I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Customer Experience, UX and Service Design help organizations to provide excellent services. We do it in different ways, but that’s what we do. Not for much longer.
We used to have few interactions with organizations
Not so long ago, people used to have someone to do all their small tasks for them. Things like booking flights, canceling meetings, remembering important dates and even shopping gifts. They were called secretaries, but they are not so popular anymore since resource optimization was a thing in the past decades. Also, new tools came up. Calendars, e-mails, online shopping, web check-ins, etc. We got used to doing everything on our own. And with services cutting down on staff and automating everything, customer experience and service design appeared as the answer to simplify ever growing complex structures to clients. It just made sense and, to be honest, feels good to help companies be more efficient and yet more attractive. It’s a win-win outcome: customers are happier and companies more profitable.
With AI and personal assistants popping up everywhere, I’ll sure be out of work soon. It’s not that some robot will steal my job as it is stealing the one of drivers and cashiers. It’s just that I don’t see many services interacting so much with people anymore.
One interface to rule them all
Let’s imagine the following. You had to delay a meeting one day which made it impossible for you to take a flight home on the same day and get to your partner’s birthday. You would still call your wife/husband to tell him/her what happened but, in a perfect world, would you…
• change your flight to the next day
• postpone meetings on the next morning
• buy a better present to your partner (right?)
• make reservations at an exclusive restaurant back home
• book another night on your hotel
• order dinner
• reschedule your airport shuttle
…or would prefer to have your ai-powered assistant do that for you instead with one simple request? (and you're done!)
Most service interactions will happen backstage. We’ll ask Siri/Alexa/Google/etc. and they will deal with the providers for us. Experiences will be flawless and smooth. We’ll be happy. Companies will be more efficient. Win-win-win-win.
So, in the future, service designers will be responsible for orchestrating “Service API’s.” And taking care of the few physical touchpoints that will remain, might be an intern’s job only.
Real service design will take place at Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and a few others only. We will talk to them; they will deal with the rest for us.
Of course, this is an exaggeration. But, is it? What do you think?