Regaining guests' trust and confidence

Regaining guests’ trust and confidence

COVID-19, Guest Experience, Social Media

This article is part 1 of a 3 part series. Click here for the full series.

The attractions industry has an uphill battle when it comes to regaining consumer confidence in order to successfully reopen when the time comes, or for those who have already reopened.  Therefore, it will be vital for attractions operators to focus efforts on engaging with guests to assure them of cleanliness standards in effective ways, without adding any additional fear or anxiety.

In a pre-COVID world, creating demand and generating likelihood for guests to visit a leisure attraction was always a challenge – the opportunities were endless, from direct competitors, alternative ways to spend time and money, and in-home entertainment that has surged over the last decade, and what seems to have surged exponentially in 2020.  It all seems like simpler times, now that the industry is faced with the herculean task of regaining confidence in an industry forced to shut down globally for months, while we all instructed to keep our distance from others, don’t gather, and stop touching things that other people have touched.

The primary purpose of regaining trust is to increase the likelihood that guests will visit.  A recent poll conducted by Amusement Advantage indicates that on a scale from 1-5, the likelihood to visit attractions is as high as 3.7, and as low as 2.2, varying based on the type of attraction.  Even on the high end, 3.7 out of 5 is not particularly reassuring, leaving ample opportunity for all attractions operators to focus on building trust.

Research conducted by Amusement Advantage, Inc. from April 23rd-29th, 2020

This is where social media and guest experience collide.  Usually, marketing and operations are seen to be separate functions, with different goals and outputs.  When the attractions industry shut down, these two silos became one, focusing on maintaining guest engagement, keeping top of mind during the shutdown, and encouraging guests to begin planning their next visit.

Communication will be a key element in creating desire for guests to leave their homes and visit attractions.  Everyone is implementing new procedures for continuous sanitation; the question is how well are you communicating these procedures to your prospective visitors?  It will be crucial to demonstrate it once they are on site, but in order to even get to that step, the communication needs to lead to increased confidence, which will lead to increased desire to visit.

Use your social media platforms and your email following to stress your message of heightened sanitation measures.  Need inspiration?  Here’s a 31 second video of a team member power washing go karts at Fiesta Village Family Fun Park:

The post that accompanies the video shares what they’re doing to keep guests safe, and the tone is upbeat and energetic.  Just because your facility is sterile doesn’t mean your social media tone should be too.  Keep the upbeat energy that you’ve always used to bring guests your way.

Some guests may want to know even more about your procedures, and transparency will be your friend.  Keep your messages direct and to the point in social media, and then link to where they can learn the full details on your website.  Similarly with your email communication, share with your guests that their safety is your top priority, list the key components, and let them know where they can learn more, by directing them to where you have it listed on your website.

By focusing on increasing trust and confidence, you will increase the likelihood that guests will visit when you reopen, offering you the chance to show them that you can still provide superior entertainment, even in the new normal.

This article is part 1 of a 3 part series. Click here for the full series.

Josh Liebman
Josh Liebman specializes in guest experience within attractions, tourism, and hospitality, including service standards, complaint resolution, and driving guest loyalty. Josh is a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, consultant, and speaker. Josh has worked for some of the top attraction operators in the world, including, but not limited to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Merlin Entertainments, and Cedar Fair. Josh has been integral to the openings of multiple attractions in various leadership capacities. Additionally, Josh has consulted for many of the world’s leading hospitality brands, including Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, and many more. Josh is Co-Host of the AttractionPros Podcast, which brings the audience into the room with the top leaders, executives, and influencers in the attractions industry.

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