Edited by Jon Sundbo and Marja Toivonen
Chapter 13: User-based Service Innovation Including a Futures Perspective: A Case Study with Four Methods
13. User-based service innovation including a futures perspective: a case study with four methods Mari Holopainen and Pia Helminen 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter explores methods of involving users in the service innovation process. We describe four methods that we tested together with a case company, a medium-sized Finnish insurance and finance company. Our emphasis is on participatory, future-oriented methods. The company had realized that there was much to be done in its user-orientation and it put a lot of effort into the development of a systematic, genuinely user-based innovation model, which is sufficiently tailor-made to be suitable in its business context. Today most companies agree that a key element in designing successful services is to understand the needs of users, and many companies spend significant amounts of resources trying to acquire information about these needs. Users are specialists when considering the ways in which a service works best in practice. They possess information on what they want to do with the service – how, where and when they want to use it. On the other hand, provider companies know a lot about the organization of resources that are critical for the functioning of the service. There are multiple methods for exploring the user needs, varying from quantitative market research methodology to ethnography. However, the visualization of services has been considered problematic due to their intangible nature. Design, visualization and simulation of services require new perspectives as well as appropriate tools and techniques (Zeithaml et al., 2006; Burger et al., 2009; Holopainen,...
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