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Published: November 24, 2019
At the end of 2018, the Long Island Skydiving management team got together to review the year with one thought in mind: How do we get better? While 2018 was successful, it wasn't as smooth as we had hoped. There were friction points within the customer experience that was making the operation less efficient and as a result, was making our guests less happy.
We needed to make some changes.
Solving Our Video Challenges
The most glaring issue we needed to fix was the issue that was causing the greatest amount of customer dissatisfaction and that was with our video packages. When someone goes skydiving, naturally, they want to receive their photos and videos quickly! This was a challenge as our video department were working double-time to edit and then upload the completed project to the cloud for our customers. Conceptually, this would seem fairly straight forward, but it wasn't. The combination of memory card failures, sloooooooooooowwww internet speeds (especially when uploading large video files) and pairing photos and videos together (photos and videos are handled by two separate people), you could say things were beginning to get messy. Our editors were overwhelmed and our customers were unhappy and it was reflected in many angry phone calls and in our online reviews. We had to fix this problem!
Fast forward to February of 2019 when the LISC team traveled to the largest skydiving trade show in the world - the Parachute Industry Association (PIA) Symposium in Dallas, Texas. Here, the team met with vendors who handle every aspect of skydiving from military operations to civilian skydiving and equipment. It's here where we found our solution to our video problems. We were introduced to a Silicon Valley based tech company named Revl. Revl offers a video solution whereby a camera is simply dropped into a black box after the skydive. This magical black box then automatically edits the entire video and zips out the finished product (with photos) directly to the customer. The most amazing part is the system uses artificial intelligence to create the edit... an edit that was better than our human counterparts could do in one-third of the time! Not only that, but the customer was also receiving three separate videos - a short version for Instagram, a medium version for Facebook and then the full-length video of the entire experience!
It sounded too good to be true, but we bought in and it ended up being a HUGE SUCCESS. Having hosted thousands of guests, we had only one video failure for the entire season! While we're striving for perfection, this was a HUGE improvement and it resolved almost all of our issues! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!
Getting Smarter with Smartwaiver
Another challenging area for us was with our liability waivers. Each guest is required to complete a liability waiver before making a skydive and these waivers involve multiple pages with lots of legal information and lots of areas that our guests need to sign and initial (you could say the paperwork is scarier than the skydive itself!). We hated this requirement because it produces so much waste - literally thousands of pages every season and a bottleneck at check-in as everyone had to sit quietly and fill out all this paperwork (talk about a mood-buster)!
The resolution came with the use of Smartwaiver - a digital waiver that our guests could complete before arriving at the skydiving center. This proved to be a game-changer as it allowed for a much smoother and shorter check-in process and allowed our guests to feel more engaged with the excitement of skydiving as opposed to having of being in the waiting room of a doctor's office filling out paperwork.
Looking Forward to 2020
Similar to our meeting at the end of 2018, our team just got together to review the 2019 season and we're so pleased with the progress we've made. That said, our belief is that our business is a continual work in progress. We have challenged ourselves to be better still by ensuring the customer experience is fine-tuned further. It's our goal to be the best skydiving center not just in the NY region but the United States.
Our opening day for 2020 is April 25th and while our hangar doors have closed for the winter, you can be sure that there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes as we prepare for another great year ahead!
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