Quite often, we find that when businesses are having problems, they want to go straight into solution mode, but before this can happen, we need to get a really clear understanding of exactly what is happening now. A service blueprint and process audit give you a snapshot in time of the business across all levels and helps to guide us with our recommendations.
While they both do something similar, they are two different tools, so let’s take a look at what each one is, and why we sometimes do both when working with our customers.
Imagine you’re building a house. Before you start, you need a plan that shows where everything goes. A service blueprint is like that plan but for services. It’s a detailed diagram or report that shows every step of a service from start to finish. It includes all the actions of customers and employees, the physical evidence, and the behind-the-scenes processes.
They can help to:
- Improve customer experiences by looking at your business from the customers point of view instead of yours
- Identify problems by helping to find the parts of your service that are confusing or frustrating for customers
- Enhances communication by giving everyone within the business a clear picture of how the service should work
- Facilitates training by helping new team members understand the service workflow more easily
Blueprints are the core stage behind every project we do, as it helps to define our tech choices, the tech setups, our process documentation, and weaknesses within a business that our customers should address.
So in summary, a blueprint looks more at your customers journey with you and the high-level workflows that happen across the business.
On the other hand, a process audit goes into the nitty-gritty.
It looks at how well the business processes are working and helps to identify efficiency and effectiveness by identifying spots where the processes could be better (weaknesses). This is when we take each step of the blueprint and break it down into it’s individual steps.
For example, the step within the workflow might be to create and send an invoice to a customer, whereas the process audit will look at the intricate details of exactly how you go about completing that task.
When we use both a blueprint and a process audit, you get a super clear picture of how your service works and how it can improve. The blueprint shows you the whole service, while the audit digs deep into each part to make sure it’s the best it can be.
So how do you get started? For us, it’s normally with completion of a blueprint and then the process audit comes later on once the high-level workflows and tech have been sorted.
You don’t need any fancy tools or flow chart software, simply start by noting down everything from how your customers hear about you (your marketing), how you sell to them, how you onboard them, how you deliver on your service, how you offboard them, and how you look after the team and your finances.
The power is in the process of going through all of these steps. Quite often, you will be able to immediately see where improvements can be made. You just need to ask questions about how things happen and get it out of your head!