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A digital customer support channel for the public sector in 72 hours

Helsinki Marketing

Helsinki Marketing is a marketing company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for Helsinki’s operative city marketing and business partnerships. MyHelsinki is a service to promote tourism, local life and events in Helsinki.


Helsinki Marketing’s MyHelsinki faced a need to quickly digitise its customer support services. The main goal was to create a digital customer service channel for the MyHelsinki team as fast as possible.

Key objectives

Usually, the team’s customer service activities include face-to-face discussions on the streets of Helsinki, but due to governmental instructions, all face-to-face interactions had to be moved to digital channels on very short notice at the onset of covid-19.

The first objective was to find the most suitable platform for the customers’ needs in the short term while keeping in mind the possible development of the service in the long term. The second objective was to get the channel setup to suit MyHelsinki’s needs. And thirdly, we had to ensure that the team was ready for an entirely new way of serving customers.

Columbia Road transformed our customer service approach from face-to-face encounters to personal online chat discussions in 72 hours. We now have a robust solution for today which also scales with our needs in the future.

Maarit Kivistö, Managing Editor, / Helsinki Marketing

Our approach

Our main focus points were to try and find a solution that:

  • Would satisfy all of MyHelsinki's essential needs right now amidst an uncertain situation
  • Make sure the solution we chose still had the capabilities to scale to accommodate new features later on
  • Have a concrete, chat-based solution running as soon as possible on
  • Make sure the chosen solution is a good fit for the MyHelsinki customer support team

We benchmarked the most viable possible platforms and ended up choosing a Finnish provider, Giosg. We mediated contracts for the usage and support of the service and organised training with the help of Giosg for the whole customer support team of MyHelsinki. Then, we continued to set up the chat environment and its logic based on MyHelsinki's initial wishes.


Helsinki Marketing got a solution for MyHelsinki, which served all their immediate needs while also having the capability to expand later.

Highlights from the 72h project

  • Researched and benchmarked different service providers and platforms based on the needs of the client
  • Discussed findings together with the client and decided which one to implement
  • Organised training for MyHelsinki customer-support team together with Giosg
  • Set up the environment and edited its operational logic to fit the needs of MyHelsinki
  • Provided support throughout the process and made sure the launch went without a hitch 

We quickly implemented a platform that answered all of MyHelsinki’s most urgent needs. In the long term, the organisation will become more digitally savvy and will be able to offer a larger variety of ways to help its customers.

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