Interview with Thomas Schönweitz

By Marina Lenz

NEXT Berlin: Why does service design matter for companies?

Thomas Schönweitz: 80% of all companies say they provide great customer service, but only 8% of their clients agree (Closing the delivery gap, Bain & Company, 2005) and 82% of customers end their relationship with a company because of a bad experience (Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012).

The times where companies could push any product into the market and know that customers would buy them are over. Social Media and word of mouth have created informed decision making customers and a fierce competition with near identical products from outsourced mass production.

The key to survival is to distinguish your company and brand from the rest. We went from mass-customization of raw materials in order to create products in the 19th century to the mass-customization of products in the mid 20th century to the creation of a massive service industry with over 70% of the GDP by the end of the 20th century.

But these services are more and more identical and lacking individuality – what’s the difference between your utility company and your competitor for example?

Service design solves this dilemma by creating meaningful experiences for the user, developing new revenue streams for companies and increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction. Service design is at the center of feasibility, desirability and viability of a service.

Read the full interview here!