Every component of your guest experience should be designed with one significant goal: achieving unwavering loyalty from every guest you serve. Your most loyal guests are the ones who celebrate you during good times and stick with you during tumultuous times. Every guest who walks into your venue has the opportunity to be your greatest ambassador, and the likelihood of this depends entirely on the experience you provide.
In this blog, we look at how their experience extends beyond their visit, what happens between visits, and how you can maintain guest loyalty.
How guest loyalty helps grow your business
So your loyal guests are coming back and advocating for you, too. They have become an extension of your marketing team.
However, the pinnacle of guest loyalty is whether they will go to bat for you when you need it most. Your most loyal guests are your army of defenders. Here’s why:
They evangelize your business
It’s more than just telling people to visit; they also tell people who won’t visit why they should. And because they’re not paid to say it, their word is much more powerful than yours.
They set people right who are wrong
Now, that is something you can’t do. And by wrong, it can be factually incorrect or just an opinion that conflicts with how you want your guests to feel. While you can point them in the right direction, your loyal defenders can be less diplomatic than needed in your service recovery process.
They aren’t just your marketing; they’re your PR team
By posting on social media and leaving glowing online reviews, they are enhancing your reputation far more than your marketing team can. But when they reach the pinnacle of loyalty, they also take on a role on your public relations team – they’ll talk to journalists, bloggers, and the media about how great you are.
How can you maintain guest loyalty?
Maintaining guest loyalty ensures sustained revenue and fosters positive word-of-mouth and an enhanced reputation. From memberships to personalization, let's explore strategies you can employ to drive guest loyalty and reap the rewards of a thriving, dedicated audience.
Successful membership programs can increase repeat visitation, revenue, and guest satisfaction.
To get started, design tiered membership levels offering varying perks like exclusive access, discounts, and special events. Promote memberships through your website, social media, and in-park signage.
When creating your membership tiers, remember to utilize your data analytics to personalize offerings and give your guests what they want and are willing to pay for.
Learn more about memberships here.
Create personalized experiences and communications
Following the previous section, personalized experiences and communication are essential to maintaining guest loyalty.
To do this, you must look at your guest data to understand guest preferences and behaviors. From there, tailor communication, offers, and experiences accordingly. You can send personalized recommendations and offers via email or app notifications.
Personalization makes your guests feel valued and understood, leading to longer stays, increased spending and satisfaction, and positive reviews.
Learn more about CRM here.
Respond to guest feedback promptly
The fastest way to lose a loyal guest is to not pay attention to the feedback they give you. When they give you good feedback or leave a positive review, remember to acknowledge this and make them feel appreciated.
Similarly, if they have visited your venue but have yet to find their latest trip up to the standard they have come to expect from you, and they make this known, ensure that you promptly get to the bottom of the issue. After that, respond to their complaint promptly and with a reasonable solution.
Using a guest experience feedback tool, like ROLLER’s Guest Experience Score, can help you do this as it monitors your feedback for you and instantly alerts you when you receive any feedback through the ROLLER system. This way, you see it as quickly as possible and have the best chance of rectifying the situation before the guest can post their review on a public channel.
‘Gamify’ certain attractions and activities
Creating interactive challenges, scavenger hunts, or in-park games with rewards like discounts or exclusive merchandise is a fun way to maintain guest loyalty. You can use digital platforms for tracking progress and awarding prizes.
Gamification adds an element of fun and competition, motivating guests to explore more attractions and spend more time within the park. It also increases guest engagement and spending.
Host special days and events for loyal guests and members
To reward loyal guests for their support, you can organize themed events, workshops, or exclusive experiences available only to loyal guests/ members. You can also offer these guests early access, VIP treatment, or unique meet-and-greets.
Special events create a sense of exclusivity and excitement, and you can be sure your guests will tell others about their experience, too, so positive word-of-mouth will also increase.
Read this next: How Your Venue Can Attract More Repeat Visitors
It all starts with incredible in-venue experiences
Loyal guests are your business's lifeblood, so you must recognize and reward their efforts as often as possible. But if we pull back, let’s quickly recap how you got here in the first place.
At one point, your guests had never visited you or even heard of your venue. Maybe your venue did not even exist until recently. How do you go from not existing to having an army of loyal defenders?
The answer is not going to come as a shock at this point. Still, here we go: you delivered a superior experience that exceeded their expectations and the expectation that they had of all other alternative options. Not only was their visit spectacular, but the joy they felt from visiting you lingered long after they left, to the point that you eventually wove your way into the fabric of their lives. By regularly and creatively delivering “Wow” moments that surprise and delight, you aren’t just creating a great guest experience; you are creating an emotional guest experience.
Your loyal army of defenders are the most loyal guests you have. They are the most satisfied, the most engaged, and the most valuable guests that you can attain. Focus your primary efforts on them; they will bring your business through even the most challenging times.
Invest in your most loyal guests
Ultimately, the key to achieving unwavering loyalty from your guests is consistently delivering exceptional experiences.
You can turn them into your most valuable and loyal defenders by going above and beyond their expectations and creating emotional connections; you can turn them into your most valuable and loyal defenders. So, take the time to understand their needs and preferences and invest in building relationships that will last a lifetime.