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The benefits of mystery shopping for visitor attractions and theme parks

It is human nature to compare the visitor attraction you work for, with nearby competitors. This is your mind’s process to try to understand your strengths and weaknesses to become an even better attraction – but, shouldn’t you consider the opinion of someone other than yourself?

Impartial Guest Experience Audits are a key part of our insights services we offer here at Katapult, that help attractions to really understand what they can build on and what they must improve as part of their guest experience and flow. Here’s just some of the outputs we focus on.

Guest touchpoints

Every touchpoint the guest has with your visitor attraction is an opportunity to make or break the relationship. How many attractions have you visited where the digital interactions didn’t work? Or, the staff weren’t as entertaining as the ride they were operating? Our audits scrutinize:

  1. Physical – The hands-on experiences, even doorways and toilets to ensure the experience is cohesive, clear and providing a great guest flow.

  2. Digital – Your website and online booking tool is just as important as the screen-based touchpoint available in your attraction. We review both in detail.

  3. Staff – Did we feel valued as a guest when we did the audits, or were there simply no staff members to help with our query? We impartially review quality and quantity.

  4. Self-guided – Signage and general wayfinding can add confusion and frustration to a visit – even when assisted by mobile devices and apps. We review the ease of these.

Guest emotions

TripAdvisor is a brilliant example of the primacy and recency effect – the ability for guests to clearly remember the first and last touchpoint with your visitor attraction, and forget about the rest of the experience unless it was really bad.

As a result, we also create an emotional journey – the typical thoughts and feelings of a guest as they flow around your attraction. Are they bored watching a video? Are they angry at not being able to find a seat to take lunch? Are they ecstatic about something you’re completely unaware of? These are the questions we consider when tracking typical guest emotions as part of our audit.

Guest behaviour

The way that individual guests behave around your visitor attraction is always going to be slightly different, however, understanding how they react to key areas of the experience can help drive greater understanding of what they do and don’t like. 

Duration of time spent at each experience within your attraction, is another metric we review to understand guest behaviour better. Before committing to investing in a new experience or upgrade, this audit gives an indication as to whether your new ideas for the underperforming experience will actually work.

Why not just use guests to audit?

We understand visitor attractions. Our team has worked on projects for 80+ attractions around the world, as well as visiting countless more because of their love for the industry. As a result, we offer an impartial audit that combines knowledge of how guests behave on-site, with a commercially and operationally-savvy mindset. This provides you with:

  1. Clarity on your visitor attraction pros and cons

  2. Recommendations for improvement, both immediately and in the long term

  3. Priority list of what to invest in first

  4. Improvements to operational guest flow

  5. Clear strategy to improve guest reviews as a result

To find out more and book an impartial Guest Experience Audit with us, contact the team today.

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