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Method

Team members go out and directly experience the service in the role of customer and notice what it’s like to step into their shoes.

Purpose

  • For project team members and stakeholders to increase empathy for service customers.
  • To experience firsthand what it feels like to use and interact with a service as a customer.
  • To observe other real customers while they interact with a service.
  • If possible, to experience another organisation's service that may be comparable.

What you get

  • Data that describes what team members observed, and how they felt when using a service.
  • Some potential areas for improvement; observed gaps or shortfalls in service delivery.  
  • Some potential opportunity areas based on team observations and reflection after the safari.

Strengths

  • Excellent way to increase empathy for customers.
  • Good for collecting observations about potential areas for improvement and opportunity areas.
  • A good way to make pre-existing customer feedback more relatable to team members.

Weaknesses

  • It may feel challenging for a team member to enter the mindset of a new customer, when they have knowledge of a service's inner-workings.
  • There’s a risk of confirmation bias whereby team members only notice the things that confirm established opinions or beliefs.

Tips

Service safaris are observational and experiential. The safari is an opportunity to collect information from all senses including smells, sounds, and sensations. Team members should note their emotions at different moments during the service experience.

Toolkits and resources

Service Safari Worksheet
What is a service safari and how to use it
What is field research: Definition, methods, examples and advantages

Reviewed 01 May 2020

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