Service Blueprint

Service blueprints are counterparts to 
Customer Journey Mapping
, focused on the employees. A service blueprint visualizes the relationships between different service components — people, props (physical or digital evidence), and processes — that are directly tied to touchpoints in a specific customer journey.

NN's research with practitioners who use service blueprints suggests that choosing which experience to visualize is one of the most challenging aspects of getting started with service blueprinting.

In many cases, you will be tasked with creating a service blueprint to help your team evaluate a problematic experience and find ways to improve it. But another common scenario is that where a practitioner new to blueprinting is looking to learn and bring this powerful technique to their organization. In that situation, you will have some freedom to determine what and when you blueprint. This article will provide guidance on selecting the scope of your service blueprints when you have some flexibility to choose what experience to visualize.


service blueprint is a diagram that visualizes the relationship between service components that are directly tied to touchpoints in a specific customer journey. The scope of the blueprint refers to the experience (or specific customer journey) to be visualized. To define your service blueprint’s scope, first identify the level of scope you’ll need, then prioritize a specific experience you wish to evaluate.

Service design is the activity of planning and organizing a business’s resources (people, props, and processes) in order to directly improve the employee’s experience, and indirectly, the customer’s experience. Service blueprinting is the primary mapping tool used in the service design process.

Think of service blueprints as a part two to Customer Journey Mapping. Similar to customer journey maps, blueprints are instrumental in complex scenarios spanning many service-related offerings. Blueprinting is an ideal approach to experiences that are omnichannel 1 involve multiple touchpoints, or require a cross functional effort (that is, coordination of multiple departments).


  • It is tied to a specific service.
  • It is split into 4 swim lanes: customer actions, frontstage actions, backstage actions, and support processes.
  • It reflects the organization’s perspective:
    • Focusing on the service provider and employees
    • Leaving out most customer details
  • It is chronological and hierarchical.

Why use it

  • To discover weaknesses in the organization
  • To identify opportunities for optimization
  • To bridge crossdepartment efforts
  • To break down silos and create one shared, organization-wide understanding of how the service is provided

When to use it

  • After customer journey mapping
  • Before making organizational or process changes
  • When pinpointing a funnel or breakpoint internally