03 May Thorpe Park enhances accessibility and service
Thorpe Park is one of the UK’s largest and most popular theme park resorts. Located in the lush countryside of Surrey, the park welcomes over 1.5 million visitors annually and is home to some of the country’s most exhilarating rides. The resort includes a hotel and a water sports park as well as other major attractions and is part of the Merlin Entertainment Group, owners of some of the world’s most famous attractions including Legoland, Madame Tussauds, Sea World and Alton Towers.
Contacta was asked to provide solutions to improve accessibility at the ticket office area of Thorpe Park, who were determined to provide the best customer experience possible. Long customer queues could create inconvenience at tills, while a busy environment meant some customers struggled with communication at the ticket windows.
During our initial site survey, we identified where problems lay so that we could make positive recommendations. Firstly, there was no management of the queues at the Park entrance, causing delays for visitors. Secondly, we found that the ticket windows were not fitted with Speech Transfer Systems, meaning conversations through the glass screens were very difficult.
Lastly, we identified that there were no assistive listening systems for visitors, meaning people with hearing loss could find communication difficult due to high levels of background noise.
A recommendation was made for the supply and installation of 3 solutions to tackle the issues effectively.
2 audio-visual Queue Management Systems were recommended, for both the Annual Pass and the Advanced Sales ticket offices. Contacta digital Queue Management Systems enable efficient management of queues so that customers are served quickly and staff can operate efficiently.
STS-K035 Curved Microphone Systems with staff headsets were recommended for the ticket window positions. Inclusion of the headsets decreases background noise for members of staff so that they can have intelligible conversations with customers.
The installation of hearing loops at the ticket windows was also advised in order to improve communication for people with hearing loss. Our loops are powered by a Speech Transfer System amplifier which reduces the amount of equipment required, saves on installation time and thus saves on costs.
The park agreed to our recommendations and the installation took place over 2 days. The work included the installation of 2 Queue Management Systems covering a total of 17 positions, and 9 Speech Transfer Systems with hearing loops at the ticket windows.
Following completion of the installation, a Thorpe Park member of staff noted:
“Queue Management Systems help to get all the guests to a ticket window much quicker, as before no one would move forward if they could not see us behind the glass window. We had to shout to get customers attention.”
Contacta’s Speech Transfer Systems have made a positive impact too, with staff stating that “it makes transactions faster as we are able to speak normally to guests rather than shout through the glass window to them. Our customer service is better because we are talking normally.”
Thorpe Park also took a long-term approach to the newly installed technology. A regular maintenance contract has been agreed to ensure their investment is well maintained, ensuring both visitors and staff can continue to enjoy a hassle-free experience at the ticket offices.