top of page

The Customer is King: What Zoo Atlanta Can Teach Brands about CX

Zoo Atlanta and The ExperienceBuilt Group Partner to Study Member Experience

What are the impacts of progress on customer experience? How can a beloved institution honor its legacy relationships while planning for its future? Zoo Atlanta and The ExperienceBuilt Group, an Atlanta-based experience strategy group, are working together to answer these exact questions.

“We’re on a mission to help businesses and organizations improve every experience,” said Tricia Houston, Founder, The ExperienceBuilt Group. “When we learned about Zoo Atlanta’s Grand New View transformation, we wanted to help, pro bono. The Zoo is part of the heart and soul of Atlanta. Growth requires an investment, but it doesn’t have to come at a high cost in terms of member and guest relationships.”

The ExperienceBuilt Group is helping the Zoo nurture its member relationships through a combination of regular assessments of their onsite experiences and operationalized recommendations to improve them. They’re working together throughout 2019, the primary construction timing.

“Our Members are a vital source of support for the work Zoo Atlanta does both here at home and around the world, and as part of the Zoo Atlanta family, they and their experiences are very important to us because of the commitment they’ve shown to the Zoo on so many levels,” said Tracy Lott, Vice President of Marketing and Membership. “As much as we’re focused on our future through the historic transformation of the Zoo now underway with the upcoming opening of our all-new African Savanna this summer, we want our visitors to have an experience that’s just as engaging and impactful in the present. The ExperienceBuilt Group is helping us to truly anticipate, understand, react to, and plan for what’s needed to ensure the best Zoo Atlanta experience possible during all phases of this project.”

The first phase of the project is underway. It involves review of existing data, ongoing assessment, and on-the-ground conversations to map member experiences and emotional touchpoints. Future phases include operationalizing the insights gathered from the research. This action plan will be implemented in both real time and during each new construction phase.

“Most of our work is with global and national brands that depend on strong, personalized relationships with their customers to succeed,” said Houston. “Zoo Atlanta’s footprint may be local, but its need for high-touch relationships is as important as they are for big business. We’re excited to help our neighbor, Zoo Atlanta, but the challenges that go along with progress apply to any company experiencing change. Organizations honor their customer base by engaging with it all the time. And, staying in close connection during periods of change is particularly important.”

About Zoo Atlanta

Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Zoo highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, a set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. The Zoo’s newest experience, Treetop Trail presented by Kaiser Permanente, opened in March 2017. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises and giant pandas. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit


bottom of page