All Customer Experience Design Is a Stage: How to Think Differently About Service Design

What’s the difference between a service blueprint, customer journey map, and customer experience script? The differences are easier to understand when you start thinking about each of them through the metaphor of a stage. Get a grip on what makes each unique, and which ones you should be implementing during the customer experience design process for your brand.

If you’re having trouble understanding the difference between a service blueprint, customer journey map, and customer experience script, it can be helpful to think of the stage as a metaphor for the customer experience. The crew (all of the behind-the-scenes, non-customer support roles and actions) works backstage, actors reading a script on-stage (your customer-facing roles and actions) and the audience (your customers) sit experiencing it all. Let’s break it down.


First, there’s what’s going on backstage: the service blueprint. A service blueprint is like the behind-the-scenes companion to a customer journey map. It captures all the things the company does to execute the customer experience design and make it happen behind the scenes — the lights, the sets, the crew, etc. — as well as the support processes that underlie each stage of their journey.

The service blueprint then should give you a clear picture of how the customer experience design is orchestrated and delivered from the business perspective. It’s a great foundation for understanding the current state of your operations, and how what’s going on behind the scenes is tied to the customer’s experience. But if you want to make an impact and work toward an ideal state, it’s time to write your script.


The stage area properly represents the point of inflection between the customer and the business. The customer journey map will encompass all of the things that take place in the front of the stage (online interactions or inside a retail location, for example). It’s every point in the customer’s journey, along with the emotions experienced while performing those behaviors.


Finally, the cues that run the entire play: customer experience script. This is everything that helps activate your product or service experience, and it can go all the way down to the micro-level. It can be the exact words and phrases that customer-service representatives are expected to say or general ideas that they should stay away from. This script is put in place so that they can speak to a common voice throughout the customer experience design process, giving the audience a solid foundation for their experiences with your brand.

Partner with THRIVE’s Customer Experience Design experts to give your brand the tools it needs to succeed. Contact THRIVE today to get started.

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