Katy Raines of Indigo gives us her thoughts on the latest guide from the VE:Forum on choosing the right ticketing/CRM system for your visitor attraction.
Selecting a new Ticketing / CRM system is not a tick-box exercise that aims to list everything you want the system to do – if you do this you’ll just end up with the same system (and the same problems) that you already have
This is my favourite quote from the new Ticketing and CRM Systems Guidebook I’ve just launched for the Visitor Experience Forum this morning.
The Guidebook is ‘how to’ guide for any visitor attraction, gallery or museum who might be considering how they use ticketing or CRM to improve the visitor experience, before, during or after their visit. It was written in response to the compelling evidence that, whilst 80%* of visitor attractions have paid for entry, and 79%* have a membership or annual pass scheme, over 1/3* did not have any form of CRM system in place. And of those who DID have systems, only half felt they had a system that met their needs.
So with my colleagues at BOP, we undertook a series of interviews and consulted over 30 visitor attractions, ranging in scale and scope, to find out what the issues were.
- Is a single system to manage all visitor (and possibly stakeholder) relationships, as well as ticketing, the best approach? We found evidence of small (and bemused) organisations struggling to manage multiple supplier relationships, not really sure which end to tackle first; and we spoke to larger organisations who had a single system which wasn’t really delivering any of the functions well.
- The relationship between Visitor Attraction and Technology Provider is crucial. This covered the extent to which the organisation saw the technology provider as a partner rather than a supplier, as well as the cultural ‘fit’ between the values of the two parties.
- Often the system isn’t the answer. Many organisations admitted that they blamed their existing system and expected a new one to magically deliver all the solutions. In some cases this actually made things worse.
And the solutions to these issues?
The guide lays out a step-by-step approach to tackling these, and other issues, and essentially advocates:
- Having a clear vision for your visitor experience
- Involving the whole organisation in the process
- Taking time to understand the market fully before going out to tender
- Running an open and inquisitive process
- Investing in an ongoing relationship with your supplier
It's as easy as that!
Illustration courtesy of Indigo