Customer experience at Shorefields Holidays
It’s not quite summer holiday season yet. But when Stephanie Davies was invited to a holiday park company, she still grabbed her bucket and spade.
Ever the optimist, Stephanie was hoping for some sandcastle action when she headed to Devon and Shorefields Holidays where she was tasked with helping the company’s teams develop their customer service and experience further.
Sadly, storm Dennis ruined her paddling plans, but she still provided some sunshine during the session.
Shorefields is one of the largest holiday park operators in the UK. It’s been a family-run business since 1958 and has an authentic, personalised culture. As it expands the company strives to retain a family-friendly, personalised customer experience. In order to achieve this, its teams need to understand its customers’ journeys.
Stephanie’s session helped delegates to understand the difference between customer service and customer experience. She covered topics such as customer perception. How do customers feel when they arrive at a Shorefields’ parks? Are they excited? Have they had a long journey? By understanding customer perspective, staff can appreciate how customers feel and how that impacts their interactions at reception.
Front-facing and back office teams which understand their role in creating customer experience are more engaged. They can also help teams develop customer solutions. This in turn helps make an experience easy and pleasurable at every step for staff and customers. The goal is to make the process so seamless that customers do not even know they are having an experience, they just feel it. This is important commercially because customer experience wins over product. A recent survey by Salesforce found that 75% of customers prefer to shop with businesses that offer personalised experiences. McKinsey also found that 73% of customers fall in love with a brand because of friendly customer service representatives. Consequently, an understanding of how to create great customer experience is an important part of a winning strategy.
Stephanie explained about how people respond emotionally to brands and why they have emotional responses. She encouraged delegates to explore their customers’ experiences before, during and after a visit to a park and to access how those experiences impact on interactions at customer touch points.
She was also privileged to be given secret insights into new rooms and accommodation being introduced in the parks. Keep an eye out for these as we think they’re going to be booked up way in advance.
Read more about running a customer experience workshop to help your teams understand the customer journey here.
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