5 tips for how to exceed guest expectations

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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5 tips for how to exceed guest expectations

Did you know that 91% of customers say they’re more likely to purchase from a company again after a positive experience? And 71% say they’ve made a purchase decision based on experience quality?

Exceeding customer expectations is critical for your attraction’s success.

Your guest experience directly impacts visitor loyalty. When you exceed your guest’s expectations, you’re showing them why they should choose your attraction or brand over and over again instead of your competitors.

Happy guests will return to and recommend your venue to their friends and family, which will help increase your bottom line.

We understand it can be difficult to exceed guest expectations every time — especially when expectations are quickly evolving, largely due to the integration of innovative technology in theme parks, museums, and aquariums around the world.

In this post, we’ll delve into the 21st-century guest expectations that every attraction should keep in mind.

What are the most common guest expectations for guests at your attraction?

How do you exceed guest expectations

What are the most common guest expectations for guests at your attraction? 

First and foremost, your guests are looking for a fun, stress-free experience to share with their loved ones.

A stress-free experience means little to no hiccups: In an attraction like a theme park, for example, that translates to less time waiting in line and more time enjoying the attraction.

A theme park study by Omnico Group found that 57% of visitors find queuing for rides and attractions the most frustrating aspect of their visit. Guests today are expecting digital solutions like mobile apps with virtual queue capabilities to make their experience less stressful.

That same study shows that 63% of theme park goers would like to access information about a park and make bookings through an app.

Guests today really want to have full control of their visit. They named the following innovations as solutions they would like to see attractions adopt to improve the guest experience:

  1. An interactive park map
  2. Mobile or tablet app notifications that would indicate when the hotel rooms or tables in the restaurant are ready
  3. A personalized itinerary available within a park app
  4. The ability to pay without cash

Furthermore, guests are also expecting attentive service from the staff on-site. Despite so much of the guest experience becoming digitized, visitors still find comfort in locating helpful staff members in real-time when they have an issue.

Finally, guests are placing even greater importance on cleanliness and safety in post-pandemic travel. It’s important to make them aware of the safety measures your attraction is taking to keep them safe and healthy.

How do you exceed guest expectations

With the right staff and tools that complement their work, every attraction can exceed guest expectations.

Here are nine tips that can help you improve your guest experience.

1. Provide digital solutions to enhance guest experience 

As previously mentioned, guests today are expecting innovative digital solutions in the form of mobile apps and wearable devices to make their visits less stressful.

In a time where everything from shopping for clothes to booking a hotel can be done online, guests are largely looking for the same kind of frictionless experience at theme parks and other attractions.

Virtual queuing, for instance, can have a significant impact on guest satisfaction. Waiting in line is for many the least desirable part of visiting a theme park. Alleviating them of that pain point can greatly improve your guest experience.

2. Listen closely & anticipate guest needs

Oftentimes guests feel let down by the customer service they receive. Your business should give them a reason to feel otherwise.

Your employees should always approach a situation with a proactive attitude and make the guest feel confident that they’re going to solve their problem no matter what. They should be trained to give guests their undivided attention and quickly identify their concerns.

The best kind of customer service anticipates a visitor’s concerns before they even address them. One way to anticipate a guest’s needs is to communicate with them beforehand and ask them about their preferences before they visit.

These interactions will have a big impact on guests’ perception of your company. They’ll judge the quality of your service and their overall experience based on how helpful your staff was.

To ensure your staff is always providing the best customer service possible, you may choose to hire employees that have previous experience in the tourism industry or additional training. It’s also helpful to define your company values and make new hires aware of them from the start.

Remember that guest satisfaction is your top concern. Train your staff to get creative about solutions, even if there’s no precedent for them.

3. Use personalization to make your guests feel appreciated 

Personalization is a valuable tactic in the customer service space. Personalizing your guest’s experience makes them feel valued by the company.

Your attraction can leverage guest information to make their experience and comms as personal as possible. As previously mentioned, emailing them ahead of time to find out their particular needs or visit preferences can have a significant impact on their experience. Be sure to always refer to them by name.

Your business could, for example, offer special restaurant and drink packages to guests that expressed interest in a specific restaurant.

4. Be willing to help

The goal of a customer service provider is to solve a customer’s problems. When a guest approaches your employees, they should be able and willing to help. This means listening carefully to the guest’s questions or complaints and knowing how to approach the issue in the right manner.

Difficult guests are inevitable. Still, it’s important to always treat every guest with kindness, no matter how frustrated they are. Show empathy when they share their frustrations with you so that they feel like you’re on their side.

5. Ask for feedback regularly

Does your attraction actively ask for customer feedback? 

Guest feedback is valuable information that can help your company understand its pain points. This allows your business to tackle any persisting issues and learn how to better serve your guests. Without asking for customer feedback, it can be difficult to understand how satisfied your guests are with their experience.

Here are five tips to solicit feedback:

  • Send guests a friendly, personalized email after their visit
  • Include a link to a customer survey or a review page like Facebook so that the guest can quickly click through
  • Keep the message short and simple
  • Experiment with SMS messaging
  • Send the email or SMS request immediately or soon after their visit so that the experience is still fresh in their minds

Make sure to respond to negative reviews as soon as they come in. This shows guests that you value their opinions and are making a visible effort to improve their experience. If you made a mistake, apologize for it. Guests will value a business that takes responsibility for its mistakes and puts in the work to make up for them.

***

In conclusion, the quality of your guest experience is an increasingly important factor for tourism attractions. Guests today are heavily relying on technology to improve their experiences at attractions of all kinds, but they also still need to feel valued by on-site staff.

It’s time for your attraction to not only meet guest expectations but aim to exceed them.

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Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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