ATKV - Service Design

The Context

The ATKV is an Afrikaans language and culture heritage preservation organisation. Membership was largely Christian Afrikaans-speakers but post-1994, the resort grew increasingly open to all members of the public.

These changes did not immediately result in a significant change in their customer base but there were often tensions between the legacy and new markets (the latter notably those who are not White Afrikaans-speaking).

customer service satisfaction

The Challenge

ATKV approached Inquisition to work together with them to find ways to appeal to and serve the needs of a broader market by creating an experience that would be true to the values of the ATKV, yet inclusive of others, through an internal transformation within the team itself.


The Solution

The Solution

Our service design intervention was delivered over a few months in coaching sessions with the leadership team and several workshops with a pilot resort.

Inquisition coaches embedded on-site and worked closely with staff at the resort across departments and hierarchies, from the receptionist to executives. This was important as all key decision makers were in one space and most crucially, there was a variety of perspectives and viewpoints which could be considered in designing the change that was needed.

The sessions included work on Culture Design, Experience Mapping, Experimentation and Empathy Building with the aim of clearly defining the challenges based on shared experiences and customer data to having the people who would be instituting and would be affected by changes being in the driving seat.

The Process

The impact was a team with a rebuilt, clearly defined, unifying team purpose co-created with several stakeholders across different levels of the organisation as well as the ability to replicate this design process by themselves in future.

As with most Inquisition team collaborations, we started with defining of the higher purpose for the resort team over and above that of the organisation’s, which led to a purpose statement that they felt deeply inspired them to do the work they do daily. They subsequently formed a new Team Charter, which would bind the team together behind a detailed, unified perspective on mutual expectations of each other.

The following weeks were experiment-driven: the team worked on ways to learn about how to improve their internal workings to support the new mission and others to specifically address improvements to red flags identified in an experience mapping effort.

To further help the team gain empathy for their new customers, we worked on roleplaying scenarios in which team members would be placed in various scenarios to act out potentially embarrassing, awkward and challenging situations which might arise in the resort. The scenarios were inspired by real feedback from customer reviews and related sources, which we had displayed gallery-style for the team to consume and deliberate.

The final, but most important, piece of the puzzle was working together with the ATKV resort team to coach them on how to run their own design sessions in future. This was to equip the team with the capability to address complex problems after the Inquisition team has left.


A team with an increased capacity to approach complex problems and a deepened understanding of one another’s roles in delivering a brilliant customer experience.

A revitalised approach to service through co-created tools such as as the Service Blueprint as well as evidence of increased revenue.

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"Very few times in business, do you get to participate in a process that can change the course of your business. That is exactly what INQUISITION did for us."

Reinard du Plessis – GM Marketing at ATKV