Treat the root, and the symptoms will disappear. This ancient Chinese belief towards health and healing applies to online party booking as well.
After studying thousands of websites in the past few years, I noticed a few indicators to diagnose the health of a facility's party business. Left untreated or ignored, these can negatively affect the financial health and longevity of your business.
When you combine new competition and the summer months, the time to start selling party packages online is now. Here are four signs you need to help with your online party booking:
1. You're forcing your customers to submit online forms to book birthday parties.
What's more compelling is the fact that only 3% of respondents in the study prefer to fill out forms on a mobile device. That's a stark contrast to the fact that over 45% of parties booked through our software last year were on a mobile device.
There's a gap in what today's technologically enabled customers to prefer and what you're delivering if you require customers to fill out a form to book a party.
Having a legacy perspective of your customer is usually the cause of party booking 'webformidas.' Instead of believing that your customers don't use the Internet or smartphones, you have to adapt.
If you want to book more birthday parties, think about the words of wisdom from Zig Ziglar, "To get what you want, help others get what they want."
2. You're booking more parties over the phone than online.
If you're using online forms, you're probably playing a lot of phone tag to chase down deposits. Not to mention, bad timing of an inbound call could throw off your entire day.
Since spikes in online party bookings in our recent study occur around lunch hours, my theory is that phone calls for party inquiries peak during those times as well. Think about missed opportunities for sales when your prospective customers get tired of being on hold and book with your competitor.
One of the measures of efficiency and scalability with your party booking process is to identify the percentage of parties booked online versus in-house (over the phone or at your facility). The higher the rate that comes from online, the more scalable and repeatable your booking process becomes.
When you assess your current booking and sales process using this business scalability matrix above, you'll be able to identify areas of improvement. Our customers will attest to the fact that quality party booking software enhances multiple scalability factors.
3. You're not using your website analytics data.
When it comes to an understanding of how your prospective birthday party customers are interacting with your website, ignorance is not bliss.
If I were a betting man, I would say a majority of you reading this post have Google Analytics on your website but don't use it to optimize your party booking conversions. As a result, your website never gets updated.
To root of the problem is not knowing what to look for and what to do when you find it. One remedy is to look at these 8 Google Analytics reports and use them to improve your party sales funnel.
4. You think party booking software is too expensive.
Warren Buffett wisely said, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." This quote holds for party booking software in the amusement industry.
With many low-priced options in the market place, I can understand the sentiment. To the untrained eye, they all 'do' the same things.
The point of distinction is in the focus of the offering. An emphasis on the feature and specification is drastically different than a focus on outcomes.
To illustrate this point, let's look at two scenarios.
A) You pay $100/month for a software with a feature focus, and you book three parties per month. The goal of the vendor is to sell the sub-par product—at a lower price. As a result, you make ~$600 in online sales each month.
B) You pay $200/month for software with a focus on outcomes, and you book 12 parties per month. The goal of this service provider is to ensure you're booking more parties and continuously helps you find ways to improve your party business. As a result, you're generating ~$2400 in online sales every month.
"Dig the well before you're thirsty." This Chinese proverb reminds us to be proactive in creating revenue streams. After all, poor financial performance is only a symptom of a company's failure to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of today's customers.
Our team is here to help you keep up with the demand for parties and committed to helping you achieve desired outcomes. We're building a community of like-minded owners and leaders in the amusement industry. I hope you'll join us.