NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED535642
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Leveraging Service Blueprinting to Rethink Higher Education: When Students Become "Valued Customers," Everybody Wins
Ostrom, Amy L.; Bitner, Mary Jo; Burkhard, Kevin A.
Center for American Progress
There is much discussion today about the need to transform higher education. Experts and researchers list numerous challenges: low student retention and graduation rates, the increasing cost of higher education, and concerns that graduates don't possess the skills required to compete successfully in today's interconnected, global marketplace. These are just a few of the issues facing higher education that point to the need for new thinking and innovative approaches. Although advances in technology and online learning have the potential to help address some of these concerns and challenges, technology itself is not the answer. The authors believe a key to the solution to many of the issues lies in designing and delivering student-focused educational experiences that meet their needs and desired outcomes while concurrently considering the needs of other stakeholders such as employers, government, and society more broadly. In this paper the authors take the position that higher education is a service, or a service system, and that transformative initiatives aiming to address the types of problems noted earlier will benefit from viewing them through a service lens. A service lens puts the customer at the center of improvement and innovation initiatives, considers the customer experience to be a foundation for analyzing and making enhancements, and assumes the customer is a co-creator of value. The authors focus on one specific technique, service blueprinting, which facilitates collaboration among key contributors and stakeholders involved across a broad customer experience to create a visual depiction, or blueprint, of a service. The service blueprint highlights the steps in the process, the points of contact that take place, and the physical evidence that exists from the customer's point of view. In the paper the authors introduce the philosophy that underlies service blueprinting and then describe the technique itself and how it has been used in practice. Two case studies that highlight how blueprinting can be used to improve and redesign services are presented. Implementing the service blueprinting technique is appended. (Contains 6 figures and 49 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Location: Arizona