Owen's golden rules for a 5 star customer journey

Contribution by Owen Gleadall

Posted by Courtney Hodgson on May 10, 2021

Owen Gleadall has been in the retail and admissions industry longer than I've been alive so I can't think of anyone better to give you his top tips for pleasing your online customers! Owen founded a venue management company in the early 80's which is known today as Merlin. Along came Merlin Tickets in 2018 as a stand-alone platform which allows businesses to create their own fully branded ticketing website for free. Now on to Owen's golden rules.

  • Give out as much information as possible.  Make the visitor feel confident in his/her decision to visit you.  Use video, where possible, to show off your ‘visitor experience’ and let them see what to expect on their visit.
  • Make their journey as simple as possible.  You don’t want them spending ages trying to find out how to book their tickets or having to spend ages clicking their mouse to make that booking.  Consider having a ‘landing page’ that keeps it simple.  Try and keep it to 3 ‘clicks’ to make a booking
  • Give as much information as possible at the outset.  Opening times and dates.  Availability they can see. How to find you.  Parking information. Make the ‘Buy Now’ as big and as prominent as you can.  Use alternative colours for the button.

  • Remember the mobile view.  Keep it Simple.  Most bookings are made on a Smartphone or Tablet.  Remove all distractions, all they need now is a quick and simple bookings process.  Give them an overview of their basket so they can see exactly what they have booked.
  • Offer them help with their booking.  Include  a telephone number, help screen, video tutorial or even a chat bot.  Make it clear what the next steps are.  Can they add it automatically to their wallet or calendar?
  • Think about cross selling, what else can you offer them?  Are there other local attractions you can link up with to offer discounts when booked together?

  • Don’t forget to ‘upsell’ – “Do you want fries with that?”  How many times have we heard that?  Can you use a similar prompt to get more sales value?  Animal feeds, etc.
  • Check the processing speed.  Get your Gran to make a booking, how long does it take her?  Speed it up if necessary.  Remember – 55% of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on the website.  Capture, capture, capture.
  • Track your conversion rates.  At what point in the process are they leaving?  What else can you do to keep their attention longer?  Experiment but keep tracking until you get the optimum level.


  • Finally, follow up, “Thank you for booking with ABC today, we know you will enjoy your visit”.  What about a pre-visit email or SMS text message to remind them of the booking.  “We’re all ready for your visit and look forward to meeting you”.
  • Finally, think like Disney – ‘The customer is King/Queen so what can I do to exceed their expectations’?

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