By Maitane Zarate on 11/20/20 9:15 AM
This year has caught us off guard with many unexpected shifts and changes we didn’t see coming; one of them being the drastic acceleration process that digitalization has had across multiple industries world-wide.
For instance, pre-COVID19’s leisure industry was stuck in its old traditional ways. And when you think about it, why should it have been any other way? There was no pressing reason to embrace new (but also daunting) digital technologies, because people seemed to be perfectly content walking up to the box office, purchasing their tickets, enjoying the rides and leaving after a full day of action. But that was in the old normal.
In the ‘new normal’, things have changed drastically. COVID19 has basically put an end to walk-up culture, and even forced venue gates shut, leaving leisure businesses with no other choice but to shift their strategies online.
Therefore, leisure venues are discovering that the application of new technologies is actually central to attracting and retaining customers, and can help them gain a competitive edge over the competition.
In fact, the new digital approaches to their guests’ customer journey has been a problem-solver for 3 main weak spots that the traditional customer journeys in leisure have always struggled with.
3 weak spots of an outdated customer journey
1. Customer friction and frustration
Traditional offline customer journeys in leisure used to have a great number of friction points that used to result in customer frustration. Now, people are actually stoked to be visiting attractions and venues where they no longer have to eternally queue for! Whereas before, the friction already began right at the parking lot up until the box office, going through messy waiting lines and crowded venues that lacked immersive elements and convenience.
By shifting multiple touch-points of this journey (the purchase, the parking process, the virtual queuing, in-venue spending, re-booking and so on) online, many of these frictions and frustrations are now a thing of the past (or at least they can be, if you want to).
However, with a new customer journey come new pain points as well. Not physical, but digital ones.
So now that you are surely focusing on selling online, you will want to avoid negative user experiences within your digital customer journey. In that note, you might be interested in the following related read:
2. Lack of direct communication and connection:
Before, when the traditional offline customer journey prevailed, leisure venues could only get a hold of their customers when they walked in through their venue’s doors. And once they left, it was goodbye.
Digital customer journeys have changed this around. By taking their customer journeys online, leisure venues can now nurture continuous up-to-date communication with their guests and create stronger relationships and bonds.
This goes both ways. The guest can be sure to have all the information needed, through pre-event emails, push-notifications, live chats, and many other marketing tools, while the venue can benefit from a direct channel of communication with them by which they can keep nurturing and strengthening the relationship, achieving better customer loyalty and retention.
Read more on how to achieve better customer loyalty and retention here.
3. Lack of insights and data
Perhaps one of the most important issues that today’s digitized leisure customer journey solves is the lack of data and all of those one-off customer relationships where the venue would serve their guest for the day, without learning anything about them or their experience, and then not being able to reach out to them again.
With digital customer journeys this is now a completely different story. No matter where in the customer journey - whether it’s in an awareness stage taking in all the different options they are browsing through, comparing or considering different leisure activities, or purchasing them online - consumers are leaving a trace and a great deal of valuable data that you, as a leisure venue, can be using to personalize their experience and influence their purchase along every single touch-point of the way.
The bottom line here is that the way in which the traditional leisure world has been approaching customer journeys is outdated, and no longer matches the new customer behaviors and needs.
The accelerated digitalization that COVID19 has brought forth, has been a wake-up call for attractions and leisure venues, who are starting to realize that they need to modernize and adapt in order to meet these new customer needs.
This is an ideal opportunity to reconsider and re-evaluate their whole guest journey from start to finish and design an experience that all their guests will love.
You might also be interested in this comprehensive digitalization guide:
RISE ABOVE COVID2.0: How to digitize your venue from start to end.
The benefits exposed above of this new digital approach to leisure’s customer journey are quite evident, but is implementing such an approach as easy as it sounds?
It all comes down to whether you have the right structure and technology in place.
We know big shifts like these can be daunting, which is why Convious' mix of tech expertise and passion for the leisure world is such a great match for forward-thinking venues in the leisure world wanting to go through this transition. If this sounds like you, don't miss the chance to have a chat with one of our team experts and discuss how we can help you tackle your leisure venue's current challenges.