Social Media, Online Review Sites, Email Surveys. With so many ways for people to interact with your attraction, how do you make sense of it all? Or more importantly, how can you capitalize on it?
Chapter 1 – Content is the Prince; the Guest is King
If you’re in the marketing world then you may have heard the phrase “Content is King.” If you’re not from the marketing world I will try and quickly summarize the concept for you. Basically the idea is that in order to be successful at anything you need to add value, and to add value you have to “add” or “create” something that isn’t there already. Or in other words, you need to create content. Thus “content is king.”
However, in the attractions business “content” is more like the prince, that is second in line to the true king, the guest. Let me explain.
Everything in your attraction hinges around your guests. The roller coaster you added is meant to add enjoyment for your guests. The food you offer is meant to sustain your guests so they can stay longer and enjoy your attraction. The rooms you rent out are for providing a safe and secure place for your guests to rest up so they can spend more time enjoying your other amenities. The marketing materials you create is solely to bring more guests into your attraction so they can enjoy all of the other things that you have for the guests to enjoy. Your entire business is based around the guest.
So shouldn’t you know what your guests (the king) are telling you?
Chapter 2 – Listening to the King
Maybe when you were just starting out you could read all your visitor reviews that came in each day and know pretty much what you needed to do and how people felt. But as your attraction grows and more people start talking online and through other channels, there are a lot of challenges that arise.
How do you present this information to your board members or shareholders? How do you keep track of all the topics and things that are being talked about? How do you really know what is impacting peoples experience the most and what is just one person’s outlier experience?
With so many comments and conversations happening daily across so many different channels, it’s not enough to just read the sites and go with your gut anymore. You need to KNOW what your guests are saying and be TRACKING how they feel. Not only that, but you also need to be ready and able to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT when you need to!
So how do you do this?
Remember, technology is your friend.
In the wonderful world we live in today, it is easier than ever before to use technology to collect information and organize it in the way that makes the most sense for your business.
- Collect – You can scrape the web to pull public reviews and comments into a database and manage the content from a single location.
- Segment – You can segment the text of reviews and comments and identify what is being talked about the most and what isn’t.
- Analyze – You can even determine how people feel by performing sentiment analysis on their language through algorithms.
Through the right mix of technology and common sense – you can listen to your guests (king) better than ever before. However, listening is one thing, but knowing what to do with the information once you have heard it is another thing entirely…
Chapter 3 – Making a Better Kingdom
As a loyal subject of the king it is your job and life’s purpose to please the king.
Now that you are listening properly and know what it is that your guests (king) are telling you, it’s time to make sure that you are doing exactly what you need to do to ensure that their will is done and that they are pleased.
So where do we start?
- Prioritize – Since you are now listening and tracking your guests feedback effectively, it is time to figure out some key things. Mainly, what is being talked about the most and how is that affecting your guests overall experience?
Once you have figured out your focus areas you’re ready for the next step.
- Take Action – If cost is your biggest negative then maybe start offering some promotions to get people in the door a little cheaper. If it is crowding that is your problem, figure out ways to manage your crowds and make that your focus. The idea is to make sure that you are taking action on the things that your king is telling you to do, which just so happens to be exactly what the data supports.
Once you start taking action, you have one last and incredibly important step.
Listen – Hey, didn’t we already do that?
Yes, and we will continue to do it because the guest is king, and what the king says goes, and you must always listen.
You need to make sure that your actions are working. And in order to make sure they are working, you need to be able to measure and track the comments and sentiments of your guests to make sure the trends are moving in the right direction.
If after 3 months of the promotion you don’t see a tangible decrease in the number of guests complaining about price, maybe that promotion isn’t working and you should try something else. But don’t ever do anything unless you know how you are going to measure it.
Conclusion – You Can’t Afford to Not Listen to the King
It’s the king who both creates and rules the prince.
Your guests (king) are constantly creating valuable content (princes) for you to consume and consider. Whether it be a tweet, a review or even a blog post. The feedback that your guests are sharing with you and others is a direct reflection of the experience that they had and the level of service you provided.
So remember, listen to your guests as fully and completely as you possibly can. Listen to what they are telling you to do and then do it. Then once you do it, go back to them and listen to see if you followed their instructions right.
The guest is king, and you cannot afford to not listen to your king.