A great customer experience can persuade guests to book with your company and turn them into long-time evangelists.
Brands that put the customer first and continuously focus on their guest experience see more growth than those that don’t. Research shows that a single negative experience can drive even your most loyal customers away — and diminish your competitive edge in the market.
This is all to say that tour operators and attractions should be measuring their customer experience through various metrics, many of which we’ll discuss in this post. Read on to discover how you can use your guest experience data to stand out from your competitors and retain customers for the long run.
- Customer Retention Rate
- Customer Churn Rate
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Average Response Time
- Average Resolution Time
- Average Order Value
- Conversion rate
What is a good customer experience metric?
It’s important to understand how guests feel about your brand before, during, and after their visit. Several metrics can help you measure guest satisfaction — but if you had to choose just three, you should focus on your CSAT, NPS, and CES scores.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): This is the most standard customer satisfaction survey. It helps you measure how customers feel about a meaningful interaction with your company.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): The NPS metric measures brand loyalty over time. An NPS survey asks guests to rate the likelihood that they’ll recommend your company to others on a scale of 0 to 10.
- Customer Effort Score (CES): The CES metric measures how easy it is to interact with your company. If a guest calls you with a complaint, a CES survey would ask them to rate how much effort they had to exert to get the issue resolved.
These three metrics help you track short-term satisfaction at key moments in your customer journey, as well as long-term satisfaction with your brand as a whole.
When monitored together, these metrics can help you see changes in customer satisfaction over time, as well as identify what’s negatively impacting your guest experience.
Top customer experience statistics that every tourism brand should know
Customer experience is one of the main driving factors in guest satisfaction, including:
- Negative customer experiences are driving customers away: 49% of consumers have left a brand in the past year due to poor customer experience.
- Brands can even lose their most loyal customers after just one bad experience. About 30% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience.
- Low-effort customer experiences are boosting customer loyalty. In fact, 94% of people going through an effortless customer service experience say they’re probably going to purchase from the brand again, versus only 4% of those who had a hard time dealing with a brand.
- Good customer service is trumping advertisements: 65% of all consumers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than a great ad.
- Positive customer experiences also drive word of mouth: 72% of customers will share a great experience with 6 or more people.
- Customers are increasingly seeking personalized experiences. More than half (60%) of consumers say they’ll become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience, up from 44% in 2017.
- Consumers are also seeking an omnichannel experience. Over 40% of consumers expect to find a seamless experience across all channels.
- Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are key elements of a positive customer experience.
- More than half (52%) of consumers expect a response from a brand within one hour.
- Customers named the lack of clear information, poor mobile optimization, and hard-to-navigate websites as common issues when dealing with brands online.
- Consumers overwhelmingly prefer to engage with brands on social media, especially Gen Z customers.
11 customer experience metrics to track
Now that you know why you should track guest experience — here are 11 of the best metrics to keep an eye on.
The main goal of an NPS Survey is to measure customer loyalty. It can also provide valuable insight into what’s making guests loyal to your brand and what’s driving others away.
NPS scores are typically measured with a single-question survey:
How likely is it that you would recommend our attraction/tour/product to a friend or colleague?
Guests are asked to respond with a rating of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely).
Those that answer with a 9 or 10 are considered your “promoters,” or your most loyal fans. These are the best kind of customers because they’ll likely tell their friends and colleagues about your company, which will hopefully bring in new customers.
Guests that respond with a 7 or 8 are called “passives.” They’re sort of satisfied with their experience but not happy enough to rave about it to others. Anyone that answers with a 6 or lower is known as a “detractor.” They’re unhappy with the experience and may even discourage others from doing business with you.
The NPS score is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of “detractors” from the percentage of “promoters.” For example, if 5% of your survey respondents were detractors and 60% were promoters, your NPS score would be 55 (60-5).
An attraction could send an NPS survey right after a guest visits to gauge how satisfied they were with the overall experience.
CSAT surveys are typically sent after a meaningful customer interaction to gauge how they feel about a specific product or service. Customers are asked to rate their level of satisfaction on a numbered scale.
For example, after a guest calls your company with a customer service question, you could send them a survey asking “How satisfied were you with your recent customer service interaction?”
CES measures how much effort a customer has to exert to get an issue resolved with your company.
The CES survey essentially asks guests to rate the ease of specific interactions with your company. This rating is typically done on a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 reflects the highest level of difficulty and 7 reflects great ease.
Research has shown that customer effort is the strongest driver of customer loyalty. The easier it is for customers to interact with your company, the happier customers become.
SERVQUAL measures service quality, or a guest’s perception of your company’s overall level of quality. Businesses that continuously meet customer demands are perceived as high-quality brands.
The metric is based on five core areas of customer service, including your company’s reliability, responsiveness, empathy, and ability to reassure customers. It also takes the physical appearance of your facility and staff into account.
The SERVQUAL metric is especially useful in identifying areas of your customer service that aren’t meeting guest expectations.
Let’s say a helicopter tour operator wants to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its tour. The operator could send guests a survey that asks if anything (good or bad) about their recent flight stood out to them. If guests repeatedly talk about how exciting it was to fly over the Empire State Building, the operator can begin highlighting that aspect of the tour in its marketing materials.
5. Customer Retention Rate
Customer retention rate is the measure of how many customers stay with your business over time.
A high customer retention rate is indicative of customer loyalty. The customers that continue to visit and support your brand over time are your biggest fans and are likely to bring you new business, too.
Tracking your retention rate can help you identify when certain customers drop off. You can then come up with ways to keep them engaged.
If an attraction wanted to find out whether or not its customers were returning for a second visit, for instance, it could track its retention rate. The metric might show that most visitors never return, in which case, the attraction might create a marketing campaign targeting second-time visitors.
6. Customer Churn Rate
Customer churn rate is the number of customers that are leaving your business over a period of time. A low churn rate is indicative of high customer loyalty, while a high churn means just the opposite.
When you track your churn rate, you can identify who abandoned your brand and when. You can then follow up with customer surveys to find out what why.
Let’s say an attraction is running a big seasonal discount, yet after sending three emails in a week, some customers unsubscribe from its email list. Those customers have churned. When asked for feedback, the churned customers reply that they didn’t enjoy being bombarded with emails.
7. Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value refers to the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer. In other words, it indicates how much revenue a customer can bring to a business throughout the entirety of their relationship.
This metric is important because it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. So the longer a customer sticks with a company, the greater their lifetime value becomes. When you increase customer lifetime value over time, you can also increase your revenue.
8. Average Response Time
This is the average time it takes for you or someone on your team to get back to customers. This can apply to emails, social media comments, or even customer reviews. As we shared earlier, more than half of consumers are expecting a response within one hour.
The quicker you respond to your customers, the sooner the issue will be resolved. This, in turn, improves your CES score.
Let’s say a museum is noticing a dip in its CES score. After looking at its customer service metrics, it notices that the average response time has been lagging. The museum might need to hire additional staff or retrain its existing employees to improve the response time.
9. Average Resolution Time
Average resolution time tells you how long it takes to resolve a customer issue. This can help you gauge the performance of your customer support team.
The metric goes hand-in-hand with the CES score, which measures the ease of interacting with your company. If it takes your support team too long to solve a customer issue, they’ll likely give you a poor rating on a CES scale.
If a tour operator starts receiving negative reviews pointing to its customer service, this is one of the first metrics to check on.
10. Average Order Value
Average order value refers to the average dollar amount spent each time a customer makes a purchase or booking. To calculate it, simply divide the total revenue by the number of bookings in a given time period.
Introducing upsells or add-ons like drink packages and selling merchandise are two ways to increase your average order value. Increasing your average order value can directly impact your revenue growth.
For example, a Denver zipline operator found that it could boost its average booking value by selling photos of the experience. Now, the operator brings in more revenue from a single booking than it did before.
11. Conversion rate
This metric looks at the percentage of visitors that convert or take a specific action like sign up for your newsletter or book a tour.
For example, you may track your website’s conversion rate to see how well your content is encouraging users to make a booking. You can also track conversion rates for specific ads, email promotions, and social media content.
If an attraction launches a Black Friday email campaign, for example, the conversion rate would tell them how many bookings were made as a direct impact of that campaign.
Tracking these metrics will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your customer experience. The more you understand your customers’ expectations, the better the experience you’ll be able to offer them. A great customer experience boosts customer retention and loyalty over time, which reflects in positive growth for your travel business.