Sacred Services: The Potential for Service Design of Theory Relating to the Sacred.
Service design must negotiate the challenges of intangibility, co-production and temporality in the design for experience. The field currently uses tools and concepts such as customer journeys and touch points to assist in this task. However, other fields have the potential inform the service design process as it seeks to focus more and more upon the customer experience.
Theory relating to sacred speaks essentially of the intangible where extraordinary experiences are co-produced in communities through myths and time based ritual structures.
This paper undertakes a theoretical comparison between relevant theory from social science relating to the discourse on sacred and theory relating to service design. The paper demonstrates the potential for sacred theory to inform service design, and presents some examples from contemporary society in which the sacred is evident in service provision. This shows that there is potential from combining the two fields as part of the service design process and delivery, and identifies a potential to operationalize this theory into new service design tools. Areas for further research are identified that can help introduce theory on the sacred, myth and ritual into service design in a more operational way.