How can we boost the competitiveness of small companies? Service design – fresh approach for tourism industry

a_huul200Some definitions on Design:
– Norman Potter: Design is an activity that gives form and order to life arrangements.
– Patrick Hetzel: Managing design – that is managing the creative process within the corporation.


– Bill Hollins (Westminster University, UK): Service design can be both tangible and intangible. It can involve artifacts and other things including communication, environment and behaviors. Whichever form it takes it must be consistent, easy to use and be strategically applied.

The Design family counts over 100 types of design disciplines, such as environmental d, product d, package d, graphic d.

Design works when it is comfortable to use for the client. Client’s needs should be the basis for the product design. Fast visualizing makes the design method more productive.

An advice for SME-s: there need to be a story behind your business plan. It makes service more client focused and helps client to be oriented and positive.

Positive example from Estonia is elaborating and building up Olde Hansa restaurant service and brand was built up in communication and cooperation with historians and designers. Design of service is strongly based on environment, i.e. architecture, interior, materials, lighting, sounds, smells etc. It includes personal behavior, training of personnel, communication skills, body language.

The ideology is – Care versus service

  • Long-awaited honorable guest (vs. client).
  • Few rules (but well performed).
  • Flexibility (in frames of the “show”).
  • Old-fashioned linguistic performance.
  • Olde Hansa Guild jewels only.
  • “Feasts” (not “parties”)
  • Guest satisfaction surveys 3 x per year.

Team-mates versus employees

  • Careful selection – only 5% of applicants will be hired
  • 3 week training by tutor supervision before actual hiring, co-workers acceptance.
  • E-learning environment; *Feedback from customers – 3 times per year (about everything they can hear, see, smell, touch, feel).
  • Playful Olde Hansa Gild event in every summer, contest to move up from prentice to craftsman.

To increase client satisfaction, brand loyalty and effectiveness of organization you have to design services, process and environment: Work with your brand using creativity; In close cooperation with design, product, marketing; Having emphasis on training and motivation of employees.


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