Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts
If a guest visits a trampoline park and has a poor experience, what went wrong?
When trying to solve problems or recover from service failures, it’s in our nature to find the one thing that ruined the guest’s visit, and focus on that one thing. While that may be the case on occasion, most negative experiences are a culmination of many negative touchpoints that add up to an overall poor perception.
While you should be committed to solving large issues and prioritizing the big stuff accordingly, don’t lose sight of the little things. When several little things go wrong in the experience and the guest can’t pinpoint the one circumstance that derailed it, you end up with the cringe-worthy metaphor of “the death by a thousand paper cuts.”
Here is a partial of the small things that can go wrong that can negatively impact the guest experience in your trampoline park:
- When calling, no one answered the phone until more than 10 rings
- A lightbulb was burned out on your entrance sign, limiting visibility from the street
- The paint on the parking spaces lines was faded
- The check in employee took more than a minute to greet an arriving family
- The music was a tad too loud for comfort
- The air conditioning wasn’t on high enough, and it was too warm as guests were jumping
- The napkin dispenser in the concessions area was empty
- The soap dispenser in the restroom was empty
- At a birthday party, the room was not yet properly set for the party upon arrival
- A birthday party host took their lunch break in the middle of a party, leaving them unattended
- Audio announcements were muffled and difficult to understand
- A trash can was not emptied in a timely manner, emitting a foul odor
- The pizza was sitting out too long and was cold
- Court monitors were not limiting the number of guests in a particular area, resulting in crowded jumping
This list can go on and on...
If all of these were to occur over the course of one guest’s visit (or at a single birthday party), it would result in quite a negative experience. If only one or two of these were present, it might be a strike against the overall satisfaction, but wouldn’t necessarily ruin the visit. However, without carefully focusing on the granular elements of what guests are experiencing, you end up with a poor experience when many little things add up.
In order to avoid the death by a thousand paper cuts, you must focus on continual measurement of the guest experience, identify priorities, and create long-term solutions for even the smallest problems. This can only be done if you embrace guest complaints, and actively seek feedback from your guests so you can understand the guest experience from the guest’s point of view.