Business Challenge

Butlins approached us with a number of business challenges surrounding the resort experience.

They had fragmented experiences across different resorts and this was damaging customer satisfaction scores and lowering the propensity to visit again. This was also placing undue burden on staff. Butlins needed to define a gold standard experience that would be true of all resorts.

We needed to identify common stresses and friction points before and during the Butlins experience and alleviate these for Butlins staff and the 1 million guests that visit the resorts every year. Ultimately, our goal was to silently pull the strings in the background so that guests could focus on spending time with their families.

As part of this project, we adopted a fully collaborative working model with Butlins in order to facilitate knowledge transfer for a successful transition of product ownership. This was just as important as the product itself for ongoing success and informed the approach we took to the project.


The My Butlins Guest app is designed to remove friction points and improve the overall customer experience for visiting guests, and in doing so, the product aims to alleviate operational challenges at each resort.

To achieve our mission, we defined the 3 crucial moments for visiting guests. Whilst every moment matters, there are clear key events that can set the course for the remaining stay.

These include:

  • Post booking
  • The first impression (the first 2 hours)
  • Navigation while on resort
  • Each key event carries a unique set of considerations

Post Booking

Following a booking, we aim to reinforce customers via an intelligent onboarding experience.

By using intelligent onboarding technologies, we are able to know which resort a guest has booked, their arrival times, the duration of their stay and their family profile. We are able to carry all of this information into the product. This rich information gives us the capacity to provide our guests with a personalised experience within the app by surfacing the events and facilities relevant to their time frames and location as well as making suggestion on the best activities to partake in for their unique family profile.

The emphasis on post booking ensures our guests can effectively plan their trip, book events and restaurants. It also calls their attention to important information they need to be aware of prior to arrival.

The First Impression - I.E. The First 2 Hours

In the 1960s, Peter Wason, the prominent British psychologist, coined the term Confirmation bias. The term refers to ‘a tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses’.

Our inherent tendency for falling victim to the confirmation bias makes it imperative that we provide a seamless and friction-free arrival and check-in.

If our guests have a personalised, helpful and stress-free initial experience, we help ensure that customers start with a positive mindset. This is proven to increase customer service scores across the board. However, if a guest has a negative initial experience, it is very difficult to overcome this as guests are constantly looking for signs to reinforce their initial conclusions – consciously and subconsciously. In fact, the confirmation bias leads people to completely ignore anything that falsifies their initial impression.

This is true of all experiences, however, for Butlins, our research showed us that there is a clear 2 hour window that is crucial and difficult to curate. This is primarily because the resorts are large and there are multiple options for accommodation types and packages. The scale and choice options can lead to confusion, making way for frustration on arrival.

The app aims to guide users during the crucial 2 hour window. It springs into action on arrival and welcomes users by providing a guided path from the car park right to their accommodation. We also created a feature that allows visitors to ‘pin’ where the car is parked to ensure that it is easily found on return as we understood this was a common pain point.

Once safely in the room, the app provides pertinent information about the room before informing users of their next upcoming event or restaurant booking and where to find these facilities.

Navigation The Experience

During your stay with Butlins, the Butlins app acts as visitors’ personal concierge. It enables event booking, turn by turn navigation around the resort and timely nudges on which events or activities you should attend based on your on your family’s profile, e.g. ages, number of kids etc.

The Butlins app provides guests with the guided and personalised experience at key moments, ensuring that guests get the most out of their holiday and that common points of frustrations are removed.


The Butlins app launched at the end of January and therefore commercial and customer services impacts are yet to be ascertained.

Initial customer reaction is positive with a 4.5 star rating on the App Store.