With the public’s disposable income becoming smaller as a result of the post-pandemic cost of living squeeze, your customers’ needs and expectations have changed. Visitors are attaching far greater value to experiences, making days out at attractions such as theme parks, zoos and spas an even more special occasion. As such, it is vital that you provide each customer with an exceptional experience that makes your business stand out in such a competitive landscape market, and warrants their visit and spend. After all, the majority of your customers won’t remember every small detail about their experience at your site, but they won’t soon forget how their visit made them feel. If they choose to share a negative review about their experience which outlines how your site, facilities and service did not meet their standards, this could drastically impact your reputation, with recent research indicating that just one negative review could deter as many as 30 customers from interacting with your business. Here’s how to determine what your guests expect from your business, and how you can meet and even exceed their expectations with the help of visitor experience technology.
Reviews are a key way to establish customer expectations of what a visit to your business may be like, and they can provide prospective customers with an insight into whether your destination is worth spending their time and money on. Reviews are crucial in establishing your business as a worthwhile destination to visit – in fact, 88% of customers regard reviews as having the same level of legitimacy as a recommendation from a close peer, which demonstrates the value reviews hold to your client base.
Customers are keen to provide feedback via online review platforms such as TrustPilot and Google, with these reviews in-turn influencing whether other people will visit your destination and the level of trust they have in your business. With 97% of customers stating that they would be happy to visit a destination with a 4* review, but only 57% expressing their desire to visit a business with a 3* review, the value of reviews in establishing customer expectations and willingness to visit your site has never been clearer.
By analysing thousands of reviews based on visitor experiences, Cloudline has found that the most common pains for customers are wait times, speed of service, customer service, on-site navigation, and ease and availability of parking. We’ve compiled this research in a detailed guide: How To Lose Revenue And Alienate Customers, which you can download below:
Convenience is vital in such a fast-moving society – we have become acclimatised to receiving information at the click of a button, and commodities delivered to our doors within 24 hours. Therefore, when service lags and takes more time than anticipated, this can leave customers feeling disgruntled and dissatisfied. This is particularly relevant when it comes to ordering food and beverages, with hungry and thirsty visitors expecting their orders to arrive at their table within a reasonable time, especially if they have other attractions and events to see. After all, their experience at your destination will feel richer if they are able to visit as many attractions as they desire without being delayed by slow food service.
Many businesses have chosen to provide greater transparency when it comes to service times by listing wait times or queue lengths. This is an effective strategy to manage customer expectations, especially considering that our research has demonstrated that approximately 90% of reviews on the topic of speed and logistics contained negative sentiment. By tackling this problem with transparent wait times, businesses will be able to provide their guests with more information to inform their choices. This gives power to the consumer and helps them to avoid unexpectedly lengthy wait times, as well as providing them with the tools to track their orders and acquire updates on order & pay purchases.
From incorrect orders that ignore dietary requirements, to arriving at certain attractions and events at the wrong time – errors can ruin your guests’ experience by causing stress and delaying the smooth running of their day. Even the smallest inconvenience can leave your visitors with a bitter taste. Your guests expect you to run a business that gets things right every time and executes actions perfectly: after all, you’re the experts in your leisure and hospitality field.
Research indicates that poor customer service is one of the primary factors that contributes to an exceptional modern visitor experience, with inadequate service being detrimental to your businesses’ performance and tarnishing your customers’ perception of your brand. 91% of customers state that they would be happy to switch to a competitor’s brand after just one instance of poor service.
To reduce room for error, many businesses have chosen to explore automated and self-service technologies that make communication between customers and businesses clearer and more streamlined. These tools are able to give the customer the ability to send their orders directly to your bar or kitchen staff rather than using a server who may mishear or misconstrue order instructions, leaving less room for error.
Customers don’t just want a service or a commodity – they expect a fully-fledged experience which justifies the entrance price to your attraction. When visitors leave your site, they will remember how they felt, but not necessarily what they purchased throughout the day. This is demonstrated by a significant preference for experiences over commodities, with studies carried out by the Harris Group revealing that 78% of millennials prefer experiences over commodities and 69% believing that these types of experiences are key in engaging with your peers and establishing meaningful memories. It is clear that after the disengagement of lockdown which starved many of us of leisure and hospitality experiences, the public are craving days out that result in the creation of memories that can last a lifetime.
This desire for meaningful experiences is a key motivator for customers indulging in premium purchases on these special days out, with many adopting the mentality that any expenditure in the spirit of enhancing an experience is worthwhile. This can be an effective mentality to target when looking to upsell for premium attraction passes or spa packages at your destination.
With technology being more accessible and user friendly with each passing year, many of your visitors will expect their modern visitor experience to involve some level of digital interaction or may view your site as archaic and less sophisticated than your competitors.
Gen Z and millennial visitors expect personalised options and technology to be integrated into their modern visitor experience, as their lives already revolve around tailored advertising and digitised information. This will constitute personalised marketing and access to information on your facilities from their mobiles or tablets, with any technology that is both convenient and intuitive being the most helpful to amplify their visitor experience by expediting otherwise complex, manual processes. Technology is also a great way to make your facilities more accessible to guests with different needs – as an example, audio tours can be experienced in different languages, making immersion in your site and its facilities even greater.
Every visit to your leisure or hospitality venue should be one your guests remember – for the right reasons! - and we know you and your teams want to create meaningful experiences for your visitors that stay with them long after they leave. With Cloudline’s intuitive tools, you can transform your customers’ experiences by providing solutions that are easy to access, streamline their journey through your facility, and provide them with the information they need to make the most of their visit.
The Cloudline platform provides access to a quick and simple order-and-pay system, interactive maps with information on your facilities, and helpful updates on attraction closures and wait times – all of these are designed to make sure your visitors enjoy their visit to your site. To find out more and start maximising revenue at your attraction, fill out the form below to request a demo:
Get the edge in the attraction industry with our in-depth analysis of 38,000 TripAdvisor reviews. Discover what visitors love and hate, and unlock opportunities to outshine competitors. Fill out the form to access invaluable insights and strategies that will elevate your attraction site!