Service Design in Customer Acquisition in the Context of Public Services: Engaging Home Care Customers in Service-Centre Activities

Anna Porko

Student thesis: Master thesis


The research project has a double agenda: first, to create understanding of the home care customers’ situation in relation to service-centre activities and second, to harness that understanding in a development process to drive higher levels of participation. The main drive for this is that service-centre activities have the potential to improve the home care customers’ quality of life and positively influence their capability of living at home for a longer period of time. This is not only beneficial to the home care customers themselves, but also more economically feasible for the society. The project employs an iterative approach, the Double Diamond model, developed by the British Design Council. The first step, Discover, includes arrangements with the case study organisation, interviewing home care customers and analysing the interview data. The second step, Define, comprises of ideation and hearing out of relevant professionals. The third step, Develop, sees the application of service design tools. The fourth step, Deliver, is unfortunately outside of the scope of the current research project. The first step, Discover, and its abductive research strategy, can be seen as the equivalent of a more traditional academic paper. The interview work and data analysis produce interesting and relevant findings, illuminating the every day lives of home care customers, and pointing out factors that stand in the way of their attendance at service-centres. These factors include a lack of knowledge of service-centres, an unfavourable image of service-centres, and physical and psychological limitations pertaining to the distance between the home and the service-centre. The second two steps, Define and Develop, move toward finding concrete solutions to the problem at hand, by employing the understanding created in the first step. The proposed solutions comprise of two service proposals that together address all of the main findings of the first step comprehensively. They are a mutual office between the home care services and the service-centre; and a service-centre bus line. The fourth step, Deliver, would test and implement these solutions in real life, and measure their success. It is proposed that a further study could create value by observing this step, and in the case of success, by driving their introduction in other suburban areas of the greater Helsinki region.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages88