Yes, you heard us correctly. Let employees cheat! More specifically, let them cheat at the redemption counter. Any operator who has a redemption counter knows how serious kids can be when making a decision about what to "purchase." And some kids can be devastated if they've spent a lot of time (and money) earning tickets, but they don't have enough to get a prize they really want. This is where you should empower your employees to cheat a little bit. Let us explain with a simple story:
Timmy plays redemption games all afternoon and collects 240 tickets. He is proud and excited to spend them at the counter! Timmy sees an awesome mini baseball bat with his favorite team's logo. The problem is that he is out of money and getting ready to leave. He needs 255 tickets to get the bat, which means he's 15 tickets short. This is where empowerment and "cheating" come in. First, your staff should ask questions to see if Timmy will be coming back soon and when. Offer to hold the tickets for him so he can spend them on his next visit.
More than likely, Timmy won't see value in saving tickets - this is an instant-gratification world after all - and he'll be upset that he can't get the bat. Train your staff to do the following. Tell Timmy that as long as he can keep it a secret, the staff member will let him use 15 of his personal tickets to finish the purchase. Also, make sure the parent knows what you were able to do for Timmy. He'll go home with the bat and tell all his friends that this cool employee helped him out by giving him some "personal" tickets. Timmy will be talking about it for days or even weeks.
It's a simple, easy, and fairly cheap customer service technique. After all, how much did giving away 15 tickets really cost? Not that much. The transaction itself can also be a personal and fun experience for guests. Give your staff some tickets to hand out to kids on the arcade floor. If a kid is really nice, or picks up trash to throw it away, or really does anything worth noting, an employee should give the kid 5 or 10 tickets. It costs you very little and it will make everyone - including the parent - very happy!
So remember, when you train your staff, let employees cheat.