The Joint Customer Service Concept of the City of Pori

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SENAATTI

The concept for a joint customer service center, unique in the context of Finland, is being planned to be realized in the city of Pori.

Service design, Concept design, Experience design, Spatial design

The concept brings together services of the city and services provided by the Finnish governmental bureaus to be easily accessible for the citizens.

The primary goal of the new joint customer service is to enhance and improve the user experience of customers and the customer service personnel by providing the services of both the city of Pori and the Finnish governmental agencies under the same roof. Hence the joint customer service enables accessing multiple services at the same location in a way that is fast, efficient and convenient from the perspectives of both the users and the providers of different services.

Approach

The project was conducted in tight collaboration with Senate Properties, the work environment partner and specialist of the Finnish government, different governmental agencies, the city of Pori and the project architect. In order to conduct the project in a successful and user-centered manner, considering the perspectives of the various service providers and their personnel as well as their customers and the citizens of Pori played a key part in the concept development process.

Result

In collaboration with different stakeholders, Pentagon Design designed the service and spatial concept for the joint customer service center. The concept is initial and will be developed further over the course of the overall project. The joint customer service center of Pori is planned to be opened in year 2023.

 

An essential part of the project involved coordinating and considering the various needs of different governmental agencies and service providers, as well as the reqirements set by legislation and policies regarding privacy.

The discover phase of the project involved gathering information regarding the key needs, expectations and challenges by reviewing relevant background material and conducting a benchmarking study. We also familiarized ourselves with the everyday operation and customer service practices of different agencies by observing their current premises and customer paths on site. Additionally, insights regarding the current state and potential future development directions of customer service were discovered through interviews conducted with various professionals and agency representatives.

Based on the gained insights, the initial concept for the joint customer service was created. The initial service concept and service moments, customer profiles and paths, descriptions of new customer service roles and potential means to serve customers were co-created first with the personnel representatives of different agencies. Additionally, a pop up workshop was arranged for the citizens of Pori to participate in designing and ideating the ideal joint customer service from their perspective.

In the design phase of the project, we focused on creating a range of spatial, digital and social elements that would concretize the concept and the desired user experience. A number of prominent themes derived from the research phase, including safety, privacy, accessibility, digital touchpoints and adaptability, were especially considered from the perspectives of both customers and the personnel. As the outcome, a range of space types and solution ideas were created, which were further developed, complemented and validated through a workshop organized for the personnel and visual online surveys targeted for the agencies and citizens.

An essential part of the project involved coordinating and considering the various needs of different governmental agencies and service providers, as well as the reqirements set by legislation and policies regarding privacy. Through our work, we supported the development of internal service processes of the joint customer service by applying the service blueprint method to define and describe the frontstage experience of the service that’s visible to the customers visiting the center.

As the deliverables of the project, the service concept of the joint customer service for the city of Pori and a general concept framework to be applied in other cities nationally were created. In the concept, we have described the desired user experiences of the customers and the personnel, identified the essential digital, social and spatial solutions to be developed in the future, and defined the range of space types that enable the achievement of the desired user experience. The designed concept supports the devising of the spatial program of the joint customer service center premises and serves as a tool for design and decision-making further in the development process. The project is predicted to be completed by summer 2023.

There are several, versatile benefits that are expected and pursued through the completion of the joint customer service center. These benefits include the improvement of customer service experience, the attaining of synergy benefits induced by the shared premises between the city and the govermental agencies, as well as allocating and focusing the resources of personnel towards customer encounters that require the core competences of the staff members.

Citizens participated in ideating what the joint customer service could be by taking part in a pop up workshop event.

“Thank you to the project team, fantastic design work and it has been great to be a part of the process. The shared workshops were a great experience! We’ll be eagerly waiting how the project will be realized in the end.”

A comment given by a member of the personnel participating in the project