In today’s world where everyone is asked their opinion of goods and services they have used or bought, the brand is often forgotten about for the more functional and tangible elements.
This is often the case with visitor experience surveys and is often overlooked by large scale organisations, whose research and brand teams are not as cohesive as they could be.
A lot of visitor surveys we come across focus on the hard facts of a visit; things like queuing times, how friendly the staff were, how clean the toilet facilities were, etc. This is fine for ensuring that your destination or attraction is getting the basics right but this is only part of what you are offering.
Think of a successful brand and you will have some sort of emotional connection with it. This could be from personal experience of the brand or through their advertising messages. Through advertising you will have built up an association of the brand personality. Successful brands will continue their brand messages from their advertising and other communications through their customer experience on the ground and it is important to measure this within visitor research to ensure that the brand associations are being enhanced rather than harmed by the experience visitors have.
This helps with the often missing ‘emotional’ elements of a visitor experience. Being British, visitors often struggle to express the emotions they felt while on a visit to an attraction. If they do not give the highest experience rating then it is pointless asking them what would have made them give the top score as respondents, being human, are programmed to think about what they already know, not what could have been. It is important for the branding team to feed the brand experience values through so they can be incorporated in the visitor experience survey. These should also be supplemented with other perceived values, as brand values are based on customer perception, not dreamt up in a boardroom.
Having the service related elements along with emotional elements, linked to brand personality, will provide you with the most complete visitor experience survey possible.