Values are crucial when we develop services and products. We humans are constantly weighing up whether or not we should get involved with other people, things, products and situations. Whether we want to invest attention, time and energy for them. To determine this, the human psyche uses standards against which we measure our own or others’ behaviour and characteristics. These standards – or values, as they are called in social psychology – we usually use unconsciously. Values are, for example, reliability, trust, courage, honesty, perfection, friendship, security, etc. They are the mechanism that guides our decisions.

What does that mean for us when we develop an offering? If we want our customers to invest their attention, their time and their money, we have to address their values. We need to be aware of which value systems are relevant to our primary target group. And that requires us to leave our office and talk to people!

Values therefore play an important role in Lean Service Design. On the Persona Canvas you will be asked to assign them to your personas. Values should also be developed for the business side, because companies and stakeholders also have values that drive and influence their decisions, how they invest their energy, resources and commitment. Later, when you look at the Experience Flow Canvas, you will realize that one of the most important questions is that of the Moment of Truth. This moment is mainly driven by values.

The values will help you to get to the core of the motivation to make decisions. If you develop your offer in such a way that it pays off on the values of the target group, the success will be sustainable. In contrast to expressed customer needs, which can change significantly over time and depending on the context, values are constant and hardly change at all. If you solve a customer’s problem with your service, then you have done many things right. At best, however, you have done what the customer expects of you. But if you address his values and thus his emotions, you usually create enthusiasm factors that go beyond what the customer expected. Why are Facebook and Instagram so successful? Because they address very specific values in their target group such as sociability, curiosity, individualism etc. Users can hardly keep their hands off them. The people at Facebook and Instagram have probably looked deeper behind the superficially expressed needs of their target groups and tried to understand the psychological drivers and mechanisms.

Therefore, when working with Lean Service Design, do not underestimate the values and invest time to identify them. The best way to do this is to go out to your customers.