22 Sep 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
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Attractions Management
2023 issue 1

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Leisure Management - The art of personalisation


The art of personalisation

Advances in AI are bringing enhanced personalisation to the online visitor experience. Andy Povey explains how you can use audience-based engagement tools to increase conversion rates and create better experiences for guests

AI and apps can be used to alert visitors to special events, such as feeding times Photo: Shutterstock/Olga Pink
Customers are tired of generic experiences Convious
AI can be used to customise the visitor journey, driving overall satisfaction rates Pavel L Photo and Video/shutterstock

Today, the visitor’s journey begins online, often long before they visit their destination. This makes it vital your Google searchability, website usability/UX and representation by partners is carefully implemented.

One key difference between offline and online is the ability to offer a personalised experience. In person, it’s easy to recognise someone, make them feel valued and flow to the next stage of an interaction accordingly.

Online however, this presents a challenge. A visitor to your website could be encountering your operation for the first time, they could be a returning visitor, someone who previously abandoned a cart or who already has tickets and is checking final details for their visit. This presents an obvious need for the information they see to be tailored accordingly.

Identifying buyer personas
Personalisation is a game-changer for attractions, especially given the industry is all about delivering peak experiences. This hinges around providing relevant experiences to visitors at all times, bridging the gap between unfiltered exposure to your business and their needs.

Research has shown that 76 per cent of customers are tired of generic experiences and are more engaged when content speaks directly to them, quickly meeting their needs at that given moment.

Today’s online customer is smart, well-informed, empowered and time-conscious. Statistics show that people are likely to leave a web page within 10 – 20 seconds if they don’t see what they’re looking for, leaving you very little time to capture their attention.

To help with this targeting, we need to create and understand our ‘buyer personas’. When creating these, you’re picturing your ‘best customer’ in the target segment and working to gain more insight into their habits, attitudes, behaviours and challenges – not to manipulate them, but to provide them with higher value.

Data-Driven Personalisation
It’s essential to understand how your specific users behave, what they expect, their buying habits and how you make them feel, to improve the user experience.

You can achieve this using AI and predictive analytics to recognise where a customer is on their buying journey so you can deliver a clear and targeted value proposition.

For example, if a customer has abandoned their cart, the AI will recognise it’s the same person and start from that stage of the messaging cycle, rather than beginning the process again at the start.

Destinations can use this knowledge to create profiles that group visitors into different audiences. This can include first time visitors, repeat visitors and those who pre-booked tickets and are revisiting the website to check details such as opening times or parking.

Customer Journey
However, obtaining good data is only half the story. The key is understanding it, segmenting it and knowing how to use it.

The first step is to collect, sort and analyse visitor data. From here, templates can be created for predefined audiences, based on where they are in their personal purchasing journey.

Customised calls to action and a system that adjusts to the customer’s way of buy-in – rather than expecting them to adapt to your way of selling – mean they’re more likely to make desired decisions. This creates win-win outcomes for visitors and attractions and is a proven method of optimising booking conversion rates.

To make the messaging more effective and keep repetitive manual work to a minimum, have templates styled for your brand, make them available in multiple languages.

From Digital to Physical
Once at the destination, it’s important to ensure that this level of personalisation and seamless customer experience continues, with a smooth transition from online to the physical space.

The most effective way to do this is by connecting the journey through an app that guests can access on their personal devices. This needs to have the ability to store purchased tickets and reservations in an e-ticket wallet for a seamless entrance.

Data similar to that obtained during their online journey can now be applied to the physical space, with destinations targeting guests based on GPS locations to share personalised and automated push notifications for upsells and offers, with easy purchasing and ordering within the app. Guests can use these geo location features to plan their day, find quieter areas of the attraction and locate key services.

To finish the personalisation cycle, it’s important to find out what individuals think, so that you can finish the conversation you’ve been having with them throughout their visitor experience. It’s also a great opportunity to turn someone into a repeat visitor.

Operator Benefits
In an increasingly digitised world, these tools for getting to know your online audience are essential. Personalisation across the visitor cycle gives operators the chance to connect with their guests from that very first interaction.

This allows you to enhance guest experiences by organising your marketing efforts and give them the exact information they need. By streamlining the process and better identifying customers’ pain points, needs and wants, conversion rates increase. By learning from the data and your customer personas, you can improve your products and services by offering personalised upsells, helping to curate the customer experience even further.

Andy Povey is with www.convious.com

Photo: Convious

"Research shows 76% of customers are tired of generic experiences and are more engaged when web content meets their needs" – Andy Povey

Originally published in Attractions Management 2023 issue 1

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