Manouk Nijhof
Service Blueprinting is a process mapping tool which is mainly used in service environments. It illustrates an in-depth customer journey applying a user centered perspective.
Service Blueprint

The Service Blueprint is a process mapping tool. An important advantage of the service blue print is that it clearly shows the interaction between the customer and the organization. As the name already indicates, this mapping tool is mainly used in service environments.

Before you start with any mapping tool, you describe the main problem and goal, and you decide that a Service Blueprint helps you to solve the problem. The first step is to understand the current situation of the process. Which activities belong to the process? Which bottlenecks or waste do you see in the process and which one affects your main problem? You can map these with a Service Blueprint.

Eventually, you could also use a Service Blueprint to describe the target situation, or your future state. In this case, you can determine which obstacles you have to work on.

The use of a Service Blueprint contains 3 phases:

1. What is the current state?

2. What is the future state?

3. What steps have to be taken to reach this future state?

To make a Service Blueprint, you need to understand how it works. Every service blueprint consists of five swim lanes. The most important lane is the customer journey. In this lane, you describe all steps that a customer goes through, for example when ordering food. Above this, you find the evidence lane. This lane describes the tangible and intangible evidences of the customer. For example, when a customer wants to order some food, an evidence could be a menu card.  Then you have the front stage actions lane. This lane contains all the activities where there is direct, face-to-face interaction with the customer. This can be the activity of serving the food. In addition to the frontstage lane, there is a lane with the backstage actions. For example, preparing food in the kitchen. These are backstage actions, when there is no  face-to-face contact with the customer. The lane with support processes shows all actions that are needed to support the whole. For example, this may involve the support of any home-delivery website. 

In addition to these five lanes, there are three horizontal lines. You find the line of interaction below the customer journey. This line shows the face-to-face interaction between the customer and organizational employee. For example, when the food is given to the customer. The second line is the line of visibility. All activities below this line of visibility do not have any face-to-face contact with the customer. Then the third and last line is the line of internal interaction. As the name describes, this line shows the internal interaction between the support departments.