Happy customers and lower costs - How going digital benefits Family entertainment centres

Are you still using things like excel spreadsheets to manage your bookings and parties? And how about taking food and drink orders in your venue – a pen and pad doing the job? If so, you’re probably aware it’s time to consider putting your FEC through a digital transformation.

We’ve worked with a number of businesses who are looking to undergo a digital transformation for their FEC, Trampoline Park or Adventure Park business, and whilst some are a little further along in that transformation than others, the core reasons normally boil down to two things:

  1. Reduce costs
  2. Improve the customer experience

With this in mind, we typically look at this as a four part process which we’ll cover below – starting from the point in time at which customers first engage with your business, the booking section.

Bookings

With most of the western world owning a mobile device with access to the internet at any time, it is no surprise that online bookings or reservations have never been more popular, with over 70% of people preferring to book online over any other method.

Also given the fact that most consumers use a mobile device over a traditional desktop computer, it’s never been more important that your website and booking system is optimised for mobile devices, ensuring it follows responsive design guidelines. 

Finally, you should ensure the booking process is able to be completed in less than 5 steps – anything over this and our research indicates there is a higher risk of customers dropping out.

How does this reduce your costs?
Having bookings managed online means you can more efficiently manage your staff numbers as there isn’t the requirement of someone manually managing bookings. Our customer Bawtry Paintball & Laser Fields found this a huge benefit of using our online booking & management system. 

How does this improve the customer experience? 
Customers can easily book their desired slot at any time or from any place, assuring their spot at your venue is secure. They can also sign any waivers required, as well as pre-ordering any food or required items, meaning their experience at your FEC can be as smooth as possible. 

Check-In

Ahh checking-in, the bugbear of customers, not just at family entertainment centres, but also places like airports – no one likes to queue!

To speed this process up, when it comes to checking in at your venues, rather than having a staff member working the desk to check your guests in you can automate this process with a number of self service kiosks which would allow your customers to easily check in by scanning a QR Code on their confirmation emails.

How does this reduce your costs?
By introducing self service kiosks (which can be had for under £1,000/$1,000 if you’re on a budget), you can reduce front of house staff numbers as customers are checking themselves in, reducing the staff spend in this area.

How does this improve the customer experience? 
By having a few self service kiosks, you can drastically reduce the size of queues at your venue and streamline the check in process, meaning your customers spend more time doing what they want to do in your venue, and not what they don’t want to be doing!

In venue

Once inside your family entertainment centre or adventure park, you can provide a number of digital solutions to improve customer experience. Firstly, you can introduce RFID bands to allow parents to preload a monetary value onto children’s wristbands so that they can spend inside your venue without having to get their parents to come and pay for it each time. 

Additionally if you wanted to move away from a ‘queue & order’ or ‘staff service’ model, you can also introduce the ability for your customers to order and pay for their food and drinks by QR Code scanning inside your venue sending the order straight to your kitchen or bar facilities. This is something which has seen a huge boost during the pandemic as you’ve undoubtedly seen during pubs and restaurants! 

We’ve seen some customers that use this feature increase their average order value by up to 20%, thanks to the convenience of use and the increased likelihood of up-selling during the process.

How does this reduce your costs?
By allowing customers to order and pay for their food and drink over mobile devices, you can reduce waiting staff numbers as the process becomes automated. Additionally with the increase in order value by implementing QR Code ordering, you’ll increase income whilst reducing out-costs.

How does this improve the customer experience? 
By allowing parents to give their children RFID bands, it allows them to relax and let their children enjoy themselves in the venue without having to go and get them food and drink themselves, meaning the parents get more of a break!

Then in terms of mobile ordering, allowing food and drink ordering via mobile devices also makes the customer experience more efficient as they can sit down, relax and place their order without the need to queue for their order, or wait to have the order taken by staff.

Post experience

Whilst it’s great that customers decided to visit your venue, the tricky part is getting them to come back – we know from our research that customers tend to only visit an entertainment centre around 2 times a year for a well performing business – find out more about revisitation rate here.

So how can a digital solution help your business be more profitable and enhance the customer experience? 

By setting up marketing automation flows, you can set up a chain of emails based on customer information in your CRM to entice them to visit again. Here a couple of ideas to do this below:

  1. Visit us again within 30 days for discounted entry
  2. Birthday coming up? Visit us with a group of 5 or more and get your entry free.
  3. Discounted food for the next 30 days on all of your visits.

Setting up a series of automations means your marketing can be on a constant wheel, doing the work so you don’t have to. 

Following up with customers to thank them for their custom and an offer leaves a great post experience taste in their mouth. You could also ask them to complete a survey in exchange for an offer like A or C mentioned above, helping you get more insight into how your business is perceived. 

How does this reduce your costs?
By automating your email marketing, you or your marketing team can set it up and then spend time focusing on other important tasks, as with the automation the email marketing can be left to keep itself running, meaning improved productivity for marketing. 

How does this improve the customer experience? 
By asking customers for their thoughts, it shows you care about their experience which will only enhance your reputation. Additionally by offering promotions via your automation guests will be keen to visit your attraction and appreciate the offers!

 

Hopefully this gives you a couple of ideas on how implementing a few digital solutions could benefit both your business and your customers. We’d love to talk to you about how you can digitally transform your business – just fill out the quick form below and one of our helpful team will be in touch with you. 

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• Customer online booking journey
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• Reporting/Dashboards
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