“Our objective is to get the message across, promoting life onboard the USS Midway Museum and our mission; to become America’s Living Symbol of Freedom”
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Fourteen years after the USS Midway successfully opened to the public, the guest experience started to decline; the USS Midway started facing complications with their audio players.
For a period of two years the aircraft carrier saw complications with getting maintenance on the audio guides and experienced continued difficulties in getting repairs. This situation had a direct effect on their visitors as the supply of audio guides was not large enough for the demand. The waiting lines were long while the staff was feeling frustrated and having a difficult time. They felt like they were spending more time helping visitors with the audio guides instead of focusing on the guest experience.
Additionally, making any changes to their tours meant high expenses since they didn’t have control over the content. With no data capture capabilities, it was hard to get insights on what their visitors were listening to on the audio tour. Due to the size of this aircraft carrier, the tour experience often runs 3 to 4 hours. Therefore the new audio player needed to be comfortable for the guests to carry around while exploring this impressive vessel.
One attempted solution was the implementation of the multimedia guide. After significant time, effort and expense, this solution was replaced after only one month due to complaints from the visitors. Midway’s guests felt overwhelmed with having to deal with a much more complex guide and clearly preferred the simplicity and straight forward approach of a traditional audio guide.
After two years of dealing with these various difficulties, Guide ID’s audio tour Podcatcher came to the attention of the Director of Operations.
The Podcatcher platform provided an ideal solution for the museum’s needs. The player is a perfect size for guests to carry around the aircraft carrier, plus there is no need to input a number to hear an audio track. This made it ideal for simply placing audio symbols around the ship wherever there is content without making a visitor feel overwhelmed by the volume of audio stops that is potentially available to them.
The simplicity of pointing the players at in audio symbol has been extremely popular with their guests. It works like a remote control and could not be easier or more intuitive for visitors. All this while the Midway now has much more control over their tour content along with advanced data analytics including the most popular to least popular stops onboard, how many stops people typically do, how long people are onboard, whether they listen to the entire audio stop, etc. Moreover, the staff adapted very quickly to the transition.
After two years of successful implementation, the results show that the USS Midway keeps experiencing improvements within their daily operations, staff satisfaction and visitor experience.
The guests are excited about the shortening of the lines by 35% and the ease of use of the new players. There is a 15% increase of guests using the audio tours ensuring that the USS Midway Museum gets across to more people, helping to strengthen their mission.
The access to visible metrics helps them to make improvements on the tours, increasing their guests satisfaction.The implementation also had an economic impact on their operations by reducing 30% of their costs in their audio tour offering.
Productivity has increased by 20% after the guides were introduced, as the staff claims that they feel more valuable and have more energy to put into their jobs. The involvement with guests increased, making the experience even greater.
The staff of the USS Midway Museum is also benefiting from the change. The audio tours allow the staff to feel that their job is more meaningful.
Visitors are drawn to the players allowing the USS Midway Museum to inspire, educate and entertain their guests with the wonderful stories that the aircraft carrier has to share.