CLIENT STORY

Tower Bridge

Centralizing and scaling visitor feedback at one of London’s busiest attractions.

Industry

Tourism

Visitors

800k+ annually.

Use case

Online and on-site feedback

Key functionality

Open domain Starred survey on-site on iPad

Requirements

  • Centralize a feedback process for one of London’s busiest tourist attractions, with 800k visitors per year.
  • Implement multiple methods of gathering feedback data on-site and via a mailout survey.
  • Provide easy-to-use dashboarding for survey analytics and segmented comments.

Key Results

  • On-site iPad survey gathered 10k+ responses in only six months.
  • Able to deploy agile feedback channels for special events, some gathering up to a 90% response rate.

“We can keep feedback centralized but also diversify in specific cases as well. Starred has gone beyond the brief of what we were looking for.”

Tower Bridge is one of London’s defining landmarks. Built between 1886 and 1894, it’s managed by the City of London Corporation and is one of the city’s most-visited tourist attractions. Open to the public since the 1980s, a visit to Tower Bridge includes seeing the towers of the bridge, the high-level walkways connecting them, and the historic Victorian Engine Rooms. The visitor experience includes seeing the original Steam Engines which once powered the bascules, and the Walkways between the towers which provide stunning views over the Thames and London. The last few years of increasing visitor numbers to the attraction has coincided with the introduction of two Glass-Floor Walkways – a feature which enables the attraction to host many unique events, including yoga classes.

As Education & Marketing Officer, David Laird’s work at Tower Bridge is predominantly in the education team: developing and delivering programmes for schools, families and local community engagement. His ownerships extend to coordinating the marketing team’s feedback channels. It became a growing business need to centralize and expand the visitor feedback process at Tower Bridge. After detailing the requirements for implementing a feedback solution, David tells us more about the tender process: “We spoke to a number of different companies and felt that we weren’t being sold a predefined product with Starred. We felt like we were having our questions answered.”

“We weren’t being sold a predefined product with Starred. We felt like we were having our questions answered.”

David Laird
Education & Marketing Officer at City of London Corporation

Gaining visitor insights

With around 800,000 visitors per year (between 1k and 3.5k per day) arriving through its doors, there’s certainly no shortage of opinions on the experience offered by Tower Bridge. The challenge for the team in the past was pooling incoming feedback across multiple channels. As David explains, “We had quite a laborious website-based feedback process that was only actually bringing in up to 20 responses per month, without great quality of comment within them.”

A comprehensive solution was needed for Tower Bridge to go about scaling their feedback process and taking visitor insights to the next level. As it is for all tourist attractions, an important challenge for Tower Bridge is to engage and build a relationship with its visitors in such a short space of time, due to the nature of tourism in relation to other industries. To get much deeper perspectives into visitor experience, they needed a high degree of survey customizability, and central control functionality to match – a fit with their requirements they found in Starred. Our experience with building out feedback processes at other visitor attractions, like Amsterdam’s Heineken Experience, gave Tower Bridge confidence that with similar visitor flow, the Starred platform would be up to the task. David gives high praise to Starred’s Customer Success team in optimizing and modernizing Tower Bridge’s feedback efforts, noting that “the extra help has really helped getting the high response rates.”

“With Starred we’re building surveys on highly specific topics for which we need feedback and comments. There’s no more need to manually pick out those things and form insights ourselves from the backend.”

David Laird
Education & Marketing Officer @ City of London Corporation

The numbers are growing

Only a few months into using Starred, Tower Bridge are now monitoring visitor feedback at much higher numbers than they’ve experienced before. David tells us that a significant number of visitors are walk-ins, crossing the bridge. Without a direct line of communication to get these visitors’ feedback, an on-site solution was implemented in the form of an iPad survey. This was launched in the Victorian engine room section of the experience – since its installation gathering over 10,000 responses. The feedback form sent online to visitors who pre-book tickets averages around 20% response rate, also with a response count in the thousands. Feedback engagement from attendees of Tower Bridge’s special programming is extremely high: school workshop surveys receiving 90% response rate, responses to a survey for autism-friendly early openings at over 60%, just as a couple of examples.

No matter the type of survey, the team at Tower Bridge are learning more about visitor experience than ever before. No more need to trawl through disorganized comments, on Starred David gets straight to the insights-per-area he needs – “What we’re finding is better quality of comments and explanations given about what visitors have liked and disliked.” At the core of their improved way of interpreting visitor experience are Starred’s dashboards, which David describes as being “straightforward to understand.” He expands on the breadth of analysis Starred affords him to carry out: “We can keep feedback centralized but also diverse in use cases as well. Starred has gone beyond the brief of what we were looking for.”

Better insights, routed to the right stakeholders

Only a few months into using Starred, Tower Bridge are now monitoring visitor feedback at much higher numbers than they’ve experienced before. David tells us that a significant number of visitors are walk-ins, crossing the bridge. Without a direct line of communication to get these visitors’ feedback, an on-site solution was implemented in the form of an iPad survey. This was launched in the Victorian engine room section of the experience – since its installation gathering over 10,000 responses. The feedback form sent online to visitors who pre-book tickets averages around 20% response rate, also with a response count in the thousands. Feedback engagement from attendees of Tower Bridge’s special programming is extremely high: school workshop surveys receiving 90% response rate, responses to a survey for autism-friendly early openings at over 60%, just as a couple of examples.

Visit Tower Bridge and speak with David or any of his colleagues throughout the experience – it’s clear that providing excellent visitor experience is paramount. Whether they’ve arranged to visit in advance by booking online, attend through a specially organized event, or if they’ve last-minute walked in from the bridge – every visitor will have unique input which can make Tower Bridge even better for the next visitor. At Starred we’re excited to play an important role in facilitating this.

-With thanks to David Laird at Tower Bridge and Nichola King, Customer Success Manager at Starred.

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