Online reviews are found everywhere these days – from your local nail salon to burger joint – they’re how we let others know what to expect. It’s no different for sports and recreation facilities. Here’s a few ways to earn top reviews for your sports, events, or recreation center.
Focus on the guest experienceTrace your customer’s journey by taking a walk in from your parking lot to your front door, ticket office, locker room, bathroom, concessions area. Are the areas well-lit? Clean? Do you smell the scent of fresh popcorn during the event? Is the atmosphere fun and family friendly? By using this form of customer modeling, you may uncover issues you didn’t know exist or ways you can create customer delight. Creating customer delight often comes from an unexpected benefit or positive experience – like receiving a golf cart ride from the back of the parking lot, giving a free balloon for a child, or replacing a spilled drink for free.
Keep it cleanCleanliness is one of the easiest ways to disappoint your customers. A bathroom with papers on the floor, overflowing garbage, and sinks with no soap are cause for complaint. The same goes for trash around the facility and smelly team rooms. Train your staff to create and maintain a spotless facility inside and out.
Make it personalEveryone appreciates a personal touch. For local recreation facilities, teach your staff to address children and parents by name. Coaches or camp staff should make a point to speak with parents about their child’s progress or compliment their behavior. Encourage your staff to go out of their way to make the day special for someone. For sports tourism destinations where you may not have repeat business, making things personal can be more challenging. Offering an event-specific photo opportunity (like a step-and-repeat backdrop) or tagging player/team photos on social media can help guests feel more engaged with your facility.
Fan-worthy foodFor sports tourism destinations in particular, good food is a must. Facilities host families for hours and days during a tournament weekend. There’s no quicker way to lose food and beverage revenue than by having boring, stale concession food. Consider your audience when selecting your options – do you have plenty of healthy choices like veggie-hummus cups, fresh salads, fruit, or wraps? If you have the traditional options, are they high-quality hot dogs, burgers, and grilled chicken? If you can offer some unexpected gourmet or special options, you’ll leave your guests wanting more.