The Service Automation Framework is centered around the User. In order to make effective and valuable services, a first step an organization therefore needs to take is to understand its Users. Who are they and what do they like? Although this sounds very simple, it is a step that is frequently overlooked by service providers. If an organization understands its Users, it becomes possible to design an optimal User Experience (UX). In the first block of the Service Automation Framework, the objective is to understand the User.
There are many methods available to examine User preferences. The Service Automation Framework uses the method of defining User Groups, User Characteristics and User Actions. This approach was chosen for two important reasons:
Determining the User Groups of services is a valuable exercise. It will provide insight in the types of users that a service provider currently has and, more importantly, the types of User a service provider aspires to have. A detailed description of User Groups will give clear and valuable input to the Service Design phase of Service Automation. Knowing the User is the first step to achieving an optimal Users Experience.
The Service Automation Framework provides a structured way to determine User Groups and User characteristics. Service providers can use User Characteristics Chart, as indicated in the example below. A User Characteristics Chart (SAFT1) is a template that provides key information about the Users of an automated services. The chart combines demographic information about users, together with psychographic criteria that users find important. Psychographic criteria are elements that users find important in evaluating services. Various studies have indicated that a service experience is judged on five key psychographic criteria:
With the demographic information and psychographic criteria, service providers can compose a User Characteristics Chart. If you want to download a blank User Characteristics Chart, you can download the free materials that accompany the Service Automation Framework book.
In order to see how User Characteristics Charts are used in practice, we have provided a simple example. The example below shows the User Characteristics Chart of Uber drivers. In order to provide an optimal user experience for an Uber driver, the service provider (in this case Uber) needs to understand what the key characteristics of the User Group:
The User Characteristic Charts describes above describes a very important User Group of Uber. Because Uber operates a platform with two types of users (Uber drivers and Uber riders), it is important to understand the key characteristics of each group. Based on the information above, Uber needs to take different approach to service design for Uber drivers in order to achieve an optimal user experience. The User Characteristics Chart is a helpful tool to quickly identify key information about Users.