What Is a Service Designer? (With Skills and Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Service design is a crucial business tool for designing frameworks to target business goals and customer satisfaction. Individuals who enjoy planning and generating infrastructure that allows both the client and their employer to thrive may find a career as a service designer fulfilling. Understanding what a service designer is can help you decide whether this career is for you and secure the necessary experience and education to succeed in this role. In this article, we discuss what a service designer is, describe their daily responsibilities, explore their job requirements and list key skills.

What is a service designer?

Understanding the answer to 'What is a service designer?' is important to securing a role in this field. A service designer is a professional who improves the experience of both employees and customers by focusing on direct and indirect interactions between customers and the businesses they purchase products or services from. For example, service designers may seek to improve a customer's experience by optimising their user experience (UX) on virtual platforms.

Ultimately, service designers focus on end-to-end interactions between a business and their customers, ensuring that the business satisfies customers both before and after their purchases. Service designers map out processes in detail to ensure that their design thoroughly considers customer-service data analysis and meets all current needs. Service designers organise three main types of business resources:

  • People: refers to anyone who interacts with a business personally, such as employees and customers or those indirectly affected by its processes, such as business partners and investors.

  • Processes: refers to procedures conducted by both employees and customers that guide actions such as buying a product or hiring and training new employee.

  • Props: refers to the goods and services that a business sells to customers or platforms where the business can interact with customers, such as social media and online shops.

Related: What Does a UX Designer Do? (With Skills and Daily Duties)

What does a service designer do?

Here's a guide to some service designer responsibilities:

Research customer behaviour

Service designers conduct evaluative research into employees and key stakeholders, analysing their behaviours and desires to enhance their experience. Service designers can use analysis results to inform new strategies to improve UX. They may use quantitative or qualitative methods to analyse this data, which focus on numerical results and subjective accounts from stakeholders, respectively.

Create new processes

After mapping out new processes from stakeholder, customer and employee analysis, service designers may collaborate with other professionals to design new ways of optimising UX. They can do this via websites, online shopping and social media. New processes aim to improve customer experience, streamline employee production and address any customer or stakeholder suggestions and complaints.

Solve design problems

Service designers also solve design flaws that hinder user and employee experiences. They may do this by re-evaluating the framework and identifying areas for improvement using customer and employee feedback. This may involve continuously adapting processes to match developing customer requirements while working with service managers to understand the latest consumer habits and desires.

Related: What Does a Front End Developer Do? (And How to Become One)

Job requirements of a service designer

Candidates looking for a service designer role may benefit from understanding the typical job and training requirements, which are as follows:

Education

Before applying for service designer roles, consider gaining some professional certifications. Useful certifications include Certificate III in Customer Engagement, Certificate III in Business or a Professional Diploma in UX Design. If you have a bachelor's degree, then a Graduate Certificate in Service Design is an option. These can present good opportunities for candidates to develop their service design skills and understand how to incorporate business development and customer experience into a design strategy. Candidates can learn how to use technology to design frameworks to improve customer engagement on online shopping sites and main company sites.

Having professional certifications may also benefit a candidate in terms of career development. Professional certifications provide candidates with unique industry knowledge that may help them reach an expert level. This can then qualify them for more senior roles, promotions and higher pay.

Experience

Once equipped with the relevant education, candidates can consider gaining experience in a relevant industry or role that has transferable skills applicable to service design. These include customer service roles, UX/UI design and entry-level service team roles. Experience can give candidates the opportunity to understand how to implement business development targets into the customer experience and understand how to add value to the customer throughout their interaction with a business.

Candidates can also connect with other service design professionals and gain valuable industry knowledge and insight to help them become full-time service designers. Candidates can do this by acquiring a service manager mentor or observing colleagues and learning from their knowledge and techniques. Having experience in a similar role can increase a candidate's chances of success in a hiring campaign, as employers may trust their skills and industry knowledge.

Professional portfolio

Experienced service designers may require a professional portfolio for a job application. A portfolio is a collection of examples from previous employment that illustrate a candidate's skills and experience with optimising customer and employee experience. For a service designer, this may include examples of frameworks designed for various users, targeted for different devices and directed at resolving unique business problems.

Portfolios are an excellent tool to show how experienced a candidate is and how much training they're likely to require in the onboarding process. Designers looking into senior roles such as service management positions may require a portfolio.

Computer confidence

Service designers use software to develop more customer-friendly interfaces and frameworks on virtual platforms. Software is also useful for generating processes designed to increase efficiency in an office environment, such as data management software. Service designers may use software such as Adobe Creative Cloud to improve their web development and graphic design for virtual platforms.

They may also use spreadsheets when analysing customer data and word-processing applications when preparing reports or planning frameworks. Candidates can learn to use these platforms and types of software by pursuing certifications such as a Certificate III in Information Technology.

Service designer skills

Service designers require certain hard and soft skills to perform their responsibilities. These skills help them adapt to changing customer needs and business dynamics. Here's a guide to these hard and soft skills:

Hard skills

Hard skills are industry-specific skills that service designers use to do their jobs. Employers may mention these skills in a job advertisement as being a minimum expectation. Candidates may use their education and any previous experience, such as in UX design, to develop these skills. Here are some examples:

  • Customer service: As service designers primarily focus on bettering their framework and the customer experience, customer service skills are valuable. They help them effectively communicate with customers and listen to their queries, complaints and suggestions, allowing them to create better service frameworks.

  • Technical confidence: Service designers may use technical devices to conduct the majority of their tasks. This helps them design UX strategies that improve customer experience and add value to their purchases.

  • Flexibility: Customer needs constantly develop, so strategies that service designers generate also evolve. Flexibility allows professionals to adapt their previous frameworks to match the current needs of the consumer.

  • Problem-solving: If a service manager presents a designer with a customer complaint about their service experience, service designers may work with them to establish solutions. This requires problem-solving skills to generate innovative frameworks that add value to the customer.

  • Product understanding: To improve their service, designers require an understanding of the products and services their company sells or hires out to customers. This helps them think of ways to improve customer service and promote products to increase sales.

  • Business knowledge: Service designers work with other departments to improve UX to help the company reach its business development goals. This requires a thorough understanding of the business, including projected growth, competitors and growth targets.

Related: Skills Required for Good Customer Service

Soft skills

The following soft skills are general qualities that enable service professionals to work effectively with colleagues and customers and improve employability. These skills typically require experience in a similar industry or role to develop. Here are some examples:

  • Communication: Communication is essential for working well with customers and colleagues. This helps service designers work with customers to establish how they can add value to their UX while working collaboratively with colleagues.

  • Organisation: As customer needs are constantly evolving, organisational skills allow service designers to keep pace with changing frameworks. This also helps them improve time management on new projects and avoid stress.

  • Collaboration: Service designers may work with other related professionals such as service managers to generate and release new user frameworks. Collaboration skills help service designers work productively and effectively with colleagues, enabling them to brainstorm new ideas and quickly meet deadlines.

  • Analytical skills: Service designers use comprehensive analytical skills to identify the reasons behind customer satisfaction rates. This helps them implement strategic changes in their UX to boost satisfaction and customer loyalty.


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