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GUEST EXPERIENCE 101: Part One – The Pre-Visit

Guest experience 101 - The pre-visit


  • In the first of three blogs we explain what is guest experience
  • Pre, During and Post visit – we explain Pre-Visit first
  • The guest experience starts long before a guest arrives
  • Set goals, know your audience, start the conversation, every touch point matters and getting a fresh perspective are what makes up the Pre-Visit

Here at Katapult, creating guest experiences with the wow factor, is what we do best. Whether you’re a thrilling theme park, a museum who wants to bring history to life, a brand looking to create a memorable pop up, or even a retailer looking to add something special to your flagship stores… you need a great guest experience, and we can help.

 

But what is guest experience? I’m glad you asked.

 

What guest experience boils down to is ultimately how your guests and customers feel about your event/attraction after all of their interactions with you. Most people assume that the customer experience starts and ends on the day of the visit. They walk through the doors, they experience the attraction/ exhibition/ pop up event and then leave. Experience over. Well, here at Katapult, we know it can be so much more.

 

In this series of three blogs, we’ll explore our three key stages for creating a great and memorable experience for your guests and visitors. The Pre-Visit, The During Visit & The Post Visit.

LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING.

 

Now Pre-Visit simply means the guest’s interactions with your brand/attraction before they actually physically visit. Now this can include a wide variety of things, from the advertising they see on social media, to their online booking experience. Even the smallest detail needs to be considered when creating an outstanding experience. Here we break down some of the key stages.

SET YOUR GOALS FOR THE EXPERIENCE

 

First things first, establishing clear project outcomes and goals with our clients, is one of the most important things we do when planning out guest experiences. Whether your project goal is to increase ticket sales, reach a previously untapped audience or to cause a stir with your latest attraction launch; you’re in the right place. We have all the expertise you need to keep a laser like focus on achieving your goals, and propel your attraction/experience to the next level of profitability and engagement. Katapult will explore all the physical and digital opportunities that are waiting to be discovered and work out which ones to activate. Then we sprinkle our digital fairy dust – driving online engagement and performance.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

 

This sounds obvious, I know, but this is one of the most important steps in creating a great guest experience. Truly knowing who your guests are going to be should be a high priority. Yet it’s often overlooked and targeting is too vague. Are you creating an attraction with children in mind? If so what age range? A family with 5-8 year olds are looking for completely different things to a family with pre-teens.  Are you looking to create an Instagram-worthy brand experience for ‘millennials’? Well I hate to break it to you… but “Millennials” can be aged between 22 and 37 and I can guarantee that what a 22 year old values, a 37 year old probably won’t and vice versa… By digging deep into the persona-type of the customers you want to engage with, into their habits, their spending and their interests, you can target your offering directly to them.

START THE CONVERSATION

 

There’s a famous saying in marketing and advertising… “If you don’t have your audience’s attention, you’re talking to yourself.” The same couldn’t be more true of experiential marketing.

 

Your ticket sales will never soar if no-one knows about your event/attraction. This is why it’s vital to start a conversation with your audience, early, and tend to it often. Whether that’s through targeted social media advertisements, through creating interesting and shareable content or building hype for your event through clever strategy and customer engagement. Part of our offering here at Katapult is creating comprehensive media and marketing strategies to maximise your impact and ensure all your touch-points are in sync with your campaign. First impressions matter,  and the experience often starts on screen, long before a guest steps through your doorway.

 

EVERY TOUCH-POINT MATTERS

 

Your touch-points, or how your guests interact with you while off-site, are your face to the outside world. It’s so important to ensure you have a consistent tone of voice throughout every single avenue a potential guest might interact with you. It’s easy to lose track of things when so many different touch-points are available to brands. It can be daunting keeping them all up to date. But instead of spreading yourselves and your budgets thin, it’s important to evaluate where your audience is actually looking and to direct your efforts to ensure that these social media accounts, and digital advertisements all reflect your current brand, core values and tone of voice. Even when the messaging is being targeted to different markets. And whatever is not working for you, shouldn’t be live.

 

Now don’t forget, consistency is key with your touch-points. It’s all too easy to keep your social media in tip top condition, while letting your online booking experience go stale, or focusing entirely on updating your digital marketing with your latest brand and visuals, but neglecting to update the signage in your car park. Remember, It’s all about the whole package.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

 

One of the many services we offer as part of our guest experience package is a hands-on, site-audit where we carefully evaluate your current guest experience and guest flow. Now, this is far from an examination or an inspection… there’s no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ here.  Just a candid look into your current offering.

  • Through our site audits we can pinpoint exactly what is great about your current customer experience, what’s working and how we can implement these good elements in other areas.
  • It also offers a chance to have a completely fresh perspective and evaluate where you may be able to do things differently. Our recommendations may be to utilise a new booking system, change the guest flow to eliminate cold spots, or to integrate some exciting new tech.
  • Each audit is completely bespoke to the client’s experience and their end of project goals. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes, that aren’t dealing with the day to day management of running an attraction, to see a clear and bright path forward.

 

So there you have it, a glimpse into our pre-visit process, of course, this is just scratching the surface. We have so much more to show you. In the next blog we’ll be discussing how to sharpen your during-experience’ offerings to create a guest experience that truly wows.

 

Of course, in the meantime…we’re always up for a chat. Our brilliant Strategy & Development Director, Kelly, is always on hand to talk through your next project and how we could help you smash your project goals. Just give her a call or drop Kelly an enquiry email. We’re excited to hear from you.

 

 

About the Author: Sarah-Anne is a Designer at Katapult – A Creative England, Top 50 Company that creates physical and digital guest experiences that amaze and engage your visitors.

Sarah-Anne
Forteith

Sarah-Anne Forteith is our Concept Artist and Designer. A proud Scot with over 8 years experience as a designer. With Katapult Sarah-Anne has worked with Cartoon Network, Merlin, Adventure Leisure, and was the creative lead on a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust project.