Why a frictionless guest experience is key for your FEC

Leisure industry mei 29, 2024
customer journeys in leisure

Frictionless experiences are key in today’s society. If you want to get people’s attention, everything about your experience – your entire customer journey – should be convenient, aka frictionless. Why? To stimulate customer retention, promote your venue and become more successful.

Companies such as Amazon and Netflix are setting the standard for frictionless experiences – reducing friction in the purchase process and the rest of the experience. Through their smart and easy user journeys, today’s consumers of entertainment and leisure have different expectations than before. Higher expectations.

Discover how you can use data to improve your online experience and make it frictionless.

Beating home entertainment like Amazon and Netflix

That means that as an FEC operator you need to work harder to meet and exceed guest expectations. After all, when it’s fun, but also a bit of a hassle to book an experience… Why would potential guests get off the couch and not just binge watch series all day? 

Netflix, YouTube, social media and other home entertainment apps are serious competitors in the ever-continuing battle for attention. That’s why it’s time to remove friction from guest journeys in the leisure industry!

Creating a frictionless guest journey in leisure in 5 phases

To know where friction can occur and where to solve it, let’s have a look at the 5 phases during which you need to guarantee a frictionless experience. 

  • Attract
  • Engage
  • Deliver
  • Return
  • Advocate

These 5 phases aren’t part of a linear but a circular journey. Once every phase is frictionless, you set a wheel in motion that will truly take off as you optimize (and digitize) your guest journey. 

Attract your guests to visit your website, webshop and venue

The first phase is the most difficult phase. To attract (new) people to come and enjoy your experiences you need to have a user-friendly website and offer online booking.

Your website needs to be mobile-friendly and load fast. What you offer there should match your on-site experience and your copy should motivate your guests to visit you. And last but definitely not least, it should be clear how guests can book you. 

Removing friction while attracting guests

With a great website and webshop through which your guests can book all your activities online easily and quickly, you remove friction. Why? Your guests now no longer need to call or email your venue, wait for a response and understand when and how they can visit you.

Instead, your guests can simply book their own personalized day out through your website. Choosing the activities and adding any extras they feel like. 

Engage your guests to book your activities

It should be easy for your guests to book your activities with a simple and fast checkout process. Your guests should be able to choose their payment method, which can be online or offline. They should also know exactly what they’re booking and have booked through clear (automated) communication from your leisure center, booking software or other tools

Removing friction while you engage your guests

In this phase it’s key to avoid anything that they could also be doing after they’ve already booked your experience. So don’t ask them to fill out any surveys, templates or waivers already. But wait for that until after they’ve checked out and gotten their personal itineraries. 

If the checkout takes too long, many possible guests will leave your webshop and book an experience elsewhere. 

Deliver on your promises and meet your guests expectations on-site

How can you create the best experience on-site? First of all, make sure your venue is easy to find and your guests know where to park. Your staff should be friendly, understanding and knowledgeable. It should be a delightful experience to check in and you should be offering clean and safe entertainment. 

Removing friction while you deliver your experience

One of the best ways to make this phase frictionless is by rewarding people who’ve booked you online and delivering their personalized program to them flawlessly. 

Because you already know what these guests will be doing, you can anticipate their needs and truly wow them while they’re at your leisure center. 

Get your guests to return to your venue

In case you didn’t know it yet, customer retention is one of the best and most effective ways to increase your turnover. Getting guests to return to you is actually 5 times less expensive than attracting new guests. 

Removing friction to get guests to return

You can motivate your guests to return to you with memberships and discounts. This way you increase the value you’ll get out of each guest. 

Get your guests to become advocates for your experience

Make it easy for your guests to leave a review and/or even offer discounts to friends and family to come and visit your venue too. Public review sites have an increasingly important role in the decision making of potential guests to book or not book your experience.

More than 90% of your guests will actually be influenced by any reviews that have been written about your experience, with bad reviews costing you 30 potential guests on average. 

Removing friction to get guests to promote you

By asking your guests to leave a review a few hours or a day after they’ve visited your venue, they’re much more likely to give you 5 stars than if you ask them to do so a week later. You can also motivate people who have visited you to come back with friends with smart discounts and email marketing campaigns

What a frictionless guest journey will do for you

If your attract, engage and deliver phases have been frictionless, your guests will be much more likely to return to your venue and promote it. This will then set the wheel in motion for more guests to enjoy the same frictionless guest journey too. 

So if you continue to fight any kind of friction that may be present in your current online and offline experience, you’ll become much more successful at meeting and exceeding your guests expectations. 

Understanding where there’s friction in your guest journey

One thing you can do to understand what doesn’t yet work flawlessly is to ask your guests for feedback. Probably, you can also get that feedback from any reviews about your venue.

Often there’s friction in the first two phases: attract and engage. If that’s the case for you, contact us to get a free consultation about how to create a frictionless attract and engage phase with our online booking system and multi-activity scheduling software.

Or simply sign up for our free trial to learn more about online booking and scheduling and becoming more successful online through frictionless online experiences. 

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