Service design is a constant development process that can only be learned through practice. It is essentially a philosophy where a product or service is constantly being improved: learning, refining, experimenting, modifying and then learning again. Once you've gotten the hang of this, you can quickly learn how to implement new methods and develop entirely new methods specifically for the purposes of own business.
The tools presented here are a means for you to analyze your thoughts. By seeking the answers to their questions, you may realize something essential about your business, your customers' needs and their value determination process. Mechanically filling out each tool won't do much to improve your business, so take your time to ponder each question and their answers. You will find some of the questions easy to answer, while others may take more thought. When starting out, you will need more time. Once you have become less reliant on the tools, you will notice that you're developing services on the fly and thinking from a customer-oriented point of view. At this point, the tools still function as reminders that can help you review the development of your services, e.g., if you're looking to expand your business.
The tools in this toolkit are intended to familiarize you with the philosophy of service design. You won't necessarily need all of them, and you are free to modify each tool to better suit your needs if you are so inclined.
Nevertheless, most important of all is the confidence to try new ideas with the right customers as early as possible and before large investments have been made. This will reduce your investment risks considerably. It takes some courage to ask for the customer's opinion before your new service innovation is "done". Once you have acknowledged the idea that a service is never actually finished, you may also realize the value of getting your customers to design services for you while you concentrate on implementing them. Not only will you save time and money, but you will also make your customers into kings who will always stay loyal to their good servants.
This selection of methods was developed in the SDT - Service Design Toolkit project, undertaken by JAMK University of Applied Sciences between 2010-2012 in cooperation with Palmu Inc. All material is presented under the Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/). The toolkit is freely available for commercial use, but the toolkit's origin must be stated according to the terms of the license (SDT - Service Design Toolkit, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, www.sdt.fi).