Guests need to be your partners, not your clients
There is somewhat of a revolution taking place in the way that businesses are being run. The traditional model exalted the philosophy that with formal qualification, years of training and decades of industry experience, businesses knew what was best for their customers. This take it or leave it attitude was phased out when businesses started listening to what their customers where saying. Actioning complaints, adjusting the course when required but generally holding course. Surveys and market research were tools in the marketing departments shed, sharpened in order to increase sales.
When social media and review sites became mainstream, it took a while for both companies and consumers to find their feet. Sites like Tripadvisor replaced traditional means of communication as the power shifted towards the consumer for the first time. Instead of waiting for a company to respond and/or act to an issue, reviews became a cathartic release for some consumers. However, by bypassing the company in the appraisal of your experience, both you, the company and future customers failed to benefit from this potentially valuable feedback.
Most companies are always willing to listen to constructive feedback and educated, socially literate customers are now engaging with companies in a partnership to enhance the shared experience. This enriched relationship goes beyond listening and extends to engaging clients through the entire lifecycle of the experience; from experience concept, design, features, operations and service expectations.
So the next time you have a suggestion on how your experience could have been improved, share your thoughts with the company in question. Your interaction and suggestions could guide them to adjust course in order to continuously evolve their service offering. This not only benefits the company, future customers but also yourself, if you become a repeat or regular guest.
Written by Adam McEwan