What is a Service Blueprint?

Jonas Bärtsch
February 24, 2023


The Service Blueprint is an essential tool in the development and innovation of services (Service Design and Service Innovation). Services are a complex interplay of multiple process steps, people, and technologies.
The foundation for every building and physical product are plans and technical drawings. These plans provide information on how the composition and manufacturing should work, so that all parties involved can see and understand the connections.
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It is often much more difficult to have a tangible idea of how a non-physical product works. As a result, improving or even developing a service from scratch based on this can be challenging.
In this post, the terms product and service are used interchangeably.

What is a Service Blueprint?

The Service Blueprint is an instrument or method for visually analyzing services. It is applied in both the development of new and the optimization of existing services.
A service is documented step by step and visually based on the customer experience chain.
For each customer experience or touchpoint, the corresponding processes that the provider must perform in the background are made visible.
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Elements of a Service Blueprint

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Physical Evidence

This refers to the points of contact that customers (and even employees) come into contact with. Although they are the first to be noticed, they are usually the last element to be added.
Example: This category includes locations such as a physical store or the company website, as well as any signage, receipts, notification or confirmation emails, etc.

Customer Actions

What customers do during the service experience.
Example: Customers can visit the website, speak with an employee (in person or online), make a purchase, place an order, accept an order, or receive something.

Frontstage Actions

What customers see and with whom they interact. In technology-heavy companies, this category is added or replaced by the technology with which customers interact.
Example: Employees could greet a customer visiting a physical location, answer questions via chat, send emails, take an order, or provide status information.

Backstage Actions

All other employee actions, preparations or responsibilities that customers do not see, but that enable the service to be provided.
Example: Employees could write content for the website/email/etc., give approvals, complete a review process, make preparations, pack an order, etc.

Supporting Processes

Internal/ancillary activities that support employees delivering the service.
Example: Third-party suppliers providing materials, a courier service, equipment or software used, delivery or payment systems, etc.


Service blueprints also include lines to separate each category and illustrate how the components interact with each other in a service process. This allows employees and managers to better understand their roles and, most importantly, potential sources of customer dissatisfaction within a service experience.
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Why are Service Blueprints effective?

Services are intangible. Therefore, it can be difficult to understand what changes need to be made. It can even be more difficult to talk about specific changes without first having a complete picture of the process. Visualizing every step and interaction in the process removes this ambiguity and shows areas for improvement.
Service Blueprints enable organizations to optimize their service processes. Other benefits include:
  • Putting customers at the center: With the aim of delighting customers, winning and building long-term customer relationships.
  • Breaking down silo thinking: Services that create excitement are holistically designed from the perspective of customers. This often requires new internal connections to be made.
Visual thinking is clear thinking:
In abstract and written processes, it is often difficult to depict what the big picture looks like. Service Blueprints make processes accessible to organizations holistically - from customer consultation to management.

Service Blueprint Template

What should be considered when creating Service Blueprints?

Limited Scope
Similar to Customer Journey Mapping, we suggest creating a blueprint for each core service. Blueprints are already complex enough - don't make it even more complicated by trying to capture multiple services in one blueprint.
Add time and quality metrics.
Services are provided over time, and a step in the blueprint can take 5 seconds or 5 minutes. Adding time at the top ensures a better understanding of the service.
Quality metrics are experiential factors that measure your success or value - the critical moments when the service is successful or fails in the eyes of the service user. For example: How long is the waiting time?
Based on Data
A service blueprint should be created from primary data sources (e.g. reports from employees about their workflows, observations of employees performing their work, or work logs).
Service blueprinting should be an iterative process. Make a first pass with insights from personas, empathy maps, journey maps, and experience maps, and then return to the blueprint to refine it over time.
The process of bringing people together and visualizing an otherwise abstract infrastructure can involve employees and stakeholders from different groups and encourage collaborative conversations and changes.


Service blueprints are essential for optimizing and developing services. The service blueprinting process itself already provides a change of perspective. The most important step is to start the process, rather than having the perfect format, because there is infinite potential for innovation, customer delight, and value creation in every small part of the customer experience chain.

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