Theme park technology never stands still.
We’re not talking about new rides and attractions, but everything else that goes on around them. Consumers now demand a high level of convenience, ease and efficiency, making engagement a high priority. The average visitor wants a more intuitive level of interaction, along with loyalty and reward schemes that are transparent, user-friendly and fun to use across all devices. Personalisation is a necessity. All this makes the deployment of an advanced customer-engagement platforms essential.
Gamification is also a strong, technology-led customer-engagement trend that has the potential for high impact. This focuses on connecting the online and on-site interactions into one gamified experience that can reward visitor behaviour while driving additional revenue across the park.
Gamification of the entire customer journey can reap huge rewards for park operators and park visitors alike. The Play Disney Parks game is an example. Visitors play the game on their smartphone while waiting in line for a ride, racking up points they can then spend. This convenience is set to go further. Once a game is played in line for a ride, for example, you could add it to points you collate at a fast-food outlet kiosk game, thereby obtaining a discount at a merchandise store.
The benefit for park operators is that they can better understand their visitors in order to enhance and improve the visitor experience, while enabling gamification across the entire customer journey to increase visitor spend and retention.
Yet it’s impossible to please everyone. Different age groups have very different expectations. This is something theme park operators have to look at when considering additions to their offer. What makes the most sense for your audience, how does it improve guest experience?
Parks like Cedar Point do a great job at this, continuing to update and modernise different areas, while bringing a new attraction to the property every year. They have found what could be the perfect balance of ushering in improvements that please various demographics. If the parks can figure this out and follow through with it, then guest experience is sure to be enhanced.
Waiting in lines continues to be the number one complaint, however. It’s time to offer guests the opportunity to plan their visit online so they can avoid queues at attractions, shows, fast food outlets and shops. To take convenience even further, they should have home or hotel delivery of merchandise.
The ways in which technology enhance the customer experience are almost beyond number, but the challenge is to ensure that the service that’s created fully delivers the intended experience. For example, developing an information app for a park also requires full Wi-Fi coverage. It’s remarkable how many times the service is let down in the detail.
Nevertheless, the ability of technology to drive better customer-engagement that in turn increases revenue is one of the biggest trends within the theme park sector.