Specialization Series: Design and Deliver Exceptional Services

The service sector dominates the world’s advanced economies, and manufacturing organizations increasingly realize that services can provide a powerful way to deliver value to their customers. However, designing and delivering excellent services can be incredibly difficult due to the unique challenges that they present. "Design and Deliver Exceptional Services" is the dedicated EMBA Specialization that aims to offer participants the in-depth tools to tackle these challenges at an organizational level.


Helmed by the esteemed Professor Dimitros Andritsos, the Design and Deliver Exceptional Services EMBA Specialization— which takes place in Paris and in Singapore— is tailored for executives whose professions plumb the depths of certain fundamental questions:

  • How do you design services that are centered on customer needs?
  • What are the conditions for effective and memorable service experiences— and how do we enable them?
  • How can services be used as a means of differentiation?
  • How can we tap analytics, modern digital infrastructures, and the availability of data to measure and improve the quality of service delivered throughout the customer journey?

Exceptionally designed service mindset

One of 9 Specializations available to EMBA participants, this program is inherently multidisciplinary and integrative in nature, drawing upon concepts and principles from various management disciplines and industries.

“Our participants are forward-thinking individuals who aim to keep their organizations at the forefront of their industries. To achieve that, they constantly strive to differentiate from competitors through the richness of the experiences that they offer to their customers and the services that they build around their products” Professor Andritsos says.

“One of the aspects of this program that I absolutely love is how diverse our participants are and how rich the experiences they bring to the classroom prove to be. They come from several different industries, they operate in both B2B and B2C relationships, and they might even come from the public sector. The common denominator is their unique focus on how to best address their customers’ needs. This is the starting point to the design of this program”.

In Paris, the program relies on HEC’s unparalleled network of local contacts to understand the foundational elements of service design and delivery through the practices of well-established world-class European organizations. When participants jet to Singapore, they explore the singular service heritage fostered by the city-state: the tiny Southeast Asian nation provides a remarkable example of economic development despite the lack of any natural resources. The home of world-class service providers, it consistently ranks in the top spots of the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index.

Wherever participants are in the world, they can rest assured of the quality of the program.

In essence, the specialization integrates the latest thinking and tools that can help participants understand the common pitfalls associated with service design and delivery and address them in ways that boost both customer and employee loyalty.

“We want our participants to walk away from this program having an in-depth understanding  the state-of-the-art in service delivery,” says Professor Andritsos.

“We help them determine the best ways to move their organizations in that direction.”

In their own words…


 Philippe Gelb, EMBA ’22

HEC Paris EMBA Participant Philippe Gelb

The specialization is built on 2 main pillars: presenting up-to-date methodology on relevant frameworks, and then jumping into real cases and scenarios which make it easier to lead the change and make it applicable to your firm.

I am thrilled to be part of such a learning experience that will be an asset to help any company differentiate itself from competitors, by boosting values delivered to customers through services. Overall well-structured, the content of the specialization is equally applicable to organizations focusing on services and to companies where service is a key element of the value proposition.

Finally, it allows me to add new skills to my field of expertise.



Jeremy Sirour, EMBA ‘22

HEC Paris EMBA participant Jeremy Sirour

“You design an emotion, not an object”

This quote from Damien Perrot, Global Senior Vice President of Design & Innovation at Accor, summarizes the Specialization nicely.

I’ve spent 15 years delivering services, doing my absolute best to consistently achieve customer success. Yet it’s when you think you everything, you get caught by surprise with the “Design and deliver exceptional services” Specialization delivered by the HEC Paris Executive MBA.

We learned from top-notch professors Dimitrios Andritsos, Mogens Bjerre, Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, Hélène Musikas, and Nicola Dragonetti who managed to seamlessly mix discussions of case studies, practice, models, frameworks— and even Lego bricks— to keep the group highly engaged.

We also had the pleasure to hear from the largest brands in the world about how they design their customer/employee experiences.

This was also an opportunity to meet other cohorts with brilliant people. We swapped teams every day which gave us many opportunities to exchange and have good laughs.


Lydene Kombo, EMBA ‘22

HEC EMBA Participant Lydene Kombo-Packou

Servitization and customer satisfaction are the keywords that come to mind when I think about the Design and Deliver Exceptional Services specialization. It is all about transforming satisfied clients into loyal and fully engaged customers, along with operational excellence and empowering employees to go out of their way to satisfy the customer. The program is designed as a deep dive into various first-class service domains from the hospitality industry to professional services, equipping you with frameworks and firsthand experience of excellent services, as we did for example while staying at Hotel Le Meurice.





William Mondello, EMBA ‘22

HEC Paris EMBA participant William Mondello

“Design and Deliver Exceptional Services” helps you understand how excellence can be designed and delivered as a service. My key learning from this week is how crucial emotions are in the customer journey— and that design thinking and the right implementation through details can make your experience world-class.






Samir Safi, EMBA ’22

As a CTO in the specialty chemicals industry— which has high capital costs— I was exploring new opportunities to build a sustainable competitive advantage and escape the commoditization trap.

I truly believe that relationship management through “servitization” could help my company escape this trap.

I already can see how people-centricity— whether it is employees or clients— is important when developing a service proposition. This centricity was made obvious through rich discussion, with very diverse perspectives offered by professors and professionals. This recipe for success was relevant across all sectors we covered from manufacturing, operations, hospitality, and luxury industries.

This initial training helped me identify where the human relationship-based key success factors create value in my company. Thanks to these insights, our strategy will be communicated differently both internally and externally, as we will change our approach. We understand that this will be the normal way to do business in my sector into the future.

More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe. Nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. According to the Financial Times, the HEC Paris offers the best EMBA program in the world; click here to learn more.

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