As Product Evangelist for The Experience Engine (TE2), I advise hotels, theme parks and other organizations on how to create and manage customer experience management programs that elevate a guest’s onsite experience. Upfront, I advise our customers that the key first step in implementing a customer experience management program is aligning internal resources.
Across all industries TE2 works with, I have seen the best results and ROI from the organizations who have gathered all stakeholders together for a unified kick off meeting. While a meeting like this may sound like common sense, when a new initiative reaches broadly across a large organization it is can be difficult for it to get the time and attention it deserves unless it is made a priority. While TE2 facilitates these meetings, it must be prioritized by our customers.
The benefit of the kickoff is the setting of expectations. Everyone will learn why the organization is implementing the program, and what might be expected of them before, during and after the launch. Additionally, everyone on the team will understand how it will benefit various business units, including theirs.
For example, a Director of Food and Beverage will be interested to know how an experience management program could address both operational and guest pain points for a venue’s most popular dining outlet. Timed and targeted experiences could help alleviate long lines by driving traffic to other less utilized outlets, or by incentivizing guests to dine before or after the rush hours with a special offer. Such experiences require only a few minute’s notice to be sent on days when traffic is overwhelming, and can have significant impact on the F&B Director’s success.
However, in order for that kind of goal to be achieved, the F&B Director would need to understand their role in the program: the identification of the specific guest and operational challenges, participation in the identification of solutions, the contribution of content and/or offers to help modify guest behavior, and the collection and reporting of the data required to measure . By educating participants like the F&B Director upfront how such experiences can benefit their business units, and that experiences can run automatically or be sent ad-hoc based on traffic volumes, you will gain the support of key stakeholders who can be called on for input and content throughout the process.
Speaking of resources, any organization executing an experience management program should be sure to identify a program manager who will own the experience management function at its venue(s). While many business units such as IT, facilities, marketing, retail, food and beverage and guest services will be involved in the program, the Experience Manager will have overall responsibility and accountability: aligning resources and goals upfront in a kick-off meeting upfront will help enable their success.
Danielle Chapman is The Experience Engine’s Product Evangelist.