Redeam has the recent benefit of not only more “feet on the street” with the hiring of its four new fantastic Sales Managers, but also their ears and eyes, especially as more face-to-face meetings can now occur. Despite being an ocean apart (and dealing with operators across the globe), all four are hearing much the same things in their conversations. We thought it would be helpful for other operators if our team shared these five common themes they’re hearing right now, which are…
Limited Staffing & Resources – During lock-down, many operators were forced to scale back on their staff. Now during the recovery phase, as businesses re-open, many operators now struggle to staff-up and train new hires to needed levels. In the smallest of businesses, this might mean the owner/operator is saddled with doing most everything; even in larger operations, one person may have to manage a whole host of responsibilities. Everyone is struggling to keep up, and it’s a problem.
Knowing How and Where to Focus Sales & Marketing Attention – With different markets opening up on different schedules, operators don’t always feel on top of the latest news that might allow them to focus their sales and marketing attention (and dollars). Should they market to visitors from Country X because it’s traditionally been their biggest source of revenue, but since Country X is going to be closed for a while more, should they focus instead on Country/Region Y? And how to keep up with all the news and changes and still run their business day-to-day? It’s a lot all at once.
Ensuring a Positive Guest Experience from the Get-Go – With visitor counts still suppressed over pre-COVID levels, making every guest’s visit as perfect as possible matters more now than ever. That starts with their purchasing experience, carries through to the trust and health safety they need to feel at their entry or ticket redemption process, and then their entire end-to-end experience interacting with the activity, attraction, as well as its staff.
Varying Degrees of Understanding or Utilization of New Technologies – Before the pandemic, a good portion of our Activities and Experiences sector was behind the learning curve when it came to business-enabling technologies. Many still only took orders by one-off emailed purchase confirmation, by phone, or by walk-up rather than using a digitally-enabled ticketing system. There was a lot of manual processing of discount coupons, printed paper vouchers, and spreadsheet entering. During the pandemic, some operators used the downtime to learn how to upgrade their business technologies – to implement a new online ticketing or reservation system; to market and sell their products better and differently online; to make their visitor entrance experience contactless, with a universal redemption method for guests regardless of where their ticket was purchased, and to automate and streamline some of their back-office operations.
Too Much Technology Jargon! – Most operators got into the business of creating and selling a tour or activity because it was something they themselves loved to do; they didn’t plan on having to become technogeeks in the process! But we now all live and operate in a digital age where it’s hard to avoid terms and acronyms like CRM, SEO, SaaS, OTA, TTD, API, connectivity, or channel manager. Those of us who serve the Experiences and Activities sector with technology need to do a better job of de-mystifying these terms for the greater masses. (We include ourselves in this issue and promise to do a better job going forward. Please visit our online Glossary as a start.)
In the days and weeks ahead, Redeam will continue to bring operators more of the kind of information, answers, and solutions they seek. So stay tuned! Things are really cooking over here!
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