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Service Blueprint

Service Blueprint

A service blueprint is a technique, a diagram visualizing the relationships between the most essential elements of the offered service.

It precisely defines and presents all the activities performed during the service operation. It simultaneously determines its course, stages, roles, tasks, goals, and tools.

The advantages of a service blueprint are the control of the process flow, the possibility of its optimization, and sensible design.

Even more importantly, service blueprinting allows you to examine the process, the organization, and the employees from the customer's perspective.

A service blueprint lets you see the customer experience during interaction with an organization. A distinguishing feature of a service blueprint is a deeper understanding of these experiences.

It puts a strong emphasis on including elements whose existence and impact the customer is aware of, as well as those that constitute a kind of background for the company's operation. Factors that stand behind the services and processes in question.

A service diagram shows what is happening in the dimension of the customer's activities and the dimension of the service provider's employees.

The diagram shows how these two layers depend on each other, how they interact, and what emotions, frustrations, and problems they generate.

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Why is it important to use a service blueprint?

First introduced in the '80s in the Harvard Business Review, the service blueprint is an extension and expansion of another tool: a customer journey map.

This is just a reminder that the customer journey map visualizes all the interactions between a customer and an organization.

For clarity, let's add that it is as much about offline interactions as it is about online ones.

The service blueprint adds more dimensions to this image and looks for connections between them, equally, between the obvious ones and those that are overlooked or downplayed.

The use of the service blueprint is recommended and finds application in:

  • Service optimization
  • Diagnosis of problems
  • Understanding the roles, tasks, and goals of the stakeholders involved in the service
  • Designing a new service
  • Defining the limits of service.

What is very important is that you can use this tool at any time in an organization's activity.

It can be used as a design tool before service implementation or as a diagnostic and optimization tool during service provision.

It's worth remembering that services are usually complex processes that require the cooperation and participation of many people and departments.

They need efficient cooperation and coordination of activities of people of different specialties operating in different areas of competence, capabilities, and independence.

Services are also provided using various tools; hence, it's essential to coordinate, synchronize, and optimize all processes occurring simultaneously.

In addition, the service blueprint allows you to distinguish and divide a complex process into smaller elements or stages.

And this makes it easier to optimize, manage, or see the problems they cause.

Elements of the service blueprint

The service diagram allows you to divide the service into smaller parts that are easier to understand and organize.

There are six elements of a service blueprint:

  • Physical evidence
  • Customer and user actions
  • Frontstage
  • Backstage
  • Support processes

Physical evidence includes elements such as websites, forms, or physical stores. It's everything that the customer can perceive through their senses.

Customer and user actions are self-explanatory; they include activities that they perform during an interaction with a service.

Frontstage refers to the activities and occurrences a user can see during a product's use. In turn, backstage involves processes that the customer can't see, but they need to happen for the customer to see the results of their actions.

Support processes involve actions meant to support employees directly involved with the service and customers. These can be, for example, third-party suppliers.

Benefits of the service blueprint

The service blueprint is often used to improve a service or service process. It involves identifying and fixing pain points, resulting in a better customer experience.

Another use of the service blueprint is developing a brand-new service, which enables you to test it before presenting it to customers.

Furthermore, service blueprints enable your team and potential new employees to understand a particular service process better. They provide a clear overview of steps within a service, making it easier to comprehend.

What's more, service blueprints allow you to see the actors involved in the service—customers, suppliers, or particular teams. Thanks to that, you can see where the resources are allocated and who uses them.

Service blueprints can also help you decide whether to reduce or increase the target audience for your products.

Additionally, service blueprinting makes cross-functional collaboration much more efficient and straightforward because all the teams can clearly see the outline of the service.

How to design services with service blueprints?

Service design can apply to services already offered and those yet to be designed. The pattern is similar in both variants.

The creation of the service blueprint requires, above all, the identification of the following:

  • Stakeholders involved in the process
  • Customer actions
  • Employees actions
  • Interactions between customers and employees, as well as between employees themselves (multi-dimensionally)
  • Service processes
  • Physical evidence that is produced in the course of providing a service
Did You Know...

The concept of stakeholders involved in the process should be understood broadly and encompass all employees involved (directly or indirectly) in the service provision.

Customer activities include all activities performed by customers, including their choices.

Employee activities, guided by the criteria of their visibility to the customer, can be divided into the abovementioned frontstage (external and direct actions) and backstage (actions occurring behind the scenes). Backstage activities are all activities, processes, and tools that influence direct actions.

The aim of the service blueprint is to divide processes into smaller components; hence, the diagram distinguishes three main dividing lines:

The interaction line refers to direct customer interactions with the company's employees.

The visibility line separates direct and behind-the-scenes activities.

The internal interaction line separates employees who have direct interaction with customers from those who don't.

Some variants of the service blueprint diagram take additionally into account:

  • Duration of the service execution and its various stages
  • Metrics (crucial indicators for measuring quality and customer satisfaction)
  • Customer and employee emotions
  • Graphic elements that convey meanings, senses, and information better than words (e.g., arrows)
  • Rules, regulations, and policies.

Arrows (one-way arrows and two-way arrows) indicate and define relationships and dependencies between elements. For example, a two-way arrow signifies the need to work out a consensus and the interdependence of elements.

Documents describing standards, ways of doing things, and rules are important in service optimization processes, so it is recommended that they be included in the service blueprint diagrams.

They allow us to determine what can and can't be changed. In turn, metrics of success can be financial costs, time, and the number of activities performed.

Did You Know...

Emotional reactions are essential; they influence the customer's impressions and experiences and should be included in the service blueprint.

Advantages of using the service blueprint technique

Service design allows an organization to look deeply, multi-dimensionally, from a specific perspective, and with a concrete goal at various aspects. It helps you tailor the service to customer expectations.

The service blueprint enables you to take a closer look at the following:

  • Processes
  • Resources
  • Strengths and weaknesses that result in bad impressions and customer experience
  • Logic of operation and dependencies between elements of a service

In addition, the service blueprint makes it possible to:

  • Improve processes and services
  • Make processes and services tools for strategic competition
  • Improve the efficiency of work and operation
  • Personalize services
  • Make processes more consistent
  • Become aware of invisible, informal processes that affect service quality.

By mapping a service using the service diagram, you can provide an organization with an opportunity to:

  • Increase the flexibility of operation
  • Scale services
  • Transfer knowledge and experience
  • Gain more profound insights with a broader scope
  • Find the causes of problems
  • Discovery pain points.

How to create a service blueprint?

Service blueprints have many benefits, which is why they're worth using. So, what does the process of creating a service blueprint look like?

Select the process

First, you should determine which service process you want to blueprint. It can be a new one or an already existing one. This step will allow you to analyze the particular process and establish its scope and limitations.

Identify users and customers

Determine your target audience. This will be the users and customers who use and interact with your products and services. This step allows you to adapt products to meet customers' needs and expectations.

Analyze the perspective of customers and users

You should create a customer journey map to examine the service from the customer's perspective. A journey map will show how users interact with a product and what steps they take to complete their tasks.

Your goal should be to improve the service delivery process, and the customer journey map will highlight the areas for improvement.

Define actions

During this step, you have to list every interaction that occurs in the service process. You need to establish who acts, when, and the results of their actions to establish their influence on the service.

Develop flows and define key performance indicators

Once you list all the interactions occurring in the service process, you should organize them in the order they happen. This will aid you with visualizing the service flow and understanding its steps.

Finally, physical evidence and key performance indicators should be used to track whether the service is successful and works as intended.

Service blueprint tools

You can find multiple tools on the market that will enable you to create service blueprints and customer journeys.

They often offer various templates that can help you design the service blueprint in a clear and understandable way.


Lucidchart is a tool for creating various types of diagrams.

It will significantly streamline the creation of service blueprints. Its features include a wide library of templates for process visualization, user-friendly interface customization options, and drag-and-drop functions.

Thanks to the cloud, Lucidchart also enables you to share service blueprints with your teams easily and allows them to collaborate in real time.

Lucidchart offers a template that already has space for determining physical evidence, customer and user actions, frontstage, backstage, and support processes.


Miro is software providing multiple service blueprints and customer journey map templates.

Teams can effortlessly perform service blueprinting in real time. Miro's templates enable you to identify touchpoints, support processes, and opportunities for improvement.

Similarly to Lucidchart, it provides templates that have prepared sections for service blueprint elements.


Figma is another collaborative tool for creating service blueprints. It can be used as a browser-based app or a desktop application and is compatible with a variety of operating systems. Like its market competitors, it also allows your team to cooperate in real time.

Additionally, it too provides a library of ready-made templates. These templates allow you to outline all the activities and processes occurring in service delivery.

Service Blueprint. Summary

The service diagram has a vital role in optimizing user and customer experience. It gives you insight into processes (external and internal), points of contact, and pain points.

It allows you to see the causes of poorer impressions and customer experiences in direct interactions between the customer and the service department and broader mechanisms.

It's a great tool for an in-depth analysis of services and gaining a better understanding.

Thanks to the service blueprint, you will optimize existing services and facilitate new service design.

As you can see, a service blueprint is valuable for business development and facilitating processes within your organization.

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