The customer journey

Guests entering the store in a Theme Park usually are forced or have time left to cruise your store. Not particularly to shop but more from curiosity and as an extra activity what makes it a different customer journey. We could say our stores and other commercial areas should be approached as the extra attraction. The store should fit in the area by theming and product assortment (more on planning your store in Visual Merchandising). Apart from the look and feel of the shop the team serving the guests should fit in as well, I prefer my staff wearing a themed uniform for example. Additional from this I would ideally have commercial actors in my stores to drive sales by shopping experience!

Team and Service
If we communicate that you need to visit our attraction and we will treat you like a real VIP your retail team needs to manage this expectation. You can have everything in place to serve the guest but if your team is not performing the way they should than your guests will leave the store dissatisfied.

Let’s pretend our Visual Merchandising standards are at the desired level, now it is your staff that needs to deliver. From entering the store my guests need to be welcomed (eye contact, smile and the magic words: Good afternoon! Welcome in <my store>! The second stage would be to ask if they have a pleasant stay and what they have seen so far. Depending on the busyness in the store you could navigate them to the products linked to what the guests already have experienced, like a ride. Don’t forget to mention that there will be a Parade at 1PM including the characters from the ride. Don’t push guests to buy a product. Let the hospitality and experience do this for you.

Congratulations! The guest found a product he liked and is heading to the cash desk. Here he finds pocket money items and the enthusiastic staff member welcoming the guest (remember: eye contact, smile and the magic words: Good afternoon, have you found everything you were looking for, sir?). Now your staff member can say something about the product and be part of the conversation. This is not a script and should happen in a natural way! Of course you want to upsell a product which is related to the product or a generic upsell item. Second upsell will be the branded shopper instead of a plastic bag. During this process I would highly recommend you to ask the guest if you can assist him with anything else. It is therefore key to have knowledge of all activities within the park or attraction (opening times, where to find what in the park, when special events taking place etc.) Last stage is to wish them a pleasant stay.

This seems very basic… which it is. However 9 out of 10 employees easily forget these basics. This can be due a lack of will, skills or tools. One of the tools is time. During attraction visits I often hear: I do not have the time to give my guests the attention they deserve or even to upsell a product at the till. Well let me tell you this: when I entered your store it was not busy… still there was no interaction between you and your guest. In fact when your colleague entered the store he headed straight to the till passing 4 guests without saying a word. When he left the store it happened again. All employees working in the attraction or park are part of the experience. No matter if it is a technician, manager or sales host. No matter if he has lunch break or working a shift. As long as you are visible for the guests, you need to approach and be approachable for your guests.

This is part of customer service principles being a habit. And we all should know: before something becomes a habit it should be repeated every single moment. And there is where your commercial supervisors and managers come across. But it all starts with you!

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