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Service design case study: how to turn customer challenges into new service offerings

Author: Tuomas Suominen, tuomas.suominen@kaakelikeskus.fi

In this blog post, I present how you can turn your customers challenges into new service offerings. The most crucial thing is to gather as much information as you can about your service users daily tasks. In this case study, this was done by interviewing clients. You can be surprised how much your service users have to offer. They can sometimes suggest promising service ideas.

This case study was done as a thesis project at Laurea Service Innovation & Design Masters Program. I was inspired by CEO Lou Gerstners IBM turnaround. IBM was struggling in the 1990s. The new CEO sent his sales staff not to sell, but to ask customers what kind of challenges they faced daily. Gerstner realized that the company should concentrate on solving customer’s problems with their technology knowledge. Inspired by Gerstner, I too wanted to look into my client’s challenges. After all, a challenge is a latent need, and a possible service development case. I concentrated on architect clients, whose work I knew little about.

I decided Service-dominant logic and service design would guide my way in this thesis. Service-dominant logic would be my base theory and service design would serve as application of that theory. I combined the two, and kept their guiding principles in mind while planning my service design process.  After looking at the extant service literature, I decided to co-create the service with clients. I aimed to design a win-win service for both service provider and client.

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Survival guide to Laurea Masters Program

If you are reading this post as a new arrival to Laurea Masters Program, I salute you. Congratulations of getting in for this ride. It’s a ride where you get to meet awesome people and it will provide you in-depth knowledge about service design and all that it has to offer companies. I promise you will leave this program with confidence and knowledge you need to improve your career.

Although I have not graduated just yet, I can now say that I survived the Laurea Masters with decent grades. I came with the patch of 25 students who passed the 2011 entrance test. We were the second patch ever to be accepted to Laurea Service Innovation & Design Masters degree program. Continue reading