In an era where “experiences” are everything, destination venues are under pressure to become the outing of choice.
Keeping customers loyal has become more challenging now that guests have new options for where to spend their days, which means listening to your customers is now more important than ever.
By studying your visitors, you access the information you need to adjust your experiences and tailor them to your visitor’s needs and expectations. Your best data comes from visitor feedback, but many organizations do not fully leverage feedback for their benefit.
Seamless visitor feedback loops can help inform every aspect of the customer experience, from identifying the role your staff plays in shaping the experience to implementing a cross-functional cultural property protection strategy to creating more accessible orientation spaces…the list could go on.
All organizations – even those with great public reputations – can benefit from updated feedback mechanisms that encourage more guest responses and inform internal processes.
Visitor Feedback Loops Must Come Full Circle
If your organization doesn’t have a process for feedback, you are missing out on your most valuable data. If your organization has a process for feedback, but you don’t consistently leverage it for your benefit, you’re leaving a key opportunity for growth on the table.
Take stock of your current feedback loop. What opportunities do guests have to share with you? Does your organization have a workflow for collecting, reviewing, and distributing this feedback? An effective feedback loop is a cyclical process. Here’s a path to help you connect the dots.
1. Collect It
The most effective visitor feedback loops take an omnichannel approach. Of course, physical feedback cards have their place, but you can do more to encourage participation at various touchpoints. Consider technology-based methods for collecting feedback, such as establishing a presence on review websites (like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google), sending survey emails post-visit, or adding survey kiosks to gather responses on-site.
If your venue has a social media presence, try monitoring “check-ins” on each platform to learn who frequents your venue and what they said about their time with you.
2. Analyze It
Once you have your feedback, the next step is establishing better, more practical ways to put this knowledge into action consistently across the organization. Decide how you’ll report and analyze visitors’ experiences. For instance, who on your team will collect and distribute feedback, and what, specifically, do you want to discern from it? Your feedback system doesn’t have to be overly technical or complicated, but it does have to support consistency at scale.
3. Share It
Organizations are more inclined to focus on (and relay to their teams) the negative feedback rather than the positive feedback. But the human tendency to internalize the bad before the good means that we are more likely to make fast changes out of desperation rather than from a place of intention. As you implement ways to share feedback, also remember that the testimonials, recommendations, and praise you receive can be just as impactful for your processes but, more importantly, your people.
4. Leverage It
Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and turn an idea into something tangible. You’ll build and improve on key experiential processes at this stage while celebrating the positive feedback earned. The key to a good feedback loop is to never close it, so you can continue to refine each and every aspect of your organization based on insights you’ve already received and feedback you’ll gather on the future loops.
If your organization wants to implement something new but does not know where to begin, start with visitor feedback loops. Every great idea is morphed from data – and your visitors are more than ready to give it – when provided the chance to do so.
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Mike Donnelly is a recognized expert, keynote speaker, facilitator and consultant in customer service and leadership development. Leveraging 20+ years of experience from The Walt Disney Company, he and his team help destination location clients and clients in various customer-facing industries create customer loyalty to achieve positive business results. Learn more at www.DonnellyEffect.com.