Consumers’ today expect more. They now demand and expect seamless guest experiences that include engagement, entertainment, and immersion. And they want you to exceed their expectations.
Claire Dearing: but let's be honest: no one is impressed by a dinosaur anymore. Twenty years ago, de-extinction was right up there with magic. These days, kids look at a Stegosaurus like an elephant from the city zoo. But consumers want them bigger, louder - "more teeth". (Jurassic World, 2015)
The great thing is that this level of expectation is a fantastic opportunity for family entertainment centres and arcades to curate and offer phenomenal guest experiences that keep customers’ coming back for more.
Tip 1: Streamline your operation
In the age of Uber and Airbnb, consumers expect interactions with their preferred businesses to be seamless and instant. Smoother operations and processes will result in positive interactions with your guests.
To ensure your processes are meeting your customer expectations, you can start with touch-point mapping. This will help you understand every single guest interaction before, during and after they visit your venue. An example of this includes:
Prior to arrival:
● Website (research and party bookings)
● Directory Listings
● Advertisements and promotions
● Your location
● Word of Mouth
● Social Media and Content
At the venue:
● Guest arrival experience
● Venue floor design
● Staff engagement
● Point of Sale
● Prize redemption area
● Follow up emails
● Loyalty programs
Once you identify every customer touch-point, develop and streamline your operation to ensure your guests’ card purchase is simple and instant, party bookings available for pre-bookings and quick arrival and check-in, immediate access to preferred games or activities. And make the top-up and redemption process smooth and frictionless.
Watertight processes mean your staff are empowered to meet any guest interaction which results in meeting your guests’ expectations every time.
Tip 2: Know your market
A thorough understanding of your target market enables you to tailor your experience offer to meet the needs and expectations of the target market. In order to gain insight into your market, you need to clearly determine who they are.
In order to do this, you can follow this checklist:
- Review your venue and service
a. What need does your business fulfil?
b. Who most benefits from your business?
- Check out your competition
a. Who are your competitors targeting?
b. Is there a gap in the market you can fill?
- Look at the demographics and psychographics
f. Socio-economic status
- Research - talk to your staff and get their feedback. Talk to your customers to understand why they prefer your business and what they enjoy most. This type of qualitative research provides great insights into your target market.
Once you determine your target market, you review your experience offering to determine if you have the right attractions and games to meet their expectations. Do you make it easy for them to purchase via the channels they wish to purchase? And do you interact with them via their preferred communication methods?
An example of a target market:
You’ve identified that your customers are young adults aged 18 - 25 years and they are looking for a place to socialise with their friends, relax and have fun. They are competitive and love new technology.
Ask yourself, does my business offer the latest games that this target market prefers? Are there multi-player games available? Do we offer the right food and beverage choices for this market (and are they sharable via social media)? Are there areas available for socialising?
Understanding your target market and meeting their guest experience expectations results in a home run!
Tip 3: Go the extra mile
Think about the last time your expectations were exceeded. What was it about that experience that you remember? Customer service is often the reason people keep coming back and build a relationship with your business.
Personalization is a way to stay a step ahead of expectations. This is done via the following:
- Implement a Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM). Encourage your guests to sign up to your database by offering an incentive to do so. Capture information such as birthday, sign-up date and preferences such as favorite drink and other preferences. You can contact them on their birthday with an offer (maybe their favorite drink for free) to entice them back. Show them you remember the small details and care about their experience.
- Implement a loyalty program - rewarding existing customers with access to discounts and concessions further fosters the relationship with your guests and keeps them returning for more.
- Staff training - customer service training for all staff ensures your customers’ expectations are always met with the same high service level. Develop an incentive scheme with your staff that rewards customer service excellence to reward staff who go above and beyond.
Your business will thrive if you know your customer and offer them the very best service and experience.