Qin has been putting together a great reading list on service design (a lot of design thinking books among them)
The list is probably still growing so check out her blog http://www.designgeneralist.com
The list so far:
From Tom Allen:
A summary of the past thirty years of service design literature. http://bit.ly/hHm0J
From Todd Johnston:
The Timeless Way of Building (Alexander),
Out of Control (Kelly)
I would recommend the Designing for Services reader that was distributed in the early stages of the project and also the report which combines reflections on the project from the designers, academics and the project leads (Lucy Kimbell and Victor Seidel).
Designing for Services - Multidisciplinary Perspectives: Proceedings from the Exploratory Project on Designing for Services in Science and Technology-based Enterprises, Saïd Business School (2008) Edited by Lucy Kimbell and Victor P. Seidel
I would also highly recommend:
Boland, J., Collopy, F., Ed. (2005). Managing as designing. California, Stanford University Press.
This book is more general in terms of design in a business and management context but very helpful where ever design is crossing into other disciplines.
• The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. This is the one that started it all.
• Experiential Marketing, by Bernd H. Schmitt
• The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What To Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
• Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound by Martin Lindstrom
My view is that good service design must balance customer satisifaction, profitability, and associate morale, particularly in businesses where front line associates are key to delivering service.
- Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right by Frances X. Frei, Harvard Business Review, April 2008
- Zero Defections, Quality Comes to Services by Frederick Reichheld and Earl Sasser, HBR, Sept-Oct 1990
- The Trader Joe's Adventure: Turning a Unique Approach to Business into a Retail and Cultural Phenomenon by Len Lewis
- Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success by Kevin Freiberg and Kevin Freiberg
James Samperi (Engine):
2 books which aren't focused on 'design' but any service 'designer needs to understand and know about. The latter book is comprehensive and pretty accessible - i can't vouch for the first but recommended by my colleague.
New Service Development and Innovation in the New Economy
From Products to Services: Insights and experiences from companies which have embraced the service economy.
simplicity- edward de bono
'In an increasingly complex world 'simplicity' is going to be a key value. The pace of change is not going to stop so we have to make a conscious effort to make things simpler.'
* The experience economy
* Subject to Change
* Everything is miscellaneous
* 10 faces of innovation
* The knowing-doing gap
And I second Sarah with simplicity as a must read
Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik and Pete Mortensen of Jump Associates,
The Loyalty Effect from Fred Reicheld
Vargo, S. and R. Lusch (2004), “Evolving to a new dominant logic in Marketing,” /Journal of Marketing, /68, 1-17
Vargo, Stephen L. and Lusch Robert (2008), "Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36 (1), 1-10.
John Thackara's book "In The Bubble: Designing in a Complex World" and a bi-monthly magazine published in Los Angeles called "Good." http://www.good.is/
Adaptive Path's 'Subject to Change' is the best all around service design book I've found,
Neumeier's 'Brand Gap' and 'Zag' are indispensable books for all designers, regardless of their specific discipline'
And a great article from NextD on design 3.0 (transferable philosophies and processes to service design)
Designing Services with Innovation Methods
'How Designers Think: The Process Demystified' by Bryan Lawson
'What Designers Know' by Bryan Lawson
One of the main folk I track in this area is John Seddon (Vanguard Consulting) who is visiting Professor at Cardiff University. He has adapted the Demming/Ohno Toyota Production System philosophy to Service Design in both the Private and, more recently, Public sectors. He is an excellent speaker as well. You can get his material at Vanguard Consulting - and you can see him on video at: http://www.vimeo.com/4670102
In the Bubble - John Thackara
Naked Brain - Richard Restak
Buyology - Martin Lindstorm
Why We Buy - Paco Underkill
The Hidden Dimension - Edward T Hall
How Customers Think - Gerald Zaltman
Universal Principles of Design
Ten Faces of Innovation - Tom Kelly
Visual Ethnography - Sarah Pink
Maybe too far off for your pusposes but we are publishing: Design for Services, edited by Dr Anna Meroni and Dr. Daniela Sangiorgi in March 2010