This presentation was part of the SDT2012 - the 1st international conference on service design and tourism, Innsbruck/Austria, August 23-24, 2012. For more info on the conference and other presentations visit: www.sdt2012.com. All rights reserved by the author(s):
Alena Kotelnikova, Russia
Alena Kotelnikova is a researcher, a trendwatcher and one of the first service designer in Russia. Being truly interested in people, quality, trends and design, her multidisciplinary team helps companies to innovate great services based on their customers's needs and insights. She was a co-creator of the first course of Service Design in Russia in British Higher School of Art and Design (in Moscow). Besides she leads a Facebook group named Service Design in Russia to popularize this discipline in her country.
How can a tour operator survive in the era of online services
Service design is a new field in Russia. Our team is one of the first that works in this area here. A big Russian tour operator applied to us to design some innovative services that would be oriented to new preferences of tourists. The crisis in the touristic field already adversely affected their incomes, so they understood the necessity of designing innovation services and rebuilding their business model. We worked in collaboration with the Design Management Course of the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow. Being in charge of the Service Design course, we combined working on this project, and teaching the students in practice. We did design research, empathy interviews of the main group of stakeholders (management, customers, “un-customers” (according the blue ocean strategy), and “extreme” customers). We discovered patterns of traveler’s behavior; their fears and motivators; and classified their interests and lifestyle. After benchmarking, we compared our findings with global and social trends. Using design thinking methods, we designed a new product configurator of a trip that helped tourists to compose their own tour regarding their lifestyle, interests, preferences, and budget. In addition, we designed new products and innovative services that helped people to find their bearings on the ground, rid themselves of fears during a trip, and find out local events. In other hand, these services helped the tour operator to be in touch with their customers before a trip, during a trip, after it, and affect on their next choice. We designed a service map (blueprint) and new communication models for all groups of stakeholders. Our human-oriented service was designed to help this tour operator in the future to get new customers, increase its client base, and move to a new level of client communication that online services would not be able to provide.