Culture

Researching Customer Experience in Culture Hobbies, a workshop study

The purpose of the workshop was to gather insights from people who had experiences from different kind of art and culture schools, clubs and associations, and to see what kinds of similarities other hobby clubs had with the association I used as my main case study. The aim of the workshop was to define the typical pain points of culture hobby clubs and ideate solutions to them.

Participants

The workshop was held in Turku, Finland. The participants, aged 30–65, were invited on Facebook, where the workshop had its own group with background information. The workshop lasted approximately 2.5 hours. Later on the results were shared on the Facebook group and people could comment on them.

Methods

Because the participants did not know each other, an ice breaker method was used in the beginning of the workshop. Participants were asked to create name tags by writing their names on a sticker and drawing a picture that would reflect their favourite culture hobby. Then they were asked to introduce themselves and their drawing to the group.

Participants ideating at the Perfect culture hobby workshop.

The main method used at the workshop was the customer journey. A customer journey describes the path that a customer goes through during the whole experience of the service. The path can be divided into different stages and touch points, where the user has some kind of contact with the service, e.g. through material, software or people (Tuulaniemi 2011, 78–79). The problems and ideas that were found by creating the journeys, were then evaluated with a value axis tool.

Experiences on different stages

Since the participants were all sharing their own experiences on the same journey map, the stages on the journey were divided in advance on a general level. These stages were: expectations, consideration, decision, activities and continuity. Every participant was thinking about one specific hobby experience they had had, and wrote down on post-it notes the experiences that they could remember during these different stages. Then they read their thoughts to the group as they put the post-its on the journey map on the wall.

Next the group analysed the problems that were put on each stage with a value axis tool, that showed the relationship between the importance and impact of the problem. The problems which situated in the right corner on the axis were selected to be solved on the next phase of the workshop. These problems had the biggest impact on the hobbyists and had the highest importance level. The solution ideas were a result of brainstorming. Everyone had a couple of minutes to write their solution ideas on post-its, then the group selected the ones that they thought would work best. The problems and pain points were very similar in all various different hobbies.

Expectations, consideration and decision

Most of the negative experiences in the beginning of the hobby had to do with the hobbyists themselves . There were worries as to whether they would be talented enough to join the hobby group, or if they would otherwise fit in. It was easier to go and try a new hobby if you were able to go and try it with a friend before bigger engagements.

As a solution for this the workshop participants suggested that the hobby organisation could offer more concrete information e.g. on their webpage, so that the customer would know more about what happens in the lesson or meeting, what kind of skill level is expected and what kind people go there. They also suggested the organisations could somehow encourage people to come and visit with a friend.

The quality-price ratio had a big importance in the beginning of the hobby. The hobby could be dropped after the first visit if the classes were poorly planned or organised, or if the facilitator did not seem professional. As a solution for these challenges, the workshop participants suggested proper planning and also engaging everyone to follow the set rules of the organisation.

The workshop participants also agreed that often the atmosphere in the groups was better, if it consisted of people from different age groups.

Another important issue was that people should get along well, and that inappropriate behaviour would not be tolerated by the staff. The workshop participants also agreed that often the atmosphere in the groups was better, if it consisted of people from different age groups. A hobby could also have a bad start — or not start at all — if it was too difficult to book a class, or register as a user or member. Overly-long forms or difficulties in finding contact details can have a big impact, even if the hobby itself seems interesting and the staff are nice.

Activities

There were several pain points listed in the activities stage, such as: various skill levels in the same group, various motivation levels of the members, neglection of the rules (or not having any rules), obligations that do not pertain to the hobby and different communication problems.

The hobby could be dropped after the first visit if the classes were poorly planned.

The most significant problem in activities, however, was the lack of guidance when needed. Different kinds of skill levels could be a solution for this, but they are not always possible to arrange. Every hobbyist should be considered individually, but not at the others’ expense.

The most common reason for dropping out at this late stage was lack of time in a new life situation.

The workshop participants had often enjoyed hobbies that demanded strong engagement, because in such hobbies they had been able to have influence on activities and how the hobby group worked. However, they also appreciated hobbies with low engagement level, for they suited better for a busy lifestyle. The most common reason for dropping out at this late stage was lack of time in a new life situation. As a solution the participants suggested including the members in planning the schedules. Another important solution was flexibility. There should not be punishments if you had to cancel. They felt that coming back to an old hobby would be easier this way.

The most common reason for dropping out at this late stage was lack of time in a new life situation.

Findings

The results show what basics have to be considered and managed in organising hobby activities, so that the service would be enjoyable for the current users, and also attract new users. The most typical pain points and suggested development proposals were put together into a Hobby Experience Journeymap.


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