3 mobile technologies to improve your zoo's guest experience

Before reading ahead, quickly answer this question: have you spent more time on your mobile phone this year than last year? If you answered yes, welcome to the club! 

According to eMarketer, 70% of all media time is spent on smartphones. That could be either streaming on Netflix, watching videos on YouTube, or just login into our beloved social media accounts. Yeah, the world has officially gone mobile! 

Just like you, your guests and visitors are also spending more and more time on their mobile devices. So, the question is: how can you combine this opportunity to enhance your zoo’s in-venue guest experience? Spoiler alert: the answer lies right ahead; just keep on reading. 

Probably, delivering an impeccable guest experience is at the top of your priority list. Right? A specific app environment (such as the one we offer with our app Tap) is the right solution to host all these functionalities. 

 

Disclaimer: Today, we will only talk about the in-venue guest experience, but remember: your guest’s customer journey is much more than his or her visit to your venue!

1. In-venue specific content

Short story time: a couple of weeks ago, I visited a zoo. Of course, as a guest, I wanted to take advantage of my visit (who doesn’t?), but I felt a lack of information from the venue. What animals could I see? What is the recommended walking route? Where are the restaurants? I wanted to have all the information in my hands to make the best decisions regarding my visit. 

In-venue specific content can solve all your guests’ questions beforehand. It will give your visitors all the tools they need to make the most  out of their visit. Some recommendations for in-venue content for your zoo are : 

  • Interactive maps are connected to the visitors’ GPS, showing and recommending walking routes to take advantage of the day. With the right technology, you could link the recommended routes based on crowd agglomeration.  For example, if there are too many people watching the penguins, you could recommend alternative routes to avoid crowds. 
  • Educational Content at the tip of their fingers. Try adding a QR code that connects to your app, and give all the information about your animals through your visitor’s phone. You can even create interactive content such as puzzles and games to increase engagement. Imagine having a special animal word-search for kids who visit your venue. Fun, right? 
  • Food and beverage are part of your visitors’ experience (and some extra revenue for you). In your app channel, you can offer (also integrated with your map) the places where your guest can get some snacks to make their visit more enjoyable. You could offer the menu with different offerings to help your visitor make the best decision based on what they want. 

These three ideas will already make a massive difference to your visitors’ guest experience! Don’t you think?

2. Push notifications

If you work in marketing, you will probably acknowledge that your efforts are focused on the pre-visit or getting people to buy a ticket for your zoo. But, it is challenging to influence their behavior once they enter your zoo’s door. Push-notifications present a great solution  to that problem. By allowing visitors to receive your zoo’s notifications through their mobile, you get the chance to continuously communicate with them before, during, and after their visit. All of this sounds like a benefit for your zoo, but how does this enhance your guest experience? 

  • Sending pre-visit notifications to remind your guest of their visit. Who knows, maybe some of them forgot about it and would appreciate the friendly reminder. 
  • Once in your venue, you could send notifications about showtimes or animal feeding times. These special moments will complement their visit and make it a memorable one.
  • You could recommend the best places to eat based on if they are a family, a couple, a group of friends, or just someone that decided to spend his or her day walking around your zoo.  

Making the visit as tailored as possible is a crucial factor for success, and in this case, success means delivering a great experience. You can do all of this just by strategically using technology. 

 

3. Collect donations and animal sponsorship

This is probably more of a benefit for your zoo, but there is always a chance to connect it to your visitors’ experience. At the end of your guests’ visit, you could run a poll and ask which animals were their favorite. After the survey, you could ask for a donation for that specific animal, for example: Donate elephant Joe’s next meal. You could collect a donation and offer a discount for a future visit. Something like: “Elephant Joe will miss you. Here is a 15% discount so you can visit him soon.” 

 

If you want to collect a recurrent or more significant donation, you could ask for a guest to sponsor or adopt an animal. With this, you could include a membership pass so the guest can continuously come back to your zoo. For example, “Sponsor Joe the elephant and visit him every time you want!” You could also keep your sponsors posted about the news on the specific animal they decided to adopt.

 

This is an excellent way of keeping your zoo close to your guest. You could extend your visitors’ experience even when they are not physically visiting you. You must just love technology, don’t you think? 

Not only can technology improve your zoo’s guest experience but...

We have seen three different mobile technologies that can make your zoo’s visitors’ experience memorable. And  the great news is that these technologies not only improve the experience of visitors, but also help you revenue-wise. Think strategically; you could use these mobile technologies for: 

  • Offering upsells: this could be when they are in your venue or a couple of days before that. Upsells are a great way of complimenting your guest’s visit while earning some easy extra revenue. Think of things such as parking, meals,  rain-passes, and other upsells that fit your zoo. 
  • Collect relevant data: The more you know your customer, the more you can improve your zoo. Collect data and use it strategically to keep on offering the best zoo experience out there. Think of things such as post-visit reviews, specific questions tailored to your venue, etc. 
  • Always in contact: You can always be in touch with your guest; you are just one fingertip away. Use this communication to promote exclusive offers, communicate relevant events, and encourage memberships to ensure your guest keeps on visiting your zoo. 

As you see, adopting mobile-technologies is just a win-win situation, both for enhancing your guest experience and helping your zoo grow. So, are you ready to implement this in your venue? The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch! Forget  about developing your own app; we all know the cost and the time a project like that implies. Luckily you got Tap covering you! So just hop into Tap and get your own app! 

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