In the Guest Experience Flywheel, which outlines the ideal guest journey and the framework for building momentum within your business, the fourth step is when you put systems in place to encourage your satisfied guests to return. Data has shown that retaining guests can cost 5x less than attracting new guests, which is how the flywheel spins faster with less and less effort.
Gaining a repeat visitor first requires an impeccable experience that exceeds all expectations - and your guests’ expectations are already high enough. The guest experience must be so compelling that the guest wants to come back, as well as advocate for your business upon departure.
Once you’ve gained their intention to visit again, now what? Now it’s time to focus on growing your guests’ lifetime value by encouraging an upgrade to a season pass, annual pass, or membership. Even though the intention to visit again should be derived from the satisfaction of their visit, this alone does not guarantee that they will come back again and again. Fortunately, you can put methods you can putin place to guide guests toward repeat visitation, and your technology solutions can help with that.
Looking at the full guest journey, consider the following approach to converting your satisfied guests into familiar faces.
Collect guest feedback to determine their satisfaction. When guests are satisfied, you want to harness their enjoyment and convert it to loyalty. The first step is segmenting your guests into promoters and detractors. With ROLLER’s Guest Experience Score, guests will naturally sort themselves into these two main buckets to yield further action. For guests whose experience fell below expectation, suggesting that they become a pass holder will not be well received; in fact, it may even exacerbate their frustration. These guests require immediate attention and service recovery so they can be actively moved from the detractor category to being a promoter. Once they’re there and for guests who were satisfied to begin with, now you can communicate the benefits that your pass or membership program will bring them.
Allow guests to apply the value of admission toward a pass. Why start the transaction over when they’ve already paid for some of the cost of the pass? Your point of sale solution should allow for easy upgrades for guests who arrive for their first visit and purchase standard admission and later realize that they want more. You may even want to extend the benefit beyond their initial visit for a certain timeframe (ex: 2 weeks) for them to apply what they’ve paid already toward the cost of a pass, effectively breaking the purchase into two chunks. Presenting this offer can substantially impact your conversion rate when you present how many visits are required to make the pass worthwhile.
Connect with past guests to share what’s new or coming up. Keeping in close contact with your guests is a vital part of extending the guest experience beyond their initial visit. When you have a new attraction in development, seasonal event in the works, or even specials on certain days of the week or month, you should always find ways to give guests a reason to come back. With your CRM (customer relationship management), you can segment your guests into passholders and general admission guests, and market to them accordingly. Keep the conversation going with guests who purchased standard admission and take them down the path that leads to membership or upgrading to a pass.
Remember: technology can’t deliver the experience your guests are coming for. That’s your job and the job of your frontline staff. But when you achieve guest experience excellence, technology can help remove the barriers that stand between a satisfied guest and a loyal one. Leverage technology to remove friction in the experience that will lead to more season pass, annual pass, and membership sales.