How to Use Visitor Feedback as a Marketing Goldmine
In the competitive world of attractions and experiences, success is about first attracting visitors and, more importantly, keeping them coming back for more.
Look, we get it….
Let's start with a fundamental truth: no matter how frustrating it can be, visitor feedback isn't just a necessary evil, it's an invaluable asset. When visitors take the time to share their thoughts, it's a sign that they care about your attraction. If you made them feel something (good or bad), then listen to what they say.
Embrace their feedback, whether it's praise or constructive criticism. Of course, it can be hard to hear criticisms of your attraction, your staff or your experience, but remove the personal feelings on the surface and try to explore what's beneath. What are they actually saying?
What is Visitor Feedback to do with Marketing?
Imagine that your marketing is you reaching out for a date, and the brand you’ve built is the reason they’ll say yes. But visitor experience is the reason that person will come back for a second date, and maybe even a long-term relationship. Right, so love lives aside, if you refuse to listen to feedback from your customers, you’re less likely to have them revisit. No one wants to shout into the abyss, without the chance of being heard. It’s time to start listening.
Bold Strategies for Collecting Feedback
The first step to turn feedback into a marketing goldmine is to collect it effectively. Implement surveys, comment cards, and QR codes for your digital feedback platforms strategically throughout your attraction. Make it easy for visitors to share their thoughts, whether during their visit or afterwards.
Ask questions you actually want to know answers to, and more importantly, if you ask about the cafe, food offering, the shop, the queueing, be prepared to get honest feedback. But once you’ve got the feedback. Then what?
Analysing Visitor Feedback
Once you've collected feedback, it's time to mine for gold. Dive into the data to identify trends, common themes, and areas that need improvement.
Pay attention to positive and negative feedback; they both hold valuable insights. If you'd prefer customers give you negative feedback in person or on-site, (rather than popping that 2-star review online), make it easy for them to do so, ideally having a member of staff who can listen to their feedback in person. But if resources are tight, QR codes for a feedback survey can help. Or a follow-up email after their visit might work well, too.
Real-Time Responses: Turning Feedback into Action
Visitor feedback isn't just for reflection; it's for action. Implement real-time responses to address immediate concerns. When visitors see that you're actively listening and taking steps to enhance their experience, it builds trust and loyalty. Of course, don't take 1% of people's opinion and ignore the 99%. But if you see patterns emerging, address them.
Sometimes it can be hard to hear a section of your attraction just isn’t working. But if 60% of visitors are bringing it up, it doesn’t matter how annoying it might be for some staff; you need to address it. Of course, improvements take time and resources, things can’t happen overnight. But, make a plan, and tell people about it.
Marketing Transparency: Showcasing Improvement Efforts
Don't hide your efforts to improve; showcase them. Transparency in your marketing materials can be a powerful tool. Share stories of how visitor feedback has driven positive changes in your attraction. Try social stories or blog content; people value their feedback being listened to.
As marketers, you’ll be the first person to post positive feedback on your channels (we love a social cue, right?). But it’s important to show that you listen to all feedback, good and bad. Engaging with your audience can help build advocacy for years.
Using Feedback for Personalisation
Visitor feedback can also be a source of personalisation. Use insights from feedback to tailor marketing messages and offers to specific visitor preferences. When visitors feel understood and valued, they're more likely to return.
Are certain audiences feeding back the same information? Why not make changes for a select group of people? More seating, different menu items, fast track queues. It’ll show them you listened, and help you market to attract more of that audience too.
Engaging Visitors as Brand Advocates
Happy visitors can become your best marketing assets. When you ask “how did you hear about our attraction?”, ‘word of mouth’ wins every time. Encourage visitors to become brand advocates by sharing their positive experiences with their networks. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a powerful form of marketing.
Continuous Feedback Loops
Visitor feedback isn't a one-time thing; it's an ongoing process. Establish continuous feedback loops to ensure you're always in tune with visitor sentiments and preferences.
Regularly update your attraction based on the feedback you receive. People pay thousands for data and search to make improvements, so if your visitors are giving it to you for free, listen to them.
Having a page on your website with a “feedback form” stops them from having to post publicly online and can be a direct data source for improvements. Let’s put it this way as an example. If you’re looking to put a budget towards improving signage, the powers that be might be more likely to approve if you could back it up with data that suggests over 50% of people mention it in negative reviews? Having actual realtime data can help you in the long run.
Embrace their feedback with enthusiasm, analyse it rigorously, and use it to fuel improvements and enhance your marketing efforts. When you show that you value and act upon their insights, you'll keep visitors coming back and attract new ones eager to experience the magic of your attraction.
It's time to turn visitor feedback into marketing gold and set your attraction on a path to continued success.
Olly Reed, Account Director
I’ve spent the last 15 years honing my marketing and digital skills in the tourism and experience sectors. I've worked in attractions to build visitor numbers and grow revenue, and in conservation brands to help make the planet a better place.
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