Memory: it is a fundamental component of learning, decision-making, information interpretation, and relationship-building. My grandmother lived to ninety-eight, however in the last years of her life, she had memory loss issues. As a result, my children never had a strong bond with their great-grandmother; how could they with someone who does not remember their name, what they are like, or what they have done?
I bring this up to challenge a perspective on your own venue and what it represents in your guests’ minds. Read on to learn about 3 implementable strategies, or ingredients, to building a strong and lasting relationship based on memory/recognition.
Why Guest Memory Is Critical for Your Venue
A strong relationship can’t exist without a positive memory of a shared experience. Your guests may have a happy memory of their experience at your venue, but the affinity to your venue will be so much stronger if the venue remembers them as well. Just think how much more motivated you are to go back to services where people know you. A hairdresser or barber, a restaurant, or even a small local store where you deal with the owner are places that you love because they know your needs and demonstrate that they care about the customer. The problem is that most venues have a very poor memory, or entirely lack a memory infrastructure, and therefore have no ability to make people feel truly special on their own terms.
At home, we are used to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video responding to our preferences, and increasingly businesses are deploying technology to do the same. The social networking tools you likely interface with every day easily learn who you are, remember your preferences, and personalize your experiences by automatically providing you with customized content; the content you would have never found yourself. I’m not suggesting that we use technology to turn your venue into TikTok or Instagram Reels, but there is a lesson in how these platforms have achieved their incredible success in the ultra-competitive attention economy. Now imagine your venue could do the same…
3 Ingredients for a Better “Guest Memory” Recipe
The simple ingredients to creating a next-level venue with an incredible guest memory are:
Connecting venues and guests is the first ingredient in this successful recipe.
Ingredient 1) Stronger Connections
Your venue will never truly understand your guests without having a better connection to them. This goes far beyond collecting an email when they buy a ticket online (Once that ticket is redeemed, the connection is lost). Connecting with your guests while they are on the property is essential to knowing them. What attractions did they ride? What did they eat/buy and love? Where do they spend their time, and how long in each area? The technology to connect people can take many forms: apps and phones, RFID wearables, QR codes, facial recognition, biometrics, etc. Your guests get what they want—a frictionless experience, and your venue gets what it needs—a better understanding of guest behaviors.
Just as important is a stronger connection between your venue’s systems. Venues often have several existing systems in place at different guest touchpoints, but these systems are disconnected from each other and from the guest’s identity. By integrating these disjointed systems, even more can be learned about the guest to serve them better.
Ingredient 2) Comprehensive Information Storage
Even though my grandmother was seeing what was happening around her, her brain failed to store the information. Most venues have several “brains” that collect and store information, but no single brain that provides a holistic view of what happened. Humans need a holistic view of themselves to feel appreciated, and the technological answer to this is a “data-lake”. This is a large database that collects several streams of information and pools them together into one large mass so that action can be taken based on a sum of knowledge. Look no further than the collection of your data on search engines or social channels to see how the centralized collection of information is used in the next phase of the process.
Ingredient 3) Actionable Personalization
Social media shows you offers for items that fit your needs based on the hobbies you search online, and from your association to various organizations. Your phone remembers where your car is parked, what your favorite restaurants are, and how to get home no matter where you are in the world. The top companies in the world are now born in the cloud, data-driven organizations and they make more revenue than any industrial market ever before. How does this all happen? From individual personalization that drives an intimate connection to people based on the granular understanding of their needs and behaviors. We all now “expect” more personalized service from every business. By knowing what motivates individuals, modern businesses can create better outcomes for all those involved.
The venues that will prosper most in the future are the ones that create personalized connections to make guests feel more recognized, catered to, included, and loved while still providing the surprise, thrill, escape, and memorable awe that amusement and leisure venues bring.
Creating powerful memories is like a two-way street
Digital Footprints Enable Better Connections with Your Venue
The technology tools to enable your digital transformation journey already exist. It is a journey of adoption which takes time and process, but it’s important to start now. Without a doubt, the guest experience benefits immensely from having a digital memory at the core of the operation. It is the only way to provide the personalized experience and connection that drives humans.
We all have stored memories of a favorite grandparent, friend, or place where we naturally prefer to spend more time and devote more of our energy. I’m curious about how the amusement and leisure market can evolve to proactively become more like someone’s favorite person.
Vantage invests in innovation and technology to help the leisure and amusement industry create new and better memory for its guests and operators.
Click here and book a demo with our team to see how it’s done.