Digital Guestbooks and Survey – Building a Successful Program for your Visitor Center

Collecting visitor data can be a costly and time-consuming proposal. Common pitfalls that we have all experienced are overwhelming visitors with overly long surveys, difficulty in placing surveys to entice participation, burdening your team with intrusive questions, or visitor privacy concerns. Let us walk you through building a successful data collection program using digital interactive touchpoints for your visitor center. 

Done well, a survey program drives insights to run an effective business, provides value to your visitor, and data to your stakeholders. The key is, getting just enough of the right kind of data to make an impact on your goals.

   1. Define your Data Goals

  • People Count – what is the foot traffic to your location. 
  • Demographics – who your visitors are, and what marketing profile they fit.
  • Visitor Experience – did you meet, or exceed visitor expectations for destination expertise and service. This will include – Net Promoter, Intent to Return, etc. 
  • Visitor Profile – what your visitors plan to do, plan to spend, and detailed demographic information. 
  • Trends – the culmination of all these types of data that allows you to discover if you are effectively meeting visitor needs to drive economic impact. 

   2. Set up the right tools, in the right place, with the right incentive.

  • Digital Surveys: There are pros and cons to each model, have a goal for how many surveys you feel would be statistically relevant to collect, and discuss how actively you would like to solicit.
      • Passive: Visitors opt-in from the main menu. Best practice is that these surveys take no longer than 3-5 minutes, or approximately 5 questions that are measurable ratings. 
      • Be thoughtful about providing an incentive to encourage participation, and including a maximum of one open-text field for feedback.  Give to Get always works better.
      • Active: Visitors are invited to participate with pop-ups, CTAs, etc as they navigate service features. Be careful about creating inconveniences that discourage visitors from continuing their digital exploration. 
      • Incentives: Visitors just might be willing to give you valuable information about how you and your destination are doing if they get something valuable in return. Sweepstakes can be an incentive, or an immediate digital or traditional reward or special offer that drive’s engagement for a partner. 
  •  Guestbooks: If you want to avoid making your survey cumbersome and overlong – consider collecting demographic information with a digital guestbook. There are ways to make a guestbook fun by creating a sense of arrival and feeling less intrusive for the privacy-aware traveler. 

   3. Surveys – What To Ask

  • Net Promoter: Would you recommend the destination services you received today to a friend or family member? Your top scores, minus your bottom scores, are the net word-of-mouth promotion you can expect to receive.
  • Visitor Experience: How would you rate the quality of information you received from a team member or provided materials? Your team should be goaled to maintain an excellent rating in this category.
  • Did a team member or service you received today exceed your expectations today? This is your visitor’s opportunity to share with you anything on their mind, reward and publicly recognize positive comments. Including this question incentivizes the team to remember to ask visitors to take a moment to tell them about their experience. 
Types of data that can be distributed on service touchpoints, but should not be a part of the user experience:
Visitor Profile – include a call to action on your Wi-Fi terms of service acceptance page, or digital signage and takeaways inviting participation with a QR code. This does not belong in a service interaction. 

 4.  Guestbook – Driving Engagement & Demographic Information

  • Guestbooks encourage visitors to share who they are, and where they are from. This is a traditional, perhaps even sentimental, way for visitors to celebrate their arrival and leave their mark on your destination. 
  • Digital Guestbooks extend the fun – in exchange for sharing their point of origin, visitors can see on a map where everyone who has checked in is visiting from.
  • Take it a step further – integrate photobooth to allow visitors to share who they are with a photo. Allow visitors to share in their check-in if there is a special occasion they are celebrating – with a digital reward that they can share via text or email upon completion.

 5. Monitor, Iterate, Improve:

  • Tracking your Trends: Look at all your data defined at the beginning of this blog side-by-side. The way your visitors are engaging with your services may surprise you, and you can fine-tune how actively you need to promote and incentivize participation in data collection as you go along. 
  • Iterate: Use these business learnings to schedule new training for the team and report out visitor interests – they are interested in learning more about their customer too. Ask for feedback on making digital services and experiences more useful for visitors to continue increasing engagement, and collecting more data.
  • Improve: As your data collection efforts improve, celebrate success and report out to stakeholders. You’re on your way to better understanding your travelers and what it will take to earn their loyalty. 
True Omni is the leader in digital engagement modules, providing tools that can help staff and visitors easily share and gather information. We custom build programs that can live on existing hardware or provide options across web, kiosk, signage and mobile to help increase data and overall visitor profiles, contact us at for more information and a free demo. 

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