that allows us to experiment with scenarios around user experience–how people would interact with components of the bank branch and bank staff. We use it to demonstrate how you can use the Second Life medium for modelling expensive and time-consuming real-life investment.

Here’s a link to the bank prototype in Second Life.