Are you currently following a simple formula to developing customer-centric tourism experiences or are you leaving your experiences to a random act of development and hoping for the best?
A simple and trusted formula when developing experiences needs to capture the imagination to ensure you will be findable well before the visitor even knows you exist yet. For the pure benefit of findability, the success of any new or existing experiences you deliver, after reviewing and gaining clarity around WHO the visitor is to take some strategic steps forward. Your guests’ stages of travel have five distinct stages of travel including:
For the purpose of this exercise, we have further simplified these steps and broken them down into three very important phases of developing the delivery of any new or existing experience:
1. Before the experience
In developing experience we must take into account the pre-experience journey. The pre-experience journey takes into account being found online, capturing leads and enquiries when your potential visitor is in a dream-like state ‘thinking’ or best yet ‘dreaming’ about that trip, that weekend or that extended getaway they are in the process of planning.
The visitors first port of call is most likely to be a stopover to Google and from there the dreaming turns from searching or ‘Googling’ to planning and it is at this point that your findability matters.
For you to capture the imagination during this pre-experience dream state it is very important to have your website ‘findable’ by updating regular, optimised content that further enhances the desire to book with you and is further amplified by your social media content and online reputation with the likes of your Google my Business, Trip Advisor or Facebook listing.
Get the pre-experience right and you increase your chances of conversion by driving the visitor journey in a pathway to purchase and convert to a booking.
2. During the experience
In the famous quote of Maya Angelou, people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel. And developing customer-centric tourism experiences means setting the framework by asking:
How do I want my customer to feel when they are experiencing our attraction/ accommodation venue/tour/flight/walk/bungee/cruise/sail?
Setting those intentions you may brainstorm describing what you want them to be feeling in your presence some examples may be to feel:
There is a good start for you. Have a good think of your INTENTIONS and which of those emotions you want your customers to feel. Then part of developing the delivery of your experience is setting the ACTIONS to elicit those emotions. By strategically developing your experience in this way you ensure consistent delivery in service not to mention going above and beyond for your customers.
3. After the Experience
How do you saying thank you and welcome visitor feedback? Post-experience is all about the thank you strategy and asking first hand from the very people who have experienced your product first hand for feedback so that you can better understand your delivery and make it better for the next customer.
Last but not least in your post-experience thank you strategy is your opportunity to ask your guests for a review on their preferred network of choice. After all, if you never ask the answer will always be no!
In summary, whether your experience is established or brand new, giving these steps consideration will go a very long way into developing customer-centric tourism experiences that can be found, delivered and followed up consistently.
ACTION: Audit your current experiences regularly by following the above steps and you will always make improvements. After all, that is what it is to be in our service inspired travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Your experiences are a work in progress to always be better, do better and continually deliver remarkable and unforgettable experiences that make people better as a result of having had them with you.