Service Centre concept

In a service centre, a range of public services are conveniently and efficiently concentrated to one place. The first Service Centre, the one in the Iso Omena shopping centre, was opened in August 2016. It immediately became clear that bringing ten public services units under one roof was a good idea.

The Service Centre is built on a new operational culture that focuses on the mutual client. The personnel see the customer in a more holistic way than they do in traditional public services, because they know what other services are available and can refer the customer to preventive support.

The Service Centre is an ideal location for developing municipal services in cooperation between public administration, companies and municipal residents. An ethnographic study identified three vital prerequisites for co-creation that the Service Centre:

  1. Environment and facilities: The large, public open space is open both spatially and from the viewpoint of its operating culture. Temporary, mobile pop-up facilities are best suited for co-creation.
  2. Atmosphere and operational culture: The staff of the Service Centre are highly motivated and have a positive outlook on experiments. During the first year of operation, the staff from ten different units have had a good start in adopting a new operational culture, where their mutual customer is at the centre of the services. The customer is viewed as a whole person, not just as a customer of one unit, and is quickly directed to various other services. Companies also appreciate the Service Centre staff’s views of what kind of services are needed.
  3. Unique flow of customers: The Service Centre has brought public services to where the people are. This has lowered people’s threshold for seeking services and has involved young people and other customer groups that are traditionally difficult to reach. The customers of the Service Centre also seem to be more active in participating than people on average.

The research shows that the most important prerequisite of co-creation is a shared goal. This goal has to be defined based on needs identified either by customers or by staff.

From companies and other partners, co-creation requires independent initiative and an active touch, for example in communication. The role of the Service Centre is mostly to enable communication between companies and municipal residents.