Ideas to Keep Your Business Top of Mind With Your Customers

Do you spend more time courting new customers or adding value to existing ones?

Most B2B (business to business) businesses I know get the mix all wrong. They spend tons of time, energy and money trying to bring in new customers. If they spent  30% of those resources on existing customers, they would be far better off. Why? Because existing clients already know about you so that cuts down the sales time. They are also more likely to refer you new opportunities. And referrals are much easier to close than cold calls. But what does this have to do with your B2C (business to consumer) Family Entertainment Center?

A lot. Think about your advertising. Is it directed to new people or existing clients? Exactly.

What are you doing inside of your center to get people to come back?

Loyalty Program

Sure some of you have or are thinking about a loyalty program, but how is it working? Maybe a better question is how are you working it? The single biggest way loyalty programs fail is because companies don’t tell their customers they have one. Or maybe they tell them about it, but they don’t explain it correctly. The key to a loyalty program is to make sure the customer feels GREAT about being loyal to your business. It should be a big deal. Make sure your staff knows this.

More Loyalty = More $$$
Start a Customer Loyalty Program

What about a referral program for Customers?

Are you incentifying your existing clients with a reason to come back to your place AND bring someone new? You don’t have to over think this. Make it easy on you and them. It could be as simple as a BOGO (buy one get one) laser tag, a handful of game tokens, 100 redemption tickets or a free hot dog. Test different ideas every month. See how often each one works. Track it. Than offer a standard program moving forward.

Weekly specials or discounts

Pick your slowest night and offer the best specials. It doesn’t matter if it’s on food or on gaming or on something else…just give people a reason to show up. Then watch them do it. Pretty soon your slow nights, become your busiest nights. Be mindful that when choosing a loss leader (fancy term for something you may lose money on to get people in to spend more money elsewhere) that you may lose money on this offering. Don’t ever make these special offers without the fine print.

You can also do things that reach your customers outside of your venue IF you do the right things while they’re there. What are you doing to collect their information? If you have a rewards program you can get their name, e-mail and maybe a phone number or home address. If they have to sign a waiver you can get their name and e-mail at the least. You can ask them straight away if they’d like to sign up for e-mail discounts and coupons. How else can you get their info?

They may not love it, but you'll get new data
Google “Waiver Form” and find one for your Customers to sign

How you reach Customers outside of your space:

Email

This is a pretty easy and consistent way to stay in touch with your clients. Choose a service like mailchimp or constant contact (both offer free accounts for a limited number of subscribers) and begin sending a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter. Note bi-monthly can mean every 2 weeks or every other month. I know content can get tiresome to produce so make it easy on yourself. Set up a template that’s plug and play. Put in a few sections:

  • Calendar of events: Here you highlight what your upcoming specials, discounts or other big events for the coming month are

  • Featured game or experience: Pick something every month to showcase  *Tip: If you have only a few experiences think about ways people can get more enjoyment out of them

  • Photo of the month: Take a pic of someone enjoying themselves or even better, ask your customers to upload a pic to your Facebook page and highlight that in your newsletter

  • FEC Funny: Do a search on Google for Arcade or Fun Center memes and share one in every note. Click to see an example from the search “Laser Tag Funny“.

Direct Mail

You can send surveys, product announcements, special promotions and more. They can be a postcard or a big fancy envelope with lots of info inside. This idea works a LOT better if you have their address. If not, than go the Val Pak route and pop a flyer in the envelope. Don’t like that idea? Find a direct mail firm who can deliver mail based on a zip code and target a few of your neighbors.

Could be a great way to reach new customers near you
We’ve all gotten this piece of mail

Social media

You have started a Facebook page, right? If you haven’t, now wouldn’t be too late to do so. Get your people involved in what’s going on in your world. Give them insight on how to enjoy your space more. Let them know from your perspective how they can work better with you. Add value to them. Always remember that your clients NEED (well, at the very least Want) you to be successful so you can continue servicing them. They are some of your biggest fans. Treat them as such!

You can use this on your facebook page to attract customers
Some centers are so sensitive 😉

Any of these options will work for you. If you did them all, that would work too. The key is to make a choice and then a concerted effort to make it happen. I hope you will implement some of these ideas because I am sure your business will grow.

5 Reasons Your FEC Should Be Using LinkedIn

Get Your FEC LinkedIn

Assuming you’ve the got the Real Estate thing handled the most important words for your business are no longer Location, Location Location. Those words are now Marketing. Marketing! Marketing!!! This post is going to provide you a quick education on why LinkedIn is worth some of your attention for your Family Entertainment Center. Here are 5 quick things you need to know, now.

It’s Strictly Business

Your Business is a Getaway!!!
Let’s pretend Facebook is used 40% business and 60% for personal use. Those numbers are a bit high, but they’re close. LinkedIn is 95% business and 5% personal. What this means to you is that promoting your business can be a bother to those on Facebook looking for cat videos or to hear about your weekend away. People on LinkedIn expect to hear about what your business is doing.

It’s a “Blue Ocean Strategy”

Really important theory on Marketing
In the international best seller by W. Chan Kim, Kim makes a very important distinction between blue oceans and red oceans in business. A red Ocean strategy is one that all of your competitors are employing and the waters are bloody as a result of the “fight”. A blue Ocean strategy is one where you zag, while everyone else is busy zigging. Think about the number of FECs you see on Facebook and compare that to those on LinkedIn.

You want morning business on a weekday?

Does your business feel like this in the a.m.?
Unless it’s summer or some other time when the kids are out of school you really only have one choice: corporate events. Those can be super hard to book unless you know how to connect with the right professionals. You know which social media site both caters to business professionals AND has a fabulous search feature to help you find them?? I’m not going to give out any names but it’s initials are Linked In.

You can offer team building opportunities

Help Colleagues Work Better Together.
Corporate culture and team building is all the rage in business. Do you offer activities where two or more associates can play together or against one another? If you answered yes to that, than you can say you offer team building. Getting people out of the office for shared experiences is a tremendous way to get them to work better together on projects. This is your selling point.

Connect with event managers

Note the # of results > 1M
Earlier I mentioned the power of search. That is where LinkedIn really shines. When you start building your network on LinkedIn you’ll be able to easily find and connect with folks who are responsible for building events for their companies. Connect with enough of them and some are bound to do business with you. Do a great job for them and they will tell their friends. Added bonus, they will likely book events for their kids too.
Bottom line is, you’re likely spending a portion your day working on a Facebook strategy  (or just goofing off on Facebook, whichever). Do yourself a favor and allocate 15-20% of that time on LinkedIn. You and your business will be glad you did.

BONUS TIP

Click HERE for a quick video that will help you grow your LinkedIn network while you sleep.
If you want to learn more about how to leverage LinkedIn and other ideas to grow your FEC, check out our PLVR Club.