"We need to create more value in the encounter with the guests"
Children were allowed to feed the elephants inside the elephant house. They learned that they should hide the food, because it is good for the elephants to have to search for their food, and they became involved in the work of the zoo keeper. This provided a better and more instructive experience than before, when the guests were only allowed to stand and look at the elephants.
The research by teaching associate professor Jens Friis Jensen and associate professor Flemming Sørensen from RUC shows that this is just one of many examples of how experience businesses such as the Zoological Gardens, Tivoli, Flying Tiger, Tivoli Hotel and Magasin can, using relatively simple means, create a better experience for the guest. The project is part of the Capital Region’s innovation project NICE.
Depending on whether the guests are happy or dissatisfied, the amusement controller had developed various actions to respond to the emotional state of the guests. So, instead of looking at a queue, they now looked at the individual person and the opportunities that existed for interacting with the guest's state of mind.
The purpose of their research is to make Copenhagen more competitive by examining how businesses can create value in the encounter between the employees and the guests. An analysis conducted by NICE shows that Copenhagen is performing poorly in comparison with other major cities such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Zurich and Berlin regarding the professional encounter between a guest and the employees of the tourism companies.
»The goal is to create memories that have value for you as a guest, so that you go home and talk about it and share it with others on social media. So, it is not just a competition to perform an efficient check-in and provide a clean room with a good mattress, because Copenhagen cannot really out-compete its competitors in this regard. Businesses have to work with feelings and experiences to create good memories in their encounters with the guest,« explains Jens Friis Jensen.
In collaboration with Professor Jan Mattsson from RUC and Professor Stuart Barnes from King's College London, the researchers have developed a measuring instrument, a statistical model that can be used as a tool for measuring e.g. the connection between the emotions and the learning that the guest experiences in the encounter, and how it affects the guest's memories of the encounter.
»An experience has been created in which the guest has been engaged, and it has an experience value because it means something to the guest. And when that happens, the guest will also wish to share it with others. The person will recommend the place and perhaps also return,« says Jens Friis Jensen.