The homepage of the National Theatre is instantly negotiable pointing to all the links you need. There are bright colours and the photographs of the productions are equally as attention seeking as each other, but complimentary when presented together on the page. There are two main panels- the top one directing you to the standard links; ‘Box Office’, ‘Discover More’, ‘Support Us’ etc. and the second panel at the bottom has links to the current productions. As a very busy theatre, this presentation works well. When you visit the ‘What’s On’ page, there are links to booking and more information about the productions. The only real criticism of the homepage is the inconsistent colour schemes, however, the layout of text and font is steady.
Box Office/ Shop
This tab is really useful and all the information you could need is provided. There is a best sellers panel and even opportunity to buy book copies of their productions. This part of the website is easy to negotiate and it is easy to spend money here!
Plan Your Visit
This tab provides all the help you would need to plan a visit to the National Theatre; restaurants, costume hire, hotel links, venue and disabled access information. This page presents London in an approachable and friendly way, enticing the customer to visit the theatre and the establishments they have links with.
Instead of a link to an external YouTube account, the National Theatre have a ‘Video Collections’ panel on the website. This enables instant access, no hassle and full control for the company. The videos are presented in a collage style, showing a variety of video stills. This part of the website is original to the National Theatre, making them stand apart from their competitors I have looked at.
Of all the theatres I have looked at, the National Theatre’s Twitter account has the most followers; 143,000. There are regular updates from this account and the branding is transferred over from the website. However, there is little evidence of responding to customer enquiries and the overall tone is quite formal. No doubt the sheer size of their following provides a reason for their little interaction with customers, but it is something they should improve.
The impression gained from the Facebook account is much the same; they have just over 60,000 ‘likers’ with regular updates and consistent branding of productions. The Facebook account has links to individual pages for productions and areas of the company. For example, you can like ‘War Horse’ or ‘National Theatre Bookshop’. This means that advertising for the National Theatre extends beyond the one page.
Strengths: Their website is original and comprehensive. The ‘Video Collections’ and ‘Your Visit’ tabs are prime examples of this.
Weaknesses:They are a nationally renowned company and their website is relatively flawless. However, because of this size, simple customer care on Twitter and Facebook seems to go unnoticed.
Opportunities: The National Theatre should continue to work on the originality of their website.
Threats: As a nationally and internationally famous theatre, there are few obvious threats on the website to damage their reputation. However, they do need to monitor customer care and continue to be as creative as they are now, to ensure their position at the top.