A toolkit for multisensory service design: Cases in leisure services

Pirjo Friedrich, Asta Bäck

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    How do the human senses affect customer experience? How can one gather data on the multisensory service experience and, in turn, use sensory data to improve existing services or create new ones? These are some of the questions we studied in our recently completed project 'Matkailijan moniaistinen palvelukokemus' ('Tourist's multisensory service experience'), or MMP, in 2010-2012. We carried out the project in collaboration with the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, and the Tekes Tourism and Leisure Services programme supported the work financially. VTT contributed expertise in service design methods, especially the Owela online co-creation platform. We studied how online tools can be used to evaluate, create, and develop leisure services from a multisensory perspective. Competition for people's time and money is fierce, and service providers need to improve their services continuously if they are to meet and surpass customers' needs and expectations. Appealing to multiple senses is one opportunity to provide a stronger sense of authenticity and experience and to increase the attraction of leisure services. Our key theoretical assumption was that customers are active co-creators of service experiences [1, 2]. Since each experience is unique, we can only estimate and create prerequisites for pleasant multisensory experiences. Another foundation for service design is consideration of the total service experience, which is influenced by four elements: access sacrifices, service quality, effort sacrifices, and the experience of the actual value proposition the service offers [3]. Access sacrifices refer to the effort needed to come to the site: e.g., are the transport connections good / are there enough parking places? Service quality refers to how all the practical things related to the service function: e.g., are tickets easy to buy, and does the equipment function safely and correctly? Effort sacrifices cover the actions needed for enjoyment of the actual service: Is the weather too hot or cold? Are the queues very long? The value proposition of a leisure service such as an amusement park might be to give moments of thrills and excitement and to immerse visitors in a world very different from their everyday life. Senses and their interaction play an important role in all these areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHighlights in service research
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7969-3
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7968-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Highlights


    Dive into the research topics of 'A toolkit for multisensory service design: Cases in leisure services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this