Monday, May 24, 2010

Intensified Hospitality: Service Style Cards

Despite of my ICT background, when asked to work on a service design project I decided to work on a totally different domain. I chose to work on the hospitality industry to create innovative hotel experiences. I'll share some of the outputs of the generation and explanation phases here and would welcome your feedback.

In this post I'll share the output of the service style card tool.

1-Cool, Trendy, Stylish and Modern

  • Auto tweeting, facebook posting for guests.
  • Ustream and of different hotel locations.
  • Check-in through iPhone or blackberry.
  • In-Room iPhone/ iPod support.
  • Hotel local companion community.
  • Media Sharing giant screen in the lobby

 2-Personalized, Customized, Tailored

  • Ability to see the exact chosen room  when checking on at the website, guest can also look from the window and see the view outside.
  • Providing more family-oriented suites.
  • Letting customer customize different elements of his experience including (housekeeping time, longer breakfast span, guidance on the city, updates on city events, and tendency to network with other customers)
  • In-hotel experience building catalogue including items for purchase (tourism and adventure items, business or family-related items)
  • Customized route to the room based on facilities will mostly be needed.
  • A possibility to choose a welcome complement.
  • Baby-sitting, secretarial and tour guidance facilities.
  • His name on the door.
  • Family check-in corner.
  • Separating the roles of receptionist and guest services, who can give differentiated support and information for the different segments of the hotel. We should have more than a guest services officer with different specialties.
  • Upon checkout, please keep in touch.
  • Celebrating guests stay, “we’re happy to have you for 4 days now”.
  • Couple, business, family and tourist printed guides.
  • A hotline for out-of-hotel support “I’m lost. what should I do ..?”
  • Following up on guest’s medicine taking.
  • Mentoring and counseling services.
  • Ability to know guests with similar stay purpose.

3-Culture-centered, Authentic, Original, Local and Traditional

  • Daily wisdom from culture to change on room walls, lobby, lifts and other facilities.
  • Do’s and Don’ts book upon check-in.
  • Hotel to include a social local gathering room where guests can mingle with local people.
  • Hotel’s own networking site where guest can build relationships with local people before arrival.
  • Hotel to offer local drinks and snacks in hotel lobby and rooms.
  • A complementary book/e-book about the culture upon check-in.
  • Receive you with tea or coffee option on reservation.
  • Check-in tent (very luxurious one)
  • A local traditional grilling activity.
  • Running a club for locals who’re interested to get in touch with guests including business people, families, tourists.. etc.
  • Restaurant offers meals cooked by local people.

Following are the posts on the intensified hospitality project on Auroralahti:
Intensified Hospitality: Service Style Cards (this post)

Bookmark and Share


  1. These are excellent observations and ideas from a hospitality "outsider."

    Some of your ideas, such as I-phone check in are on the horizon. In fact, in some hotels you will soon be able to use your cell phone as your room key and never actually check in or out at the desk.

    One idea, however, could be dangerous: As appealing as it may seem, placing a name on a room door could create a serious security problem for the guest.

    Exellent work, otherwise. I look forward to more of your ideas.

  2. Thanks Joe for your comments. As you said, I'm an outsider. Soon I'll be posting the outputs of the concept blending technique.

  3. Very interesting and nice. I am working with concept development within the hospitality industry. Before I make a service design I make interviews with the guests and make workshops - then I make new innovative ideas. How have you costumer reflected to your ideas?
    I work with the value chain - the guest is in many processes where you can think of many ideas to make the whole experience better.

  4. Thanks Malene for your valuable comment.
    I followed Stefan Moritz model of service design. The design process phases are understanding, thinking, generating, explaining, filtering and realizing.
    Before I get to the generating phase I did both understanding and thinking.
    Understanding is about gathering data (qualitative and quantitative) to find out possibilities, problems, resources and constraints for the basis of design process.
    In the understanding phase I had interviews with the management, the staff and customers. I analyzed the online reviews of the hotel as well as the reviews of hotel internal feedback forms. I did environment description and service experience where I tried the service myself by the hotel and by a sample of the competition. It was a mystery shopper kind of thing. It also included taking photos, laying out the customer experience against the area map and hotel floor plan. Analyzed reports of check-in and checkout to support profiling. I ran 2 observations sessions as well.
    Thinking phase is about analyzing and interpreting complex data into insights. In the thinking phase I did personas, customer journey mapping, stakeholder mapping, design drivers, benchmarking and affinity diagram.
    I think that one of the mistakes I did in this research is overworking on the understanding and thinking phases where there was no much time to do the rest of the phases with the same depth. Some of the problems I faced was me being the only one working on the project and also it being a project that I'm after the client for as it's a university project not something that the client himself wanted in the first place.

    Thanks again for your rich contribution,

  5. Hi Mahmoud,

    I really liked your method...Is it already trademarked? I am working on the issue of service design especially developing service concepts for city planning. Could I use your idea in our case and modify it a bit? Of course mentioning the source for the method...

    regards, Katriina
    Agora Center
    University of Jyväskylä

  6. I see that your comment is on the service style cards method and no this is not my method. I just used it to come up with ideas but I studied it in the service design processes and methods course. The method that I came up with is the concept blending, and I just found out yesterday that there's something with the same exact name but I'm not sure if it refers to the same idea. In general I didn't register it. Feel free to use it and please do mention the source. I'm also ready to participate and offer some ideas as a contribution as I do really like ideation and concept development. Feel free to ask for help. My best wishes for success in your project.