4 ways an all-in-one companion app improves the guest experience

The power of a mobile app lies in its ability to connect all the services and resources your guests need in a single, accessible channel. Join us as we take at deeper look at four proven ways companion apps enhance the guest experience.
Ellen Wilkinson
May 2022

If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you’re at least a little curious about the benefits of a branded mobile app for your attraction. Perhaps you’ve test-driven a guest-facing app on your visits to other parks? Or maybe a peer has recommended you reach out to us.

Attractions approach us with a whole range of goals for their mobile apps, from increasing on-site spending to boosting their trip advisor reviews and increasing sales of annual passes. But no matter the goal, underpinning it is a desire to enhance the everyday experience of their guests. After all, happy guests are proven to spend more, revisit in the future AND increase brand awareness by sharing stories of their adventures with friends and family. 

With that in mind, here are 4 ways a mobile app improves the guest experience and paves the way for success in your commercial goals.

1. Providing a single point of information

The digital age has created a whole new category of consumer - one that’s loyal but relatively impatient when it comes to collecting information. Over the past decade, people have grown accustomed to managing their lives through online portals that offer a one-stop shop for all their informational and purchasing needs.

Customers want everything they need, the moment they need it, and they’re rarely willing to wait. Your guests are no different. Park visitors want to be able to pull their phones out of their pockets and enjoy the convenience of being able to get any and all the information they require in just a few taps. So why not afford them the digital luxury that they crave?

It’s all about creating a reliable and mutually-beneficial stream of touchpoints that complement what your park has to offer. The Attractions.io platform allows guests to roam around your park safe in the knowledge that they are armed with every piece of information they need to create the magical memories that brought them to your park in the first place.

As an operator, you’ll be able to offer a single point of contact that manages their time in your attraction. Our platform offers a whole host of guest services - everything from food and beverage purchases to ticketing, ride updates and GPS enabled wayfinding. Your app is guaranteed to be their best friend from the moment they step through the turnstiles.

theme park and zoo entry for guests

2. Reducing friction

If variety and value for money are the Aladdins of a fulfilling guest experience, then inconvenience is the big, scary Jafar. ‘Friction’ - in the world of theme parks and attractions is created when a guest is forced to endure a delay when obtaining a service, and it isn’t difficult to see where the problem rears its ugly head the most – queues.

Research has shown that the number one NPS killer for theme parks and attractions across the world is long wait times. Twiddling your thumbs trying to keep the kids happy isn’t anyone's idea of a fun day out. Our virtual queue system is easy to implement, and as 84% of customers prefer virtual queues to physical ones, it increases NPS scores, based on an average 43% increase in rides per hour wherever they’re implemented.

It’s a win-win for operators and guests alike. You get to put smiles on the faces of your customers, and they get to enjoy more of what your park has to offer without all the waiting around.

theme park mobile app reviews for virtual queuing

3. Understanding customer behaviour

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – behavioural data is king, queen, prince and princess all rolled into one. Companion apps allow operators to gain a comprehensive understanding of how guests behave onsite and make operational adjustments that not only consolidate existing purchasing channels but also explore new and exciting revenue streams at the same time.

Cast aside any preconceived notions of an IT department poring over endless spreadsheets and producing impenetrable reports that take weeks to analyse and action. Our user segmentation tool does the hard work for you, delivering valuable data-driven insights directly into the hands of your marketing team, giving them the power to fine-tune your product and service offerings in line with the unique needs of everyone that sets foot in your park. You’ll be able to collate information on everything from what your guests are doing when wait times are high, to where they eat and what their favourite route is around your park.

theme park heat map to locate guests

Heatmaps are a case in point. ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure in Norfolk is the UK’s largest Dinosaur themed adventure park. As part of the planning process for a new themed world opening later this year, they used our Heatmaps tool to monitor guest flow around the park and are now developing new walking routes designed to distribute footfall more evenly and encourage people to explore.

4. Influencing the guest experience

Once a ride is built, a pathway is provided, or a restaurant is opened, operators rely on their guests to make their way around the park and make purchasing decisions based on what’s been provided for them. If you’ve invested time and money in developing a certain area of your park, and you can tell that it’s being underutilised when you check your heatmap or another data source, then something needs to be done about it.

Does anyone remember the 1994 computer game, creatively named: Theme Park? It challenged players to make sure every last guest is presented with ample opportunity to spend money and experience everything the park has to offer. 

Whilst we’re not for a moment suggesting that you add extra salt on your fries to make guests buy more drinks (we all did it…), you can use your mobile app to influence guests' behaviour while they’re on-site with you. By pairing push notifications and Bluetooth beacons with smart behavioural analysis from your apps’ reporting tools, you can incentivise spending across the whole breadth of your park without overwhelming guests with static advertising.

ROARR! nfan member quote about app

First steps

Mobile apps yield incredible commercial benefits – many of our customers transact six or even seven-figure sums through their branded apps. But the real key to their success is always starting with a guest-centric approach. By putting guests first and thinking about how any new technology can transform their experience of your attraction, you’ll pave the way for success in your commercial goals, be it increasing secondary spend, visitor volume or something else entirely.

Want to know if an app is the right platform to manage your on-site guest experience? Reach out to our team. We’re always happy to help!

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Ellen Wilkinson

Head of Marketing
May 2022
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