Alton Towers Survey Visitors To Great Effect

Philip Cleave
June 21, 2016

We spoke with the Head of Product Excellence at Alton Towers, to find out how using SmartSurvey helps them improve customer satisfaction. The Resort, operated by Merlin Entertainments, is a theme park, water park, and hotel complex. Read on to find out how customer surveys help to create unique, memorable and rewarding visitor experiences for millions of people…

Understanding Customers through Research

Alton Towers operates major attractions and roller coaster rides, adjoining water park and themed hotels. Using SmartSurvey software, the Alton Towers team administer a range of surveys across the theme park for predominantly research purposes, to gather customer insight. The data gathered enables them to:

  • Fuel future decision-making
  • Benchmark performance
  • Provide responsive customer service

Often as a group, we set up project teams for larger assignments such as our annual Scarefest and the launch of new attractions. One of the main objectives during seasonal events is gathering instant feedback from customers to understand what aspects they enjoyed or would like to see improved – Head of Product Excellence.

The Challenges They Faced

The project teams constantly need to obtain data and information from visitors about their experience which can be done through multiple channels including:

  • Direct customer feedback at events
  • By sending surveys following a visit to our attractions or resorts
  • Face to face using tablets on site

Visitors that stay at resorts receive automated follow-up emails directly, using our CRM system. The email will contain a survey link, allowing us to gather feedback specifically about the resort they visited.

All of the data gathered directly from customers gives them the opportunity to provide first-hand feedback, directly to us. From the replies, we develop insight into what worked well and what needs improving.

Guests at our hotels are regularly surveyed to gain feedback. We use the guest contact list to follow up automatically with customer satisfaction surveys to ensure we are meeting the standards required for our attractions.

Benefits of Customer Surveys

All the data gathered is analyzed by the projects teams and reports are shared with leadership teams and across the organization. As well as conducting research that examines levels of service and different products, we are also looking into using surveys and forms provided for competitions, offers, and additional data capture.

With SmartSurvey, we are able to run quick research projects by creating a survey and distributing out to respondents easily and effectively. We can post shorter surveys on our social media accounts and conduct face-to-face research around our attractions with staff using a hand-held tablet.

All surveys sent out are fully customized to meet brand guidelines and use our own, bespoke, branded domain. Customizing our surveys helps us be consistent across our brand, showing ownership and building trust amongst our customers.

The Results

Using the data gathered from customers, project teams can build reports that:

  • Record and track progress
  • Benchmark against previous performance indicators
  • Measure against projected targets

Since we have been using SmartSurvey, I would not look elsewhere for any other provider. Being able to customize all our surveys and links with our branding gives us a feeling of ownership and instills trust and security with our customers.

The SmartSurvey team provide a really good service, they are attentive and always there to help no matter what the issue is. Support tickets are dealt with promptly and I always find someone in support is instantly on hand to assist me or my colleagues.


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