Service Design

March 5, 2013

Carefully Design Your Service Model

Taking time away from my busy clinical practice and other life routines allows me time and mental space for thinking and writing. Yesterday’s poolside reading in Bloomberg Businessweek provided the seed for this post.

Audi sells very popular, high quality cars but the Audi sales and service experience, according to the author, turns off potential repeat customers. Audi hired Continuum, a consulting firm specializing in improving businesses’ commercial spaces and services, what’s now called “service design”. As I read through the article I kept thinking of Clear Life Path, the psychiatric practice Laura Lee and I designed and continue to evolve. After practicing together for about a year and a half we were ready to graduate from our home-made website, business cards, and brochures to a professional operation. We found Keith, of Buckledown-Interactive, and embarked upon the exciting work of branding a new practice.

After considerable debate Laura Lee and I agreed to style our cash-only practice as “Concierge”. The rest is history. The word itself worked itself into the redesign of our office decor, the website, new business cards, and other promotional pieces. In an interesting way we became concierge psychiatrists.

We certainly didn’t think of our make-over in the terms so clearly spelled out in the Bloomberg Businessweek article. But it was exactly what Continuum is trying to help Audi achieve.

We did it. You can too. Want a little help doing it? Give me a ring, or read my book and do it all yourself. But make sure you have lots of fun at it.


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