Inspire, Convert & Retain - the key to long term growth for Family Entertainment Centres

The Greek writer Tacticus once said “In all things, there is a law of cycles.”

And we couldn’t agree more, this can easily be applied to the long term growth of family entertainment and leisure centres – ultimately getting guests in once, and then over and over again. 

We see it is a three step process – inspire potential customers, convert them to a visit and then retain them as a long term customer, boosting revisitation rate.

In this article, we’ll be exploring how you can maximise your potential at every stage of the cycle. Let’s start with how you can inspire potential customers to visit you.

Inspire

People love stories, it’s human nature to be drawn into stories and subsequently consumers are 70% more likely to become a customer of a brand if they like the storytelling from them – a huge number when considering your potential customers.

And the best thing about this industry? Storytelling should come pretty easily as most Entertainment Centres already have a brand which can easily be turned into a story. 

If you have a theme specific to your brand, let’s say a space theme for example, you can easily tap into this and put together a story to use on your website, social media channels and so forth – you could even consider using a brand mascot to add an additional character to aid the narrative. 

And if you feel this would be too much or tricky for your brand, the story you tell doesn’t necessarily have to be a “tale” you tell to customers.

For example, lets look at our customer Boom Battle Bar – the branding gives off the vibe of a quirky location, different from your usual bar – this is a part of their story.

Then there’s the video on the website which almost presents the customer journey, from walking into the venue, ordering drinks and then getting involved in the activity. This is the story of the customer, and it’s not hard for them to envision themselves in this scenario. 

Whilst you can have the best story in the world, equally important is that you’re able to reach your potential customers with your story – think about ensuring you have a good online presence, on the key social media channels for your audience and have listings on TripAdvisor – bringing us to our next point, reviews.

Reviews can also help inspire customers to visit you – if someone shares a glowing review of you on Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor this can do wonders for getting guests in, so we’d always encourage you to request reviews. Don’t forget to share the best ones on your social media channels.

Nail the above, and you’ll inspire potential guests to think “Ok, this place looks awesome” – now, how do you use that inspiration to convert them into customers?

Convert

Ok, so your potential customers are aware of you and think you look like the best thing since sliced bread – so how do you get them paying to visit you?

Most importantly – make booking as easy as it possibly can be. Think big Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons all over your website, a streamlined booking system optimised to take your customers the least amount of steps to complete as well as the option to book over the phone or in venue for walk-ins.

In terms of getting potential customers onto your website making bookings, really focus on marketing to new customers – regularly update social media channels and don’t be afraid to put some money behind targeted advertising which with the intelligence of the advertising algorithm will allow you to target those most likely to convert into customers – and with the content you’ve put together during the inspiration phase mentioned above, you’ve already got the messaging to hit them with.

Lastly, you may want to consider how you can use promotional offers as an enticement to encourage bookings from new customers – a couple you could consider:

  • Discounted entry on bookings over 5 people
  • Discounted food and drink Monday – Friday
  • Free merchandise on a customers first booking – for example, jumping socks for a trampoline park

Offering a short term discount to entice someone in for the first time can pay dividends if you can turn them into a long term customer, bringing us perfectly on to the final part of the cycle – retain.

Retain

You’ve inspired your guests, got them to visit your venue – but how do you keep them coming back to your venue in a continuously competitive landscape?

Firstly, encourage your customers to complete a survey or questionnaire via email when they’ve left your venue (you could consider incentivising this with a promotion of some sort).

Use this feedback to ensure your venue meets the expectations of guests – if feedback is negative, consider following up directly. Little touches like this can go a long way with customers and help build relationships.

Secondly, just because someone has visited your venue once doesn’t mean the marketing stops there – remarketing to your database is essential, and with a well built CRM you can easily set up automations to do this for you.

We’ve previously covered this in a tonne of detail, however two automations to retain customers we would absolutely recommend are as follows:

  • Birthday promos – When it gets to four weeks out from someone’s birthday, send them a promotional email/SMS encouraging them to host it at your venue. 
  • Revisitation promotion – Once guests have visited your venue, send them a promotional email encouraging them to visit within the next three weeks for an additional discount.

This will keep your customers coming back to you over your local competition, boosting your long term outlook as a business. 

Obviously it goes without saying that even outside of these two automations, regular email/SMS messages to your contact database are essential. 

Hopefully this article has provided some ideas on how you can view the management of guests as one larger cycle and get your business on their radar, get them in once and subsequently keep them coming back for life. Take a look below on how BookNow Software can help work with you on this.

Want to find out how BookNow could benefit your business across departments? 

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