Ruka is a ski resort built around a fell in northern Finland. Ruka has dozens of slopes and plenty of supporting activities and services around skiing and winter. Rukakeskus Ltd. (Ruka Centre in English) has 160 employees and saw 23 million Euros in sales in 2015. Rukakeskus also owns another ski resort called Pyhätunturi in Lapland. About a 140,000 customers buy a lift ticket annually in Ruka, which is about a half of all visitors. The other half spends their time cross-country skiing, buying different adventure services and admiring the unique nature of the area while still lodging and eating at restaurants in the village of Ruka, which is a lively town that has emerged near the slopes. In 2015, the board of the company updated its vision and strategy, and a three-year strategic development project was initiated.
This paper presents a service design case study that was conducted as an agile sprint to study the current flaws in customer experience, generate out-of- the-box ideas and to process the results as a roadmap for subsequent development actions. The goal of the service design was to identify the success factors for upgrading the company’s overall customer experience in order to differentiate it from its competitors. Another goal of the service design was to increase the share of lift ticket sales among the visitors who were already spending their time on other activities in the area. The project brief included innovating new ski-based experience concepts so that going to the slopes would be comparable to the other experience-based services, such as husky or snowmobile safaris that are popular, especially among international customers and travellers.
Simo Rontti (University of Lapland): Agile service design sprint model for accelerating service business: a case study on the Ruka ski resort