Visitor Experience 101: What You Need to Know Right Now

Learn more about the importance of Visitor Experience (VX) and how optimising the visitor journey is the first step in building lifelong loyalty.

Why is Visitor Experience Important?

As marketing executives everywhere are discovering: It costs far more to advertise to and engage new clientele than it does to retain the clients one already has. It also costs more in lost sales.

That’s because satisfied return visitors also generate higher profits—30% higher sales, on average. Measuring personal experience by obtaining feedback is essential to cultivating lifelong loyalty. 

Critical Reasons for Measuring Visitor Experience 

Market research demonstrates that without engaging clientele throughout their journey, without requesting every visitor’s invaluable insight, cultivating their loyalty becomes near impossible. Research also shows that the opinions of satisfied, return guests are far more valuable in gaining new visitors than any other form of advertising—be it radio, television, print or social media.

  • The CAM Foundation, global leaders in marketing, advertising and communications, reports that it costs businesses around 80% more to acquire new clientele than it does to retain existing customers.
  • Pricewaterhouse, the second-largest professional services firm on the planet, discovered that consumers rated a positive experience as 65% more influential in swaying them to make a purchase than did great advertising. 
  • Nielson, in measuring the consumer habits of people in 56 countries in 2012, found that an astounding 92% said they trusted “earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” 
  • Forbes reported that, on average, 84% of businesses that “work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.” 

In every industry, capturing visitor experience, testimonials and other feedback is essential. Just like customer experience (CX), visitor experience (VX) must be captured and acted upon to succeed in our busy world.

Soliciting feedback on your guest’s visit is what generates positive reviews, invaluable testimonials, far more visitors and even greater profits. Unlike advertising, positive recommendations are free.

Though what few grasp is that measuring visitor experience should begin before their first visit.

When Does the Visitor Experience Start?

Effective visitor engagement starts before they even set foot in your establishment.

Documenting visitor experiences should begin at first contact, by requiring potential guests to provide their name, company name and reason for their impending visit. Confirmation emails giving them directions, or other pertinent information, provides peace of mind to those planning to visit you for the first time. It also provides a database of unique visitors.

Learning the reason for their stay helps individualize their experience. For example: someone coming into town on business will have far different needs than someone attending a funeral. 

To cultivate repeat visitors, as well as future donors, the Royal Marines Museum combined “formal evaluations, past visitor surveys, market research,” and other points-of-contact data, and paired that with a VX platform that could offer them “visitor research to plug specific gaps in knowledge about particular audiences.”

Working smarter, instead of just harder, requires engaging your visitors. Right from the start.

Ingredients for a Positive Visitor Experience

Think of your guest’s journey as a set of standing dominoes, arranged in a desired pattern. From the point of first contact, each piece must fall into place to produce the desired outcome: a pleasant visitor journey. Concerns must be resolved in a timely manner. Your guest, at every step, needs to feel they are being heard. 

Deloitte, a leader in global intelligence, delineated the basics steps of the “guest experience journey” within the hotel industry: 

  • At Booking: KNOW ME. “Insight into why guests are travelling and then adjusting the experience accordingly” is shown to significantly impact satisfaction.
  • At Check-In: ENGAGE ME. Improved VX technology allows “front-desk staff to be more attentive to arriving guests,” making visitors “29% more likely to share positive reviews.”
  • During their Stay: DELIGHT ME. Guests want to be “surprised and delighted.” VX research gives businesses “a 3600 view of guests through social media and historical preferences,” enabling you to exceed expectations. 
  • Doing More: EMPOWER ME. Recommending activities and offers to your guests based on their profiles helps customize and personalize visitor experiences. “Luxury guests value customization 33% more” than other guests. 
  • Timely Help: HEAR ME. Mistakes happen, things break. Service recovery at this stage is key. “Guests are 40% more likely to share positive reviews when a problem is fixed quickly,” allowing businesses to turn crises into opportunities. 
  • At Check-Out: KNOW ME. “Robust predictive analytics” can help your business “infer what guests want in exchange for loyalty.” When visitors feel recognized and rewarded, “they are 13% more likely to return.”

We would also add: REMEMBER ME. Maintaining online outreach to preferred clientele makes all the difference in engaging and retaining repeat visitors, cultivating even more positive reviews.

Measuring Visitor Experience 

Measuring visitor experience requires capturing data on your unique visitors, collecting and analysing it, then providing actionable information to help further foster and personalise visitor experiences. To quote Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” 

How to measure a visitor’s individual perceptions? Simple: Ask them.

Giving guests an opportunity to share their insights helps businesses understand what went right or wrong. While rewarding them for their feedback assures your mutual success. 

Available technology for collecting and measuring visitor feedback includes:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). We’ve all seen the ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ face emojis, or ‘gold stars,’ reflecting client experiences. These are measuring CSAT using a straightforward customer survey method. A simple question is asked, a simple answer given. “How was your experience?” CSAT helps businesses know if their clientele’s needs are being met. 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS®). Taking the CSAT to the next level, the Net Promoter Score asks visitors to rate their experience on a scale from 1 to 10. “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend?” NPS helps businesses predict growth.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES). A CES evaluates the level of difficulty a customer had during their experience. “How well did we assist you today?” This helps businesses pinpoint areas that need to be improved upon. 

Key takeways

Data matters when it comes to tracking visitor experiences and the guest journey. 

Gain insight into your visitor’s experience, so they recommend you and return.  Capture real-time data points on your visitors, directly from them. Learn about consumer habits, across platforms. 

Positive visitor experiences are more memorable to your guests than any service or product purchased. Favourable testimonials, in turn, give businesses far more ROI than even advertising.

Select a experience marketing platform, like TRACX, which helps you document visits, analyse guest feedback and fine-tune performance, alerting you of negative guest experiences in real time. 

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