This is a qualitative research method that allows you or your team to observe and document a service “in the wild.”
You can see it as the elder sibling of another generally known technique: Mystery Shopping. However, with Service Safaris, we don’t limit ourselves to a shopping experience; we analyse entire services in any industry, not only in commerce.
This approach is typically used in the discovery or understanding phase of a project.
Why is it used?
Safaris are one of the easiest ways to put people into the shoes of customers. Looking at a whole range of services allows people to develop an understanding of the common needs customers have, and the common problems that they encounter. These insights can then be developed into for service innovations, and are often all the more due to People feeling like they have generated them themselves.
When is it helpful?
It is best used during the early phase of a project to supplement a landscape analysis by getting first-hand experience as a user. It is a fast way to gather insights to:
– Empathise with user frustrations prior to user research
– Inform user research questions
– Understand cultural impact when comparing markets
– Create As-Is is flows and generate insights for a To-Be state
How is it applied?
Anyone can be invited to join in on a service safari. People from the client team often find it very revealing. To conduct the service safari, only the simplest set of tools is required. As people are being asked to record their experiences, they need to be provided with some method of doing so; a dictaphone, a small video camera, or even just a notebook and pen.
When it comes to choosing some services to experience, people are often sent to explore services in the same sector as their own organisation. It is equally common, however, to ask people to explore each and every service they come across, in an attempt to define those factors common to any positive service experience.
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