Customer survey: the service centre and shopping centre complement each other
The public service centre and the commercial services in shopping centre Iso Omena complement each other and facilitate the daily lives of residents. Approximately 90 per cent of the Espoo residents who participated in a customer survey say they use both the service centre and the commercial services of the shopping centre during a single visit.
Families with children and retired residents are particularly happy with having public services in the shopping centre. Especially residents in the age group 35–44 think the service centre has improved accessibility of the services. This is an age group going through a hectic phase of their lives.
Residents who walk, cycle or use public transport estimate that they use public services more thanks to the service centre.
97 per cent of those who responded think it is very convenient or convenient to run errands in the service centre. Clearer signposts was the only improvement needed according to the answers.
The customer survey was conducted in March–April by Citycon Oyj, shopping centre Iso Omena and the City of Espoo. 722 Espoo residents above the age 15 took part in the survey. Out of them, 300 people were interviewed in the service centre and 422 responded to a web questionnaire.
“The results confirm our previous understanding: residents benefit from a cluster of services at an easily accessible location, close to other services”, says Juha-Pekka Strömberg, Iso Omena Service Centre Manager.
Is there a need for service centres elsewhere in Espoo?
The first public service centre in Finland opened in Iso Omena shopping centre in Matinkylä in Espoo in August 2016. The Iso Omena service centre offers residents the municipal services of nine units, complemented by the state-run Finnish Social Insurance Institution.
Espoo currently outlines whether municipal services should also be centralised in the other city centres Leppävaara, Espoonlahti, Tapiola and Espoon keskus, in public transport hubs.
Potential new service centres would not be copies of the Iso Omena model. Instead, every service centre is to be designed according to each area’s most important public services. Other facilities than shopping centres might be considered.
"We have not made any decisions regarding new service centres, but we want to establish how equally good customer experiences could be created in other city centres. The starting point is that the new solutions are also more cost-efficient than the current decentralised public service units", says Mauri Suuperko, Public Utilities Director of the City of Espoo.
The investigation is carried out in working groups complemented by representatives from regional resident organisations. The work will be completed by the end of the year.