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KYW 24 Hour News | KYW Newsradio 1060
Philadelphia Zoo's 'green' rats teach visitors how to help the environment
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Best Kids Music from the 61st GRAMMY Awards!
It's a New Year, ready for some NEW MUSIC? For the third year in a row, Andrew & Polly are thrilled to be joined by all five fabulously friendly family music artists nominated for Best Children's Album in the 61st GRAMMY Awards. Teleport your earballs into these totally tantalizing tunes: "The Peace Song" from All the Sounds by Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats "Synthesizer" from Giants of Science by The Pop Ups "Tararum Pumpum" from Falu's Bazaar by Falu "I Blew My Kazoo at the Zoo" from The Nation of Imagine by Frank & Deane "Hold On" from Building Blocks by Tim Kubart Enormous thanks to Beth Blenz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR and Stephanie Mayers of Mayers Consulting for coordinating and once again to Lucy, Jason, Jacob, Falu, Frank, Deane and Tim for playing along with us and lending their amazing music to you, our listeners - we hope you discovered some new music for your family to try!
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VFTPB 25: Cam makes his Stanley Cup champ prediction and pointers for coaching kids hockey
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View From the Penalty Box
Aired 2 weeks ago 43:29
How the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Approaches the Visitor Experience
Hi, everybody. Today's podcast is with Ron in whole Weller who is the vice president of visitor experience strategy and fun at the Cincinnati zoo and botanical garden for anybody who's running a pure service experience. I think you will really enjoy not only reactions unexpected rice to her position. But more importantly, the things that she's done inside the zoo to unite the frontline the leaders and the guests to create these experiences that deliver memories, please enjoy the show. Hi, everybody and welcome to the chief customer officer human duct tape show. Where we talk to leaders about how they unite their companies to achieve customer driven growth as the duct tape of their organization. I'm your host, gene bliss. So be sure to catch us. An I tune Stitcher and at customer, bliss dot com slash podcast. Hi, everybody and welcome to the chief customer officer. Human duct tape show today. We have a special guest Rianne in Hawaii. And she is the vice president of visitor experience strategy and fun at the Cincinnati zoo and botanical garden high Ranan. Hi, thanks for having me. Your welcome. So I love the the role you have an it's such a fun and important vertical. You know, you impact Sony lives in communities before we get into the current role. You that you have let's talk about your journey to this job. Take us as far back in your professional history as you'd like sure. So I actually previous to to my role at this natty view. I was staying at home with my son when he was born I decided I wanted to stay home, and I stayed home with them to he hit kindergarten. And then it was time for me to get back out in the world. This was actually not the current role that I'm in, but the first role that I was I was I was actually just coming to interview to kind of get my feet wet to see if I could do it again because I hadn't been out hadn't been out for about six years in the work world. So went in and about halfway through the interview, I really really really knew that that was the job that I wanted. So it was a project coordinator for the visitor experience at the Cincinnati zoo and in truth, it was very much. It was essentially a role that was created. So it was brand new and I reported you that chief operating officer. And through the years I've been here for about ten years now just change roles. So I went from project coordinator to project manager, and then I went to a senior director role. So and then I. Moved into my VP role in two thousand seventeen. So, hey, well, I learned that can you tell us what you did before you had your your son. Sure. So I I wrote environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for a company here in Cincinnati. That's been purchased numerous times and realistically while I was at home with my son. I was also getting my master's degree in environmental science. And then, you know, prior to that it was just like Ogden's job to be totally honest. So but one that's been duper important. And I know this sounds really weird, but one that's been important to my life and also to this current job is waiting table. Hillary waitressing. It teaches you a lot about human beings. And I cannot believe how many applications from waiting tables can apply to a BP role in zeal. Isn't that amazing? Well at any. Here's what's interesting is an and this is why like to talk about your pass you've been at the zoo for ten years, but you're Andrei into the zoo was your ability to be human into connect with people. And you know, so I think that's what's really terrific. And so you went and tell me again, what your original role was it's not on your Lincoln. So I can't read it necessarily. Yeah. Yeah. So as the project coordinator for the visitor engagement initiative, which is a really long term for my boss, basically plug me play me wherever he needed me. And so how did you find your way moving up inside the zoo was it just through delivering or were you pitching roles. Did you for example, craft this role because you saw there was a whole this VP of of? Visitor experience. Yeah. So I think it's a combination of. Were right. So seeing the work reflected in what what happened. Also, you know, just happened STAN as well. And then taking taking advantage of opportunities. So essentially when I started here, the beautiful thing about my role was that I got to plug and play into so many different things. I mean, the my my first job here were we have a five year accreditation cycle. So every five years were accredited, and it's a big big big process rate. People were running people in it's really looking under the covers of the zoo and making sure that all of our prophecies and policies and things that we do on a day-to-day basis are are up to par up to speed. So that gave me this really great depth of knowledge. But it also in many of my first pieces of projects here, I got to work with everybody at the zoo. So I got to build all these relationships across the whole view and partner with people to get projects done, which was really fun. Well, it really created that that that groundwork that you didn't know you were that was going to be so necessary in this in this role. You have now for sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. So now, you know, I have the shared history with a lot of people here because my role was so best and wide. I've worked on a dating the website those types of things so essentially that that happened and also the operations the director of operations moved in with no longer do. So my boss the chief operating officer had eleven direct reports at one point which is ridiculous for anyone. So when we sat down and played with org chart, I took five of those. And then we restructured a few things like parking Houston security in that kind of moved over to our team and then security went under our director of facilities who's our VP of facility. So there were just movements and changes. And then and then we kind of became a team and we've expanded from there as well. But essentially. Sort of four or five departments sort of filtered up through me at that point. And and then we've just grown and. Yeah. So that's sort of the background. Oh, that's great. And so your role is defined on on linked. And I love the Lincoln. Thanks V. Vice president visitor experienced Draddy and fun. You you you put together a urine four months ago. I love linked into what year four months in twenty two. So specific so tell me how you define the role when when you walked into it a little over a year and a half ago about a year and a half ago don't intrude when the department was formed so about four and a half years ago. I just moved up from a senior director to VP got it. Okay. So essentially the team's been together for four and a half years. And when I first when I first walked into the role, so. Always on my goal sheet goal. Number four. If we've got three it's always have fun. I'm a firm believer in the more fun. You have the the more excited you're going to be about the work and the more work is going to stick with you because you're excited about it. So when I first pitched the idea of the department of fun. My my boss thought I was a little bit crazy even he'd seen like half on every single goal that I've ever had. So. We talked about it a lot. I mean, he wasn't. He was kinda like that's gonna go in front of the board. I don't know that that's the best idea. But I really was adamant about that happening, and it's been wonderful. So it's flipping the mentality of, you know, operational right with e feels a lot like closer down when it's not making money and get people out. And and just think about it strictly from the dollars inside who flipping neck model completely though everybody in our in our department has fun somewhere in their title. So that we can be reminded every day of what we do. And then the other piece of that model is how do we suppress support the frontline team with fun, right? If they're engaging with our gas enough fun manner and having a good time, you're at work and were investing in Dan bell. Invest in our visitors are bizzare intern will reinvest in us, and then we get to. Reinvest in staff with the revenue famed so it should just be a big cycle or big. We all rate though, in Batman friend from the manager managerial hide our team investing in our visitors are visitors reinvesting enough, and then again, and again and again thought oh, okay. So excited to hear the cycle. So let's talk about you've got visitor experienced strategy in walk me through how you plan or strategize the visitor experience because I think for others out there who are listening who are in these pure play service experiences sporting events, fem- parks, you know, any place where someone is paying to walk through a door. Inexperienced something that your role is to lay out. I think they they would love to learn from you on how you map that out. You've got strategy in your title as well. Tell us tell us how you how you progress that. Yeah. So I think, you know, the the interesting thing about an experience is that it starts well before you actually arrive at the destination. So for for many of our folks, that's on our website. Right. We work really a lot with our PR marketing team on how do we create, you know, the best experience and intrude? There's been some changes on my team to reflect that so you know, like what tell us about those yet. So it can be simple things like the software side of the equation one of the guys on our team. He really is into the like IT nerdy side of of what we do. Right. So basically, how do you buy a ticket? How do you buy a membership? How do you up sell people, you know, to get the best experiences sensually he left our team in went IT for about six months, and then came back, but but when he came back he brought this sort of software side of the equation with him back to our team. So that he's really focusing on that experience on the front end to make it smoother, right? And there's nothing more frustrating. You're trying to buy a ticket, and you can't or trying to buy a membership. And so and we both that up. So we have seven days a week coverage in that area that side of the equation has gotten much more robust, and he's a great. He's a great strategist in thinking about how we continue to grow that revenue stream. So that we can keep creating better and better at our experience here in the park. So did you map the visitor experience from considering going all the way through going in kind of back home again, walk us through the work? You did there. And and how you kind of United the organization to understand that. Yeah. So that comes through a lot of our strategic planning sessions when we collectively come together as a whole team a whole team and talk through how we're going to do that that's everything from literally the website of the equation to how do we communicate out? I mean, we we know pretty well when we're going to get hit, right? The perfect weather storm and the perfect time of year and kids are up school or whatever. Those those pieces of the puzzle are were pretty pretty we've a lot of good knowledge now about when that's waiting to happen. So that means we've Batta staff up for those days. It also means we need to communicate out with our members and our visitors more though, we have a members h Hugh page, which is a Facebook page dedicated just to our members and our director of membership. You know, runs that piece. And so when we know we're gonna get really really busy, we try and push people to different times or coming earlier. Or or you know, things like we implemented early entry two or three years ago. And that's a direct example from waiting tables. How do you flip a table quickly to get more people? And right. So we basically use that same mentality on how do you flip a parking lot? So encourage people to come early encouraged our members to come early. They could have done that before. But you incentivize them and say we have early entry from nine to ten AM, you know, March through October Palmer early, and then essentially we would never say this to them, but leave early. The parking lot. And then get more people. And so looking at ways to you know, strategically get the park into a place that we can move people. We're we are actually right now, we're looking at dynamic pricing. We've been doing it for our festival white season. Just as the we can move move that needle a little bit. So that we don't have twenty thousand person nights. But we have a much more steady stream of fifteen thousand percent nights. You know, what I mean know, you're kind of incentivizing people that come in the pockets that are a little bit slower. He would they any price break, but also winning on the back end with the revenue side, if they decide that that's a much more. You know, this is night. They wanna come and it's important to them. And they're going to do it. Then. Right. So I think that we've come a long way as far as communicating out on the front end and also remedying situations on the. Back end, though, some of that learning as you go. We now have a recovery kit place that people can use the Sundays had a tough experience. These are the first kind of Goto that they have to remedy the situation on the front is it can take Tiffany without asking permission number of things. Yeah. Yeah. What are some examples? So we have train rides here and we have carousel, and we have forty theater. So if we can kind of say, I'm really sorry. I know we didn't live up to the expectation of creating the best visitor experience in the nation. You know, we would love to invite you back. Sometimes it's free tickets to come back and experience it on another night. Sometimes it's a free train ride. You know? So it just depends on the it depends on the circumstance in these actually heard to make it better. But giving you're giving the frontline options then the ability to make the choice based on what the interaction at the time. Correct. Yeah. Correct. So I talk a little bit. If I could about the not the mechanics, but your role with the other leaders acted at the at the zoo and botanical garden, how do you work with them to unite all the areas to create this one company kind of fun experience? What what are some things that have worked for you? Because you've got you've did you say you have some of the operations reporting to you yet? So I have a membership admissions ride in traction. Wild encounters, which are the folks that are out on grounds with animals or doing the behind the scenes or doing the beatings with our some of our animals. So I have a lot of the visitor facing side. And we're also the lease on for the food and retail, which is a third party vendor. Okay. And then yes, zoo don't report to you. Oh, gosh. There's a lot of lot of the that doesn't report to me. But the animal division does not report to me the education department does not refer to me the the development side crew. Got it basilicas for two culture maintenance. Like, yep. Yeah. There's a lot. Well. And the reason I'm asking that is that in these roles so much of your job is about being the UniteR, right and people together to to build this one experience of fun. Tell us about that. You know, I love that. We started with some of the wonderful experiences, and we'll get back to those. But what people would love to hear is in your role. What what actions are tactics have been successful beyond working with the front line people. We'll talk about that again in a minute. But with the others who are leading the different parts of the zoo. So that you're a team. Yeah. So I think for a recent example, is we launch to do affect for all a year ago. And that's that is that has to be a collective moment for us. So that is really looking at some communities that we haven't necessarily been in touch with before are we haven't, you know, been active in getting out and sort of connecting with with specific communities and the one that I can speak to really well as the developmental disability community, though, that's a partnership with children's hospital, which is our neighbor, and we have worked to train four hundred staff, and that's across the entire zoo. So that education that. Purity that's my team some of the animal division volunteers, but the food and retail vendors, so that's an area where we've we've collectively come together we wanna reflect the community that we live in. And we want to be a place that everyone has a memory from instances natty, no matter who you are. And so how do we get better collectively as a team for that community? We for France we are going through a three year period. We have a family advisory council that needs with us. And so the, and you know, excitingly we just want an award for the program after your preference than thank you. Where did that he four? Oh, sorry. Go ahead. I'm just wanted to ask you go. You'll go what recent? So I mean, that's a moment where everybody on the team came together and they are excited, right? Because that that touches one in six people, a developmental disability of some description touches one in six people, and so almost everyone can kind of relate to that on our team. So whether they're doing this training, and they're thinking about their brother or sister or onto our local they understand sort of where we're heading and why we're doing it. And then how can they apply it? So it's taking, you know, six people I on this particular topic and extending it out with four hundred. So now they're coming to meet with as I'm Randy on. How do we keep getting better? Where do we push where we pull how do we do better on infrastructure? How do we when we're redoing the goat yard think about wheelchair access, you know, and do that better? Like just offered the things that you know, they. Come to the table now. And as long as you're willing to act upon that or give them rationale on by. Yes. At this moment. I mean, people get excited about that. Right. Because then they get to see their ideas and action within the Harpen. I don't know you stronger with the more people that you have on board with you. Yep. So so your role is communicate. Are you the one who bubbles up that this need has emerged? I mean, are you listening, and how do you get feedback from guests, for example to to get that information? Sure. So we visitor research also the on my team. So we get some of it through that. We also. You know, I think that a lot of that server is sort of background, and and doing research when you start launching things like the so a lot of a lot of people would say that us to remain relevant into the future and to be. Looking at different audiences because the makeup of the United States. And and our media are changing. So how are we staying relevant everybody, you know there? There's also some literature. That would say that dues are needed to continue changing in the face of millennials and what they're into right? There's a lot of like homework that can be done on that. But I before launching we talked to so many parties. I mean, I talked to. Our city folks in our city deny woman who heads up our chamber of commerce and works with the on DNA stuff. I also talked with the denied I from the US Olympic Committee. So there was a lot of homework donors run end of it. And then just bringing people collectively together, right? When when we see a need, so one of the things that we're talking about. And I don't know if we'll be able to pull this off. But it's something that we're talking about we we did as you access for all day. But who'd we look at that maybe for festival of lights, right? And so that events are driven by our PR marketing team. So pulling them into that conversation as we're going through the process is important have access on that right now. And could you explain festival of lights for for people? Who may not have been may not have been to one. Yes, sir. So it's the zoos mice. And so we do it every November in December. It's usually around the thanksgiving timeframe all the way through the end of the year, and we have over two million lights in the park. And it's just it's a great way to share memories. And. Create memories for visitors. But think of a lot of lights and a lot of holiday music, and yeah, it's it's a really luckily time of the year train rides and hot chocolate and the polar express in our forty theater, though. Yeah. And a lot of are doing it. And so, and it's just such a wonderful way to pull people in as a family event. And so what you're saying is you're thinking about them. How do you make that accessible as well? Yeah. Like, how do we when we're looking at the developmental disability community? There's some sensory issues that go along with a lot of those. So how do we take that into account? So we've we've pulled together quickly a sensory math. So that people can be prepared prior to arrival. But then how do we also think about it in other ways in park? So it's not just a moment. But also a new even access pass for kids who are on the autism spectrum waiting in line can be really difficult. So we essentially allow them to wait in line. But they're waiting line in the park. Right. So they can come back up and get in the front of the line. They've waited there forty five minutes, but they've been elsewhere rating so cities along. Yeah. I mean, I love the I love the sensitivity in the intuitive nece that you're building into this. Are you employing designed tools experience design? Tell us how your what's your kit bag as your not only imagining, but crafting and recruiting operations in inside the zoo. Oh my gosh. That is that is a lot of discussion internally with our team. Right. The leaders within the zoo, and then also relying heavily on our partners. So that family by recount. Yep. Go ahead. Oh, no. I'm sorry. I just for people listening. They always want to know. How did you get it going? So are you the one who initiates the conversation with the leaders of the zoo? And how do you do that? How do you say? Hey, you guys. Let's think about this. How do you bring a notion that sounds like a good idea in and get this lead team of leaders to say, yes, let's go for it. I would say for me, and this is just my own personal style. It's a lot more organic. So you know, I'll pop into somebody's office and have a conversation with them about it. And then when we need to get together, collectively, I'll pull people together and have a meeting, and and then, you know, but I think for me it's a lot about I'm relationship builder. That's part of my personality. So for me, that's that's having strong relationships walking into that knowing that I can rely on that already built foundation to. So if it sounds like a crazy idea sometimes people will go along with it just because their relationship built and the trust is, oh when there's a nephew troll truck in respect our present jotted, which helps to you know, move things forward. So we'll go ahead. No. I didn't mean interrupt again. I'm so sorry. He's excited. I thought you were done. So. Okay. I think for me. It's just building those relationships there Kita, their keep us leadership in my opinion, and their key to success across the board. Not it. Okay. So I want to ask you a couple of questions if it would be okay. The first one is do you have kind of the stages of a visitor journey that you that you try to make sure you're creating fun deliberate moments through have you thought that way about the work. Yeah. And I would see that that's ever fluid. But yeah, I would say that we definitely we've thought about that. And we've changed things around to to better that so tell us what they are. I think people would be really interested. Yeah. So I'll just give an example, we have long lines for our train a lot of times in the summer spring break special whites when we're really at our peak peak time, right? So how do we we're not going to change that? I can't I can't put another train on the track. It can't move any faster because it'll be Ray all like, they're, you know, there's so many things that go into that. But what we can do is look at the line. And how do we make that more fun? But we talk about that with our team, if it's somebody's I you know, if it's a birthday than we think happy birthday to them. How do we as a team get them excited about being in line, which ridiculous? But that's a that's one piece. Of the mosaic that you're creating for the day. So how do we really engage with people? So sometimes we play games with them. Sometimes my team will like lead a dance. So we'll be dancing on the train track than leading dance with the people who are in line. And then we also try and make it applicable to what's going on at the zoo. So you know, there's certain times of the year where keepers are really trying to talk about enrichment the enrichment that we provide the animals so not only a report writing in Richmond to the animal. We will also try and provide enrichment to are the people in our train line. So that means we'll give them puddles to solve or you know, trivia to do with them. So how do we get more playful in the work who that's more fun for the visitors and staff, and how do we align with what's going on in the park already it to make that a better experience all around and link that link. Day right throughout the whole experience. Because of the puzzle is building up to this beautiful painting or mosaic that at the end of the day is what you know, collectively what you're remembering. So we've talked about a couple of parts of the of the puzzle. So far, we've talked about the getting ready to come to the zoo. We we haven't talked about a lot of the dimensions of it. But that you you addressing that we talked about the standing in line experience. We talked about a little bit about the buying a ticket experience. What are the other dimensions of the experience that your deliberately crafting? Yeah. So you know, when I first came into this role. It was visitor experience is kind of a new terminology essentially as far as a as far as this goes anyway, and we were kind of rethinking it. There was a new director lots of change going on. Right. So one of the things is we went in and looked at sort of best practices outnumber field. And then we came back, and sometimes, you know, and keeping in mind that are animal care team has changed a lot over the last decade, you know, but there was also some version too. Like, they love animals, they don't necessarily always want to be the public face of what we do even though they're all really great at it is just a moment of comfortable. So instead of trying to shove that square peg into around whole, we kinda rework the situation so allowed encounters team that I was talking about this out on grounds. With our animal protein really got formed during that time that really sort of days of when I was here, and we do it or call random encounters. So we're out meeting people or were partnering with the animal division. So the animal division can work on their their animal at the same time that might teams interpreting the that space so instead of asking the keeper to do both or the animal care team to do both right of work with the animal and talk to the visitor. We kind of took that visitor facing side out and put it, you know, put a team together that does that to work in tandem with the animal teams. So it kinda with a beautiful marriage is better for the visitor. You know, my team can be the face, which they like being and be the voice, and then the animal team gets more time with their animal to do the things that they need to do. But also isn't necessarily having to be shootings in one. I guess. Yeah. Such a great example. Yeah. It's such a great example. Because you're you're you're first of all making sure that fundamental or operational things. Happened caring for the animals, of course. But then recognizing when you need to layer something extra on to make an inexperienced. And as you mentioned understanding who the right people are for each of those dimensions. Yeah. What are some other things? I mean, I think I find it fascinating. I don't really know about zoo. Operation wonder some other key dimensions of going to zoo. I mean getting food. What are what are the other things, you know, that that you've really dug into and either tweaks or recrafted because you saw the change in the customer or the change in the need to refine the experience, sir. So. You know, the food one is an interesting one because that is something that we're constantly tweaking, which is great. But I think you know, one of the things that we haven't resolved yet. But we're working on really hard, as you know, when you order food from Pinera, you can order it on your phone. And then you go pick it up. Right. We'd love to be able to do that here, and we're working on it. But how do we continue to stay relevant and not face to another one? That's really actually is a good one to talk about is retail that we've never really had an online presence for retail due to a lottery than that are not that exciting. But just the business side of the equation. And we just launched our online store this year. And it is it is going gangbusters. I mean, it's crazy like, it's, you know, we have I don't know if you're aware, but we have this beautiful little. Hippo name Fiona who was born prematurely and are pure marketing team did an amazing job of talking through that journey who she almost didn't make it. So Fiona is somewhat of a legend and diva an amazing little animal, but she's she made it and we took everybody through that journey. So PR marketing literally every single day has been posting about her basically, she was born and people not only in Cincinnati. But across the globe have fallen in love with this little hippo 'cause a lot of people can relate the premium situation and Holton that she had to go through. All right. So that is a huge people want want everything from t-shirt to ornaments to anything that is related to see on the big hit. So we've put that all online, and and that has gone crazy. And that's over the last three or four months. I mean. So that's movement for word that just it's it's simple. And it's also like more than we could have ever expected. So basically they hadn't ever done that. Right. The processing all the back backward. They've had to put a full-time person on just to keep up with the demand, which is really role. But you know, it's it's those types of things I think. Figuring out where and how to push people within the park because we do get really really busy. Sometimes we're still kind of crafting that how do we move people? How do we reinvest in spaces that maybe aren't quite as? There are a little bit older infrastructure or so right now, we're we're just we've just launched one hundred and fifty million dollar campaign to celebrate our one hundred fiftieth anniversary, but some of the things we're looking at is, you know, we had a face that essentially it's really hard to get to. It's got those old PWA staff. So it's sort of a one one way in one way out kind of moment if you roller or wheelchair which a lot of people do were reworking that whole entire space and giving it a facelift, and it's going to be a beer garden and a walkabout with kangaroos and have little penguins. And it's also that half a ropes course that also have a piece of it. That's a accessible so really rethinking sort of those pieces of the puzzle. And we did that collectively as a whole view. We kinda talked about where the places that Meade put love, and we talk through all of those fat. So everybody kinda got to rank rank order. Who needed the most love and the why? And we collectively normalization went through that. So everybody's, you know, got at least they at least get a vote. And now we move forward. You know? So that's. Saying that. Yeah. No. Thank you one more thing. When asked before we go to our last question is how do you? I, you know, or in your role is there a need to validate financially these actions, how how you how you strongly a- absolutely crucial rate. So. My team is responsible for over fifty percent of the operating budget here at the zeal. So that is absolutely top of mind for me and my entire team. And I would say that that goes back to that. I comment I made you of its we invest in our front line they'll invest in visitors and I'll reinvest enough so collectively as our team has been together for four and a half years. And I will say this year is an anomaly, but like we've had two of the biggest years we've ever had with us as a team and thinking about it collectively. So so are you able to show back in as you present back the connection between that work in growth or how how do you? How do you? Connect the dots. Absolutely. The we the sort of executive team were constantly thinking about that. So that that is a discussion point for us as we we've had a beautiful decade of growth and. That's come through a lot of things we were at nine hundred thousand people ten years ago. We just crossed one point eight million last year. Isitor's? Yup. Yup. In our annual attendance. So some of that is infrastructure. How do we get more people through? How do we you know, like in how we make it a great experience as well. So we all collectively kind of talk through that. And that can be everything from right now a big chunk of that hundred and fifty million dollar campaign is how do we build a garage because we run out of parking. So we run out of parking probably five or six nights of our virtual whites. And no matter how many more reasons we seem to get there continue to run out. So, you know, how do we create better access for people to just get in the door? Right. You know, the other example is how do we how do we push people to purchase online before they come through the gates? That's been a huge push for us. So we went from probably three to five percent for years ago. And we're sitting in the forty percentile range right now. So. That's collectively the my through experienced team working with a PR and marketing team and really pushing that message and also strategizing to get us to that point. You know, that help us on the operational fed of the equation as well, we don't have as much labor costs, right? Seattle purchasing. They don't need to see somebody in ticket window though. For all those pieces of the puzzle is well, manned tastic. Well, thank you so much. I wanted to bring us to our last question. And this we call the pay it forward question. It's for others doing work like yours or considering this work in general of so Rianne in what do, you know? Now that you wish you knew then. That's a great question. What I will say is. I don't think you can ever fully understand where your career is gonna take you and to be open. I have been open to opportunities as they've come my way. But I mean, I have an environmental science background in my undergraduate in my graduate, and I'm running much more the business side of this the zoo. That's what my department piece is. Right. So I had to really rethink and change the way I think about things and when I first took on this job. I I was a really like I was pretty emotional about it to be honest with you. I had moved much more from the mission Centric side of what we do here at the zoo to very much more like the financial side and the business side of the quesion figuring that piece out and it emotionally was a little bit hard for me in the beginning to need completely on. And it took me some time, and some tears and some sleepless nights. But what I would also say is that I'm so glad that I got the opportunity and it can be so daunting. I mean, I went for managing one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in grant money for a year to you know, what it now twenty four million dollars in in revenue and it happened over. Tonight, and I had to figure a lot of stiff out, and so I would also say that and sometimes it just comes with rotating around the earth a few more time, but just having confidence in yourself through some of the struggle in never never being afraid to ask for help. Because other people wanna help you. They want to the you know, we all want to succeed together. We're better together. So being able to like open up ask for help is just so Roussel. And I don't think I would never scared of it. But, you know, Afghan for more help than you could possibly think of like just ask for it. And people are always willing to help and it's flattering for them. So you know that you want their help. Well, and like you said so much of the common denominator of your success has been we relationship-building trust based on, you know, the common language you've created in being with people for so long. So I would agree with that. Well, thank you. So very much. It's been it's been a real joy to listen to your story. It's it's not a normal vertical that we talk about. So I I hope that people are enjoying this. And thank you so much in anything you wanna leave people with besides that. Now, it's been a great journey. And I I'm a firm believer in people having passion in their job, go when liberty your time. Oh, you're so welcome. And thanks everybody out there for listening. Please remember to go to customer bliss dot com slash podcast to sign up. So you get these in your inbox in if you have a story and want to tell your story as a customer experience leader, we would love to talk to talk to you about having you on the show until then thanks so much have great day. Thank you for listening to this episode of the human duct tape show. You can get our show notes are links and any tools we talked about today at customer, bliss dot com slash podcast. And while you're there, let us know if there's a leader you want to hear from on this show. And finally only if we earned it gander over to itunes or Stitcher and tell us how we did today.
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