Service testing as a part of the new service development process. Case: Relaxation area at Helsinki airport

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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MSc program in Information and Service Management
MSc program in Information and Service Management
Degree programme
Services are becoming increasingly important especially in the developed countries and therefore also New Service Development (NSD) is a critical issue in the current service market. New Service Development and especially new service testing has been neglected in the literature and there is a specific need for research in the area of new service testing and prototyping. This thesis tries to decrease that research gap and identify a theoretical New Service Development process framework based on current literature with a special focus on new service testing. The target of this study is to compare the framework to a new service development case Relaxation Area carried out at Helsinki airport in Finland. The New Service Development process framework and the testing module of the process was enriched with the findings of the Relaxation Area pilot study. The methods used in this study are a systematic literature review, data analysis of a survey and qualitative semi-structured interview. The quantitative survey was conducted between October 2013 and January 2014 at Helsinki airport. The results of the survey are analyzed using data analysis methods. The results show that the testing phase of the New Service Development process is highly important. The testing phase should include testing the service pricing options, user experience and user emotions. The results of the analysis show that Relaxation Area service was a successful pilot and the overall user satisfaction with the service was on a high level. Based on the study, pricing of the Relaxation Area service is demanding and although the service experience was very good, the willingness to pay for the service was not as high. The results show that the main target groups for the service would be travelers waiting a connecting flight at the airport and business travelers, whose employer would be interested to pay for the service. The framework developed based on the literature had many similarities compared to the New Service Development process in Relaxation Area project. Comparing these two processes the final New Service Development process model was developed. The study was conducted in the airport context and therefore more research of other services and in other industries is needed.
New Service Development, NSD, service design, service testing, service prototyping, airport industry
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