The travel and entertainment industries sell experiences, not products. That makes it objectively harder to compare to others in the industry. If you were just selling electronics, you could take the competitors widget apart and see their design and components to get an idea whether you’re doing it better or smarter. If you know what makes customers loyal, then you can craft unforgettable customers experiences. But where do we start?
Start with culture
Customers don’t interact with your executive team or your marketing department. They walk in the door and speak with your employees on the front lines – folks in guest services, ride operators, characters, and more. They might even be seasonal employees. As an experiential company, your culture needs to be clear, exciting and contagious. It needs to run deep in all employees in the company so that it’s consistent across all customer interactions and ultimately transcends to your guests as well.
We recently had the privilege to visit Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim to tour their facility and learn about their culture. You can tell right away what’s important to them. All the employees are wearing wolf ears and show a sense of genuine care. They’re a “pack.” Every day the team gets together and says their company pledge before letting out a long and booming howl. Don’t believe me?