The final stage in our three-step approach to Guest Experience
Don’t abandon your visitors just because they’ve left the attraction
Maintain a human connection
Extend the magic by creating a community
Make the most of the data you collect
At Katapult, we create guest experiences that wow. Whether you’re an indoor attraction looking to boost your return visitor numbers, a theme park looking to add even more magic to your offerings, or a retailer who wants to optimise their customer journey in store; you need a great guest experience, and we can help.
In this series of three blogs, we’re exploring our three key stages for creating a great and memorable visitor experience. In part one we talked about how important the ‘Pre-Visit’ stage is when creating an amazing customer experience. In part two we explored how to take your ‘During’ experience from good to great.
Today, in the final blog of the series, we’re exploring how a well thought out ‘Post-Visit’ experience can set you apart from the competition.
Last impressions count
Once a guest’s visit is over and they’re homeward bound, many might assume that their experience is over. We disagree. We believe that the post-visit stage is an integral part of the overall experience. When done well, the post-visit strategy can not only increase your guest satisfaction but also increase your return visit numbers and word of mouth recommendations.
Yet the post-visit strategy is often neglected and even omitted in some cases, as some brands often misjudge its importance. But why is the post-visit strategy so important?
It’s partly down to psychology and how we recall memories.
In behavioural science, there is a concept known as the recency effect. This concept describes the phenomenon of memory recall bias; in a nutshell, when people are asked to recall what they did during their day, they tend to be better at recalling the last activity they did. This bias towards having clearer memories of the very last encounter means that your final impression could have a huge impact on a guests overall experience.
In short, the post-visit experience should never be an afterthought.
So how do we create a positive final impression?
Show that you’re human
The key is maintaining a human connection. We’ve all received generic marketing emails in our inboxes… how often do we engage with them? How often do we even open them? Nondescript follow-up emails, chatbots, and all round lacklustre communication can leave a guest feeling less than special. Think of when you interact with a call centre, you no doubt prefer speaking to an actual operator rather than an AI interface… And I bet you enjoy receiving a handwritten thank you note much more than an impersonal email. In a technology-heavy world, we still crave these small, human interactions; they make us feel cared for.
Something as simple as saying “thank you for coming”, or making sure to always address guests by name in all follow-up communication, can take the post-visit experience up a notch. It’s also been found that guests tend to respond better to correspondence that appears to have come from an individual rather than an impersonal customer service email address.
Add the personal touches
Along with adding those human touches, it’s also important to personalise your post-visit experience. By offering personalised content, your follow up emails can extend your relationship with your guests and save future correspondence from being relegated to the spam folder. Post-visit emails are traditionally seen as an opportunity to share discounts to incentivise return visits. However, nothing devalues an experience or purchase more than finding a discount code after just paying full price. Instead, use your post-experience touchpoints to add value and cement an emotional connection.
One way to strengthen post-visit emotional connections is to send visitors reminders of their day and experience. This could be achieved through sharing emotive imagery of people enjoying the attraction/event and providing another opportunity to purchase photos or souvenirs. The post-visit experience is not about the hard sell, instead, a softer, emotive approach is recommended. These final touchpoints of a guest’s experience should focus on capturing memories, taking the magic home and providing those all-important warm and fuzzy feelings.
Create a community
One of the benefits of fostering an emotional connection with your post-visit audience is that you will be creating a community of potential brand ambassadors. By creating a space where guests can share their highlights and memories, you enable them to extend the magic for themselves and others; all while establishing an evergreen audience for your future endeavours.
You can maintain and enhance your community by sharing exclusive and curated content with them, such as recommendations for their next visit, access to limited edition merchandise and behind the scenes sneak peaks. The added advantage of showing your post-visit community a peek behind the curtain is that you’ll effectively eliminate the need to ‘sell’ to this audience as they are already invested and aware of upcoming releases and new attractions. Exclusive sneak peeks and premium content can also strengthen a guests bond with a brand. People tend to like feeling ahead of the curve and thrive on being ‘in the know’, leading them to promote your brand further.
You can also encourage social sharing and organic promotion by offering emotive incentives to share with the community. One example would be to encourage the use of a branded hashtag by offering guests the opportunity to have their tagged images featured on the brand’s social accounts. Often recognition and social kudos act as stronger motivation to revisit and repurchase than the standard discount code or giveaway. Fostering a community is not a necessarily an easy task, but these interactions can add a lot of value to your overall customer experience and the results can be priceless for your organisation.
Use data creatively
Another benefit to polishing your post-visit experience and growing a community is the valuable data that can be collected from these groups. Now, no one likes to feel like they’re being mined for data, instead, today’s savvy customers are looking for fair exchange. In return for their valuable data, people want added value. For example, in exchange for filling out a review survey, a customer could be given access to additional loyalty points or exclusive content and limited edition products before anyone else.
You can also use customer data creatively to curate a personalised experience for your guests. A theme park could provide tailored ride recommendations for a guest’s next visit based on their previous visit data. A festival could strengthen that all important emotive connection by reminding visitors of their upcoming visit anniversary to induce nostalgic feelings, the desire to relive the memories and encourage re-booking. The opportunities are endless.
It’s also incredibly important to utilise post-visit communication and ask guests about their experiences. Don’t be afraid of negative comments, they’re often more valuable than your positive reviews as they’re insights into what you can elevate in your offering. Growth isn’t painless. If a guest has had a less than perfect experience while visiting the post-experience touchpoints, it gives you a chance to repair the relationship. Post-visit data collection is also a fantastic opportunity to trend forecast and tailor your future offerings and maximise your investment returns.
Take a close look at your standard post-visit communication and touch points. Are the requests for feedback worded in an emotive way? Are you offering star ratings in your review surveys ratings? Or are you replacing 1-5 with emojis? Are you offering emotive and personalised communications? Or generic interfaces? These small tweaks can be the difference between meaningful engagement and a guest falling in love with your brand long term, or an unceremonious drag to the desktop trash icon.
So there you have it, a peek into our post-visit process. Of course, this is just scratching the surface of our expertise in this area. We have so much more to show you.
Our awesome Strategy & Development Director, Kelly, is always on hand to talk through your next project and discuss how we could help you smash your project goals. Just give her a call or drop her an enquiry email. We’re always 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.