Have you ever played the game Rollercoaster Tycoon? It simulates owning an amusement park, zoo, or attraction and challenges players to a variety of scenarios in which they make choices for their park. There are a series of metrics through which the game measures success. One of them is Guest Satisfaction. As the owner, you can scroll through any of the guests in your park to understand what they are thinking. Are they having an enjoyable time? Did they have a bad experience? Will they come back again? As a result, you have an excellent understanding of your guests and their happiness. Wouldn’t it be great if the same thing were true for park operators in real life?
The Reality of Guest Satisfaction.
Measuring Guest Satisfaction should be more like Rollercoaster Tycoon. As leaders, we should be able to log in to a dashboard, review the latest Guest Satisfaction scores, and to take action based on what the metrics read out. However, most organizations do not have the infrastructure needed to give them a fair sampling. So instead, they turn to TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is a Reactive Metric.
TripAdvisor can be a great way of measuring your facility’s overall ranking against other area attractions. However, when it comes to using it as the only means of measuring Guest Satisfaction, it’s a poor choice. The problem is this. TripAdvisor is a social media platform and because of this, users may post their experiences—for better or worse—in public. Whether they really happened or are a complete work of fiction, these comments are posted immediately for all to see. Certainly, an organizational leader can—and should—respond professionally to all posted comments but again, it all happens in public! Not a good way to do damage control or to manage guest recovery.
Ideally, we want to measure feedback proactively. Like Rollercoaster Tycoon, we want to know what’s going on inside of our guests’ heads while they are still inside of our facility. Fortunately, many great systems and processes make it easy to collect those metrics. Here are three great places to start:
Staffed Area Surveys.
Define both global and area-specific questions that you can ask your guests in various locations throughout your facility. Train a survey team to deploy in each of the areas of your facility on different days throughout the month to collect surveys. Finally, tabulate those surveys into your Guest Satisfaction dashboard.
Position iPad kiosks around your park in various high-traffic and strategic locations to collect data. Craft area-specific questions and even build in recovery mechanisms when the survey detects a service failure. You can contract with a provider like Avius to help you respond in real-time to guest needs.
A Mobile App may be the best way yet of collecting guest feedback metrics in an easy-to-use and accessible manner. Mobile Apps install right onto the guest's smartphone which allows your guests to provide valuable feedback throughout their visit. When Mobile Apps are joined with GPS locating technology, the app can send out specific questions based on guest location. Mobile App technology continues to change and become more accessible. When combined with the right software and analytics, this is the closest thing to real-time, Rollercoaster Tycoon-type guest feedback.