FEC owner-operators have always had the question, “How can I encourage repeat visits and build guest loyalty in my location?”
Given that it is said within business that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers, repeat consumers are key to the success of your FEC. Building a strong relationship between your business and customers will take time, but it is all worth it to create those perfect customers who will act as an advocate for your business.
How does a Loyalty Reward Program Work?
A loyalty program is a great way to give existing customers more value for them to return to your arcade or FEC and keep track of their spending. Most forms of this are seen where consumers will be given a loyalty or amusement card or arcade play card. This could entitle the holder to additional discounts on current products or give them free concessions when they spend a certain amount. For example, giving them a free drink for every $20 they spend.
Having a single level reward program is a great starting point for a FEC, however as more people gain loyalty or amusement cards or arcade play cards or RF media wearables and hold them for longer periods of time the novelty and added value they receive can wear off. That is when a multi-tiered reward system will be useful in continuing to offer bigger and better rewards for a guest’s continued visits and spending at your FEC.
Having multiple tiers will push your guests to spend more and more, motivated by the lure of reaching the top reward level. Another feature which can be used in conjunction with this is having specific reward cards for each level. This gives something tangible for the guest to aim for, which will acknowledge their loyalty and spending through receiving something which could be seen as exclusive.
Loyalty Reward Program Benefits
It is important to actually reward the guests for being apart of your reward scheme in a meaningful way. There are various ways you can do this and alter it for each respective level.
Special pricing can be assorted to all or some of your attractions, games and food and beverage items at all or just specific times. Having a discount at non-peak times can help you fill up your FEC when your not busy, however having a discount at all times can greatly improve the value a guest will have in the reward program.
Special packages are a useful way to drive off-peak business, as opposed to the special prices. This use of the deals on specific days allows these reward program customers to continue to get better value at your FEC without you losing any potential extra earnings given you are unlikely to be at your capacity.
A daily free game is another benefit for your customers in your reward program, and is a cheap tool useful to lure these customers in on a more regular occurrence. This can be added to each loyalty card and to expire at the end of each day so they don’t stack up. This can be used in events, where card holders are given multiple free games or games at a reduced rate throughout the event.
Suggested Timeline to Launch?
We recommend that our customers launch their reward program in a minimum of 3-6 months if you have recently installed a new system. This is primarily due to the following reasons:
– The location is focused on learning the basic system operation in preparation for the system launch. This is further magnified for new locations which are also learning a new industry in addition to the operation of the Embed system. A loyalty reward program should be strongly supported at the team member level, which requires that proper up-selling and guest education be delivered. Implementing the program post system launch allows ownership, management and staff to focus on the program after the dust settles from a new site opening and/or system installation.
– After that period, there will be historical data on which to base qualification thresholds. Once the system has been in operation for a number of months, the given statistics can be used to obtain the average accumulative spend per card data. This information allows for spend history to be established so a more educated opinion can be formed when setting the required spend levels for the program.
– The launch of a reward program is a great way to add something fresh to the operation as the newness of a location opening begins to diminish. Using “Coming Soon” ticklers in-store is a way to promote the VIP concept and build interest amongst the customer base.
This option differs from the tiered loyalty program, in that customers are offered the chance to pay a certain amount immediately and receive the benefits. This is opposed to the customer gradually working their way up to the top reward level, yet it will offer instant gratification and allow the customer to take advantage of the benefits immediately. This can create more revenue for your FEC through the customer wanting to spend more given the added benefits they receive. The approach is simple: spend a few dollars more and receive instant discounts and benefits.
Please keep in mind that there isn’t a one size fits all approach when developing these loyalty reward systems and it may take time and research to find the right one or combination for your venue.