A Unique Way of Looking at Your Business: Service Journeys

By Sara Riedel

National Church Residences (N^^) is bracing for the impact of the “Silver Tsunami”—the increasing number of senior citizens needing care—by growing their caregiving program. However, a large percentage of their caregivers quit within the first 90 days of employment—a huge cost for the organization that leaves seniors without care. We were tasked with finding out why this is. Our first step before moving into user interviews is a service journey which gives us a more holistic understanding of their experience.



So what is a service journey?


It’s a mapping exercise that considers the actions of your key user (in this case, the caregiver) and your team throughout a service, how both parties interact, and what tools they use to do so. A service journey is objective and doesn’t take into account assumptions about how the user feels.


Clients find value in this exercise because it visualizes what was previously unseen or unable to be articulated—the gaps in the experience or gaps in knowledge. We like it because it informs us enough about a service that we can ask the right questions during interviews.


With N^^, the service journey was focused on mapping the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding of caregivers to grasp why there was such difficulty retaining them.



What are the benefits of a service journey?


Service journeys are used anytime a client presents us with an organizational issue. It helps us capture all of the moving pieces in order to pinpoint what’s going wrong and why. For N^^, we were able to help validate and uncover issues in their caregiver hiring process, so they could begin creating a plan of attack to address some of these problems. All organizations that provide a service could benefit from a service journey workshop—whether they’re looking to solve a problem or just understand their service from a holistic view.


To learn more about the work we did for National Church Residences, visit our case study.


Sara Riedel