As technology advances, staying up to date with it is unavoidable. As new technology becomes widely adapted it becomes the norm and any previous versions become outdated. Keeping up with technology brings many advantages, conversely, lagging can be costly to a business. You do not have to look far to see the examples of company's that closed due to a lack of innovation.
Consumers expect a certain level of technology within their purchases. 63% of customers expect companies to provide new products or services more frequently than ever before. This level of expectation will increase based on advances in technology and what other businesses are doing. Once they see a competing business’s new technology, their expectations for similar businesses will grow.
As the margin widens between your business’s technology and customer expections, your short comings will be more evident. This will be damaging especially when your competitors are at that expected level. This will lead to a loss in customers, which is tough to reverse.
In the family entertainment center industry, there are plenty of examples of the gaps in technology levels. The difference between coins and game or arcade play cards being one. Customers expect entertainment centers to offer these amusement cards or arcade play cards, improving the customer experience. However, if they aren’t available, it will be detrimental to the overall consumer experience, leading them to look elsewhere for basic technologically-advanced venues.
The Cost Will Add Up
The longer you wait to update your technology, the more expensive it will be to upgrade. Additionally, the longer you go without new technology, the longer your business operates below its capacity, costing you more money.
Many new technologies are based around the ability to continuously upgrade software without the need to make additional purchases. This will mean that once you upgrade your hardware you won’t have to spend as much to stay up to date.
Software as a service is a new type of technology used prominently in businesses which seamlessly upgrade without changes to hardware. In family entertainment centers this type of software can be used to analyze data produced by hardware such as game card readers and POS FEC kiosks.
New technology isn’t just about satisfying the customer’s expectations, it strengthens business operating transparency and drives profitability, so FEC owner operators can make informed business decisions based on actual data. Things such as mobile connectivity, real-time business analysis and employee payroll systems are areas that has improved through advanced technology. If businesses don’t embrace them, they not only appeal to less of a target market, but also miss out on unique features that greatly benefit the business and continue to carry costly operational overheads through manual manpower-intensive processes.
Every new customer is a fresh opportunity to bond that customer to your brand and drive return visits. Without the necessary technology you'll be unaware of new customers, let alone able to create customer loyalty. In family entertainment centers you can utilize loyalty cards with a digital database, allowing you to identify new customers and keep track of existing ones.
New technology not only improves your business’s strategies and operations, it can be used to inform your marketing decisions too. Having access to customer details and being able to analyze trends in your sales means you know who and when to target. Furthermore, you can track the success of your campaigns through revenue or profit analysis.
Avoiding new technology means your business is sacrificing its potential success. Furthermore, using old technology will be costly to the customer experience and the business's bottom line.
Within FECs, outdated technology limits capabilities and creates costly problems. The token system illustrates this when compared with amusement cards or arcade play cards. Token systems requires extra man power before and after hours to collect unhygenic tokens and requires employees to count tickets. Additionally, games often have coin jams or machine breakdowns due to ticket dust build up, taking employees away from assigned duties whilst leading to a loss in revenue and costly repair fees. These coin jams and machine breakdowns are impossible to forecast and often go unnoticed, requiring manpower to keep a tab on all machines or risk limiting the customer's experience for hours at a time.
Using old technology or no technology isn’t an option. The debate is over, technology runs a business, achieves operational efficiency while driving profit and future-proofing the business (through customer retention).