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Guide on Service Designs and Report on Surveys and Research Compiled

April 20, 2020

Against the backdrop of matured markets, digitalization in society and other factors, companies have been facing more and more sophisticated demands from customers. In this trend, having better customer experiences is one of the most important challenges for success in business. In light of this, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted surveys on case examples of leading companies inside and outside Japan in order to popularize “service designs,” a methodology for shaping and embodying “services,” as a system for sustainably providing desirable customer experiences. The results of the survey were compiled into a guide on service designs and a report on the surveys and research.

1. Purpose

Against the recent backdrop of matured markets, digitalization in society and other factors, companies have been facing more and more sophisticated demands from customers. In this trend, having better customer experiences in all situations where companies have contact with customers is one of the most important challenges for success in business.

Amid this situation, “service designs,” a methodology using which companies shape and embody “services” integrating “tangible goods” and “intangible services” as a system for sustainably providing desirable customer experiences, has been attracting global attention. However, only a limited number of companies in Japan are intentionally pursuing service designs and have successful case examples of such designs.

To address this situation, METI conducted surveys and research in FY2019 for the purpose of encouraging Japanese companies to introduce and pursue service designs. It conducted surveys on case examples of leading companies inside and outside Japan, focusing on three themes: “vitalizing regional and local businesses,” “integrating products and services” and “improving productivity in the service industry” and on three characteristics: “people-centered methodology,” “co-creation methodology” and “comprehensive methodology.” Following this, it held discussions through a Study Group on Service Designs (chair: Dr. Takeyama Masanao, Professor, Keio University) comprised of experts, and, based on the discussion results, it compiled a guide on services designs, titled “Guide for Companies Intending to Start Service Designs,” and a report on the surveys and research, including proposals for encouraging companies to introduce and pursue service designs. METI hopes that these materials will help companies that intend to take on creating attractive and innovative “services” in the future.

2. Links to the guide and report

Division in Charge

Cool Japan Policy Division & Design Policy Office, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group