Amusement parks, water parks and theme parks have struggled to improve some basic services such as the entry queue lines, which makes it more challenging to develop a positive first impression for the guest.
In this article, you are going to find “5 QUESTIONS WE CANNOT AVOID” about first impressions, managing perceptions, and making it a ‘first date’ to remember.
Many studies have shown that humans form a judgment on a person or thing within the first few seconds of interaction. A Forbes Article suggests that “Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are”.
For a marketer, perception is an important part of building a brand and first impressions can help inform improvements to the quality of products and services, or adjustments in communication and execution tactics.
The digital environment has been a great source for accessing consumers’ first impressions: online reviews, social media posts, hashtags, or even opening discussions with returning and prospective customers.
THE POWER OF REVIEWS ON PERCEPTION
According to a study conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, 83% of brands do not make an impression let alone a positive one. (Read the article here)
In addition, this article has shown that 82% of consumers read digital reviews before making a purchasing decision.
This is the POWER OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS; A small but critical piece of a huge puzzle that can either drive sales and loyalty, or business failure.
The power of word of mouth on digital
5 QUESTIONS THAT WE CAN’T AVOID ANYMORE
Some amusement parks, water parks, and theme parks have struggled to “own” that positive first impression. Industry operators, managers, and professionals should ask themselves:
1) Have you ever considered that your first impression is probably online? What is your digital customer experience? For Google and P&G it is called ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth).
2) Does your season pass process allow people to enjoy the park right away and not have to deal with time-consuming administration? The physical first moment for many industries is called FMOT (First Moment of Truth) between consumers and brands.
3) What personal impression are you giving at this first stage of the relationship? Are staff well equipped and empowered by technology as well?
4) The basics that start the guest’s day, the lockers or changing room cleanliness. Are they aligned with guests’ expectations and convenience?
5) How do you impress your guest on their first ride? Is it personalized or is it the exact same experience for everyone? Are they informed about the queue line before they enter it to manage their expectations?
THERE ARE WAYS FOR THE OPERATOR TO IMPROVE THESE FIRST INTERACTIONS:
- Optimized websites and digital targeting which improves the relevance (and appeal) of the content
- Streamlined entry process & seasons pass using ‘self serve’ technology
- Guest data to inform your team for that first guest engagement with a member of staff
- Lockers and cashless payment integrations for guest convenience
- First ride personalization and timed entry slots or fast passes
It is worth the effort because the improved customer satisfaction that comes with a good first impression with your park results in:
- Longer stays
- More in-park spend
- Good online reviews
- Recommendation for family and friends (Word-of-mouth)
- Return visit (Loyalty)
PARKS NEED TO ADAPT TO GUESTS’ HIGHER EXPECTATIONS AND DESIRE FOR EMPOWERMENT
Habits have changed and the expectation for digital convenience and personalized experience is significantly higher than ever before. Guests are rapid and vocal with their feedback when we disappoint! Social media is full of consumer’s comments about good and bad services, and you better be prepared to respond to them. Are you ready to adapt your product when necessary, so that you create a good first impression or at least manage to change any bad perceptions?
Working hard for a positive first impression means a short-term decision for long-term results.
For more about how Vantage helps smooth your guest journey visit Vantage.co
There is a high expectation for digital convenience and personalized experience