In recognition of the 2016 IAAPA Expo, the international trade show for 4,000+ attractions industry professionals convening in Orlando, Florida, we launched a three-part series about creating stellar customer experiences.

In last week’s blog, we examined The Magic of Friendliness. As successful attractions employers understand, hiring people who are consistently friendly, empathetic, and approachable is the first key to service excellence.

The Second Key to Stellar Guest Experiences

So, after you’ve connected with customers, how do you maintain and build potential relationships? The secret is: The Power of Problem Solving.

Once you get customers in the door, you have to anticipate their needs and find effective solutions to their problems. No problem can be too small or too great. And a company’s success is directly proportional to their team members’ effectiveness in connecting with customers and meeting their needs.

Part of the reason for the attractions industry’s enduring success is its attention to detail and a keen understanding of the importance of problem solving for their guests. From concept to an attraction’s opening and beyond, practically every imaginable scenario has been thought of and planned for.

Solutions are available to team members for everything ranging from when an attraction goes down, to inclement weather, to products being out of stock, to helping a lost child find his or her family.

Guests visit theme parks to have fun and make memories. They frequent attractions for thrills, chills, or laughs. They watch shows and fireworks to be amazed. To build customer loyalty, team members must know how to keep these processes running smoothly. They must be empowered with the knowledge of what to do should a problem arise, and given the tools to bring about a solution.

When Ice Cream Drops and Balloons Pop

Yet it’s not enough to have the right tools and processes in place. More importantly, you need the right people.

Creating stellar guest experiences is impossible without great employees who understand customers’ needs. Team members must quickly determine the right solution for a specific problem or concern and take immediate action to ensure that the problem is resolved to the guest’s satisfaction.

The best employees are able to think on their feet and effectively resolve unexpected problems that might not be in the handbook.

So, when lines get long, drinks spill, ice cream drops, and balloons pop—having friendly, effective problem solvers on staff helps to ensure that your guests walk away happy.

Discover how to attract and hire top problem solvers with Employment Technologies’ award-winning EASy Simulation® Virtual Customer. This highly engaging simulation is proven to predict top performers who will greet your customers with warmth and enthusiasm, confidently resolve customer issues, and build customer loyalty.

Stay tuned! Next week we’ll explore the third key to stellar customer service.

Clay Rivers has worked in the attractions and entertainment industry for more than 20 years. He is an author and writer whose works have appeared in The New York Times and the innovative Medium publication, The Mission.