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Jamie Flaherty is the VP of Business Development and Marketing for Netserv Applications and oversees Tatvam Analytics. As a self-proclaimed “Attractions Ninja,” Jamie has been passionate about guest experience technology since early on in his career when he worked with a startup in college. After selling the startup, he joined the team with Gateway Ticketing Systems, where he was able to work with attractions all over the world for more than a decade. More recently, he joined Netserv to oversee Tatvam Analytics, which helps attractions compile guest feedback to make ongoing improvements to the experience and the organization. In this interview, Jamie talks about using technology to impact the guest experience, making feedback-based improvements, and riding the ride.
Using technology to impact the guest experience
“There is so much more technology that impacts the experience than most people realize.”
When people share stories of their experience visiting attractions, they usually don’t talk about the technology like the ticketing platform or other tools that they use to help manage the venue or deliver the experience. In most cases, if people talk about technology, it’s usually because something wasn’t working.
Technology, specifically the tools that impact the guest experience, should be woven in so seamlessly that the guest doesn’t know how they work or that they even exist. Attractions leaders should view technology as a means of removing friction from the guest experience as the core purpose.
Making feedback-based improvements
“The things you’re doing wrong are what you need to fix, and the things you’re doing right are what you can charge more for.”
Jamie boldly states, “Don’t trust your guest experience team” when it comes to understanding what the largest areas of concern are. Instead, focus on collecting feedback from well-rounded sources to see the holistic view of the guest experience and understand what the largest complaints and friction points are. This includes internal feedback, as well as social media, online reviews, and anywhere else that guests can share their perception of the experience.
When you identify what the largest issue is, you can allocate your resources and attention toward resolving the largest issue. It’s also important to note that the solution is not the opposite of the problem. Jamie shares a story where an attraction noted that their largest complaint had to do with crowds. Instead of reducing crowds by limiting attendance, they pulled back to identify when and where the perception of crowds were the heaviest, and focused efforts on shifting people throughout the building as well as spreading attendance toward slower time periods. In turn, their attendance went up, along with guest satisfaction, creating a win-win outcome.
Riding the ride
“The more you experience as a guest, the more you can help other people.”
In addition to working in the industry, Jamie is an avid consumer of the product as well, as he regularly visits parks and attractions with his family. This helps to influence his perception of the experience as he is regularly on the lookout for ways that parks are incorporating technology. His children have also changed the way he views the operation by gaining their perception.
This mindset extends into how industry professionals experience attractions while attending networking events, expos, or visiting clients. Jamie shares the importance of “riding the ride” or experiencing the attraction as a guest, because it helps to enhance how we are able to help those we serve, whether it is guests visiting our attraction or the clients and partners we make in the industry.
This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our faaaaaantastic team:
- Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas