SDT2012 (P3.2): Sensing an amusement park for service innovation


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This presentation was part of the SDT2012 - the 1st international conference on service design and tourism, Innsbruck/Austria, August 23-24, 2012. For more info on the conference and other presentations visit: All rights reserved by the author(s):

Satu Luojus, Finland
Laurea University of applied Sciences

Satu Luojus has a PhD in Information processing science. She is a Principal Lecturer at Laurea UAS. She has over 8 years’ experience in conducting R&D -projects as a researcher or as a project manager/scientific leader. Her areas of expertise are user experience, user centered design, and user research in Living Lab ecosystems.

Leena Alakoski, Finland
Laurea University of applied Sciences

Leena Alakoski is graduated from the Department of Economics and Management at Helsinki University (Lic. Sc). She is a senior lecturer and project manager at Laurea UAS. She has 15 years background in service business research, such as customer experienced value, and service innovation and design.

Sensing an amusement park for service innovation
This presentation deals with questions related to how customer experiences can be effectively assessed by evaluating the impact of multiple senses. It explicates on an empirical study of finding best practices in evaluating multisensory service experiences in an amusement park environment using service design methods. Firstly, it describes why service design methods are chosen to examine customers´ multisensory experiences in the years 2010 and 2011. Then, it proposes a set of findings based on the valuability of customer experiences gathered by different service design methods. Then, it briefly describes usefulness of chosen methods for evaluating multiple senses in service experience.

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SDT2012 (P3.2): Sensing an amusement park for service innovation

  1. 1. Sensing an amusement parkfor service innovation Service Design in Tourism conference 23rd August, Innsbruck Leena Alakoski & Satu Luojus, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo
  2. 2. Structure of the presentation1. Research project2. Frame of reference – Service business – Customer experience – Theory of multiple senses – Service design3. Case Linnanmäki, years 2010 and 20114. Analysis and findings5. Discussion
  3. 3. 1. Research project• Presentation is based on the studies in a project called “Multisensory service experience and service design in tourism companies’” (MMP) (• Eight Finnish companies participated in the empirical studies of the project
  4. 4. 2. The Frame of Reference Multisensory Service Design (Tools) Customer Experience Service Business
  5. 5. Customer Experience • Service process consists of steps, actions and activities • Customer experience takes place during service interaction process and • it is evaluated by the customerZeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry (2009) Services Marketing
  6. 6. Tourist’s Experience• Tourist’s experience has been explored by many researchers (e.g. Cohen 1979, Light & Prentice 1994, Nuryanti 1996, Edwards & Llurdés i Coint 1996, Beeho & Prentice 1998, Rudd & Davis 1998, McIntosh & Prentice 1999, Wang 1999, Wanhill 2000, Pretes 2002, Cole 2004, Uriely 2005, and Chronis 2005, Kim et al. 2012)• A lot of components are identified: involvement, hedonism, happiness, pleasure, relaxation, stimulation, refreshment, social interaction, spontaneity, meaningfulness, knowledge, challenge, sense of separation, timelessness, adventure, personal relevance, novelty, escaping pressure, intellectual cultivation• The literature that discusses multisensory experience in tourism is limited
  7. 7. Multisensory • Our entire understanding of the world is experienced through the senses • Sensorial strategies comprise the five common senses smell, sound, sight, taste and touch • Multisensory approach means that more than two sensory channels are being used to influence the customer experience at the same timeHultén, Broweus & Dijak (2009) Sensory MarketingKim, Ritchie & McCormick (2012) Development of a Scale to MeasureMemorable Tourism ExperiencesLindstrom (2005) Brand Sense: How to build powerful brands throughtouch, taste, smell, sight and sound
  8. 8. Why multisensory? • The activation of multiple senses – enhances customer experience – affects consumer behavior – promotes the basing and identification of the brandLindstrom (2009) Buyology – Truth and Lies About What We Buy
  9. 9. Service Design • SD often deals with topics and questions related to – how to create smooth services for users – how to stimulate, and activate user involvement • We acknowledge – deep understanding of users – users’ activity and participation – SD toolsMoritz (2005) Service Design – Practical access to an Evolving FieldStickdorn & Schneider (2010) This is service design thinking
  10. 10. 3. Case Linnanmäki, years 2010 and 2011• 60 years old amusement park in Helsinki (• One of the most popular tourist attractions in Finland (• We have collaborated with the festival called “Light Carnival”, 10 days long annual festival in October
  11. 11. The objectives of the cases• to evaluate customers´ experiences based on multiple sense observations• to find out the usefulness of different service design tools for the purpose in evaluating the impact of multiple senses
  12. 12. Method and tools, 2010• Test customers, 48 young adults, gathered data in small groups• Observations were gathered by using different variations of the probe method• Four Service Design tools – assignment notebook – observation table – photo-based storytelling – empathy tool with video observation
  13. 13. Analysing tools, 2010• content analysis• customer journey• affinity-diagrams
  14. 14. Some findings, 2010• As a great deal of data on sensory perceptions was acquired• All of the tested tools were useful• Data on sensory perceptions was useful for developing amusement park services• The amusement park representative was very satisfied and acquired knowledge was immediately applied in service development
  15. 15. Findings of the tool usefulness, 2010• The Observation table: a lot of systematic data, the most dominant senses were sight and sound• The Empathy tool: although implementing the method was demanding, information was also generated on other perceptions besides visual perception• The Storytelling and photos: the most traditional way to use the dairy tool. It concluded that the visual sense was the most dominant. Most of the stories emphasized feelings and emotions• The Assignment notebook: open ended tool, and depended on the customers’ motivation and creativity
  16. 16. Method and tools, 2011• Data gathering tools were chosen based on earlier findings : – An observation table and storytelling together – Sensory walking (test customers were instructed to go to previously defined locations in the fairground and pay attention to sensory perceptions) – Owela web-based data gathering tool (
  17. 17. 4. Findings
  18. 18. Findings, 2011 Impact of the senses in different amusement park locations and rides Näkö Kuulo Kosketus Hajut, maut Muut ihmisetPääsisäänkäynti Vuoristorata Safari-ravintola Pelihalli Sumujen silta Juhlatori Pluton alue Overall experience kokonaismiellyttävyys Pääsisäänkäynti Vuoristorata Safari-ravintola Pelihalli Sumujen silta / Juhlatori Pluton alue Hurjakuru
  19. 19. Multiple senses in experiences• In order to create satisfying customer experiences, experiences should appeal to multiple senses• Service experience is more effective when many senses are in use at the same time• The activation of multiple senses gives a stronger sense of authenticity and experience, and this way makes the customer happier with the experience and more willing to tell and recommend the experience to others• Looking at the service experience from the senses point of view, gives new ideas for the further development of the service
  20. 20. Multiple senses in experiencesIt has also been shown• that we process senses differently depending on age• sight was the dominant sense in Light Carneval• but co-experience and feelings of others were very important• sound helps generate moods by creating feelings• most people attach a meaning to a sound, and music is used as a source of inspiration
  21. 21. Multiple senses in experiences• Sense expressions, separately or together, can visualize services, and the service landscape• Smell appears to be the most persuasive sense after sight and is closely related to emotional life• Scents often have a strong impact on emotions and memories. It is shown that pleasant scents create pleasant states of moods
  22. 22. 5. Discussion• Qualitative descriptions are required in order to understand the overall customer experience• The overall experience is what matters, rather than a knowledge of which separate sense stimulates the experience• When evaluating different senses separately the customers couldn’t describe the overall experience clearly• A multisensory aspects enhances the creation of a positive service experience only if sensory stimulants create a harmonious whole• Very strong perceptions can create a negative customer experiences
  23. 23. • Disregard of a sense may create an experience of negative quality – e.g. when the person is unable to see the performance or hear the music• Excluding one of the senses may emphasise the effect of other senses – e.g. the experience of a roller coaster ride was stronger in the dark – the experience becomes different and thus stronger
  24. 24. • The stories about sensory experiences were predictable in some way• We received new types of findings that annual customer satisfaction surveys in amusement park have failed to generate• Museums and game industry have made diverse use of the multisensory aspects in their services• Further multisensory research is recommended
  25. 25. Thank you for your attention!