Customer Experience

5 Ways to Motivate Customer Engagement Virtually & In-Person

Here are a few unique ways you can motivate customer engagement virtually and in-person this year.

It’s no secret that customer engagement is critical to the success of your family entertainment center. 

Building a community of brand ambassadors will help you establish your business in the local community and attract new customers.

2020 made it difficult for FECs to perform their normal engagement efforts. It did, however, encourage us to think outside of the box. 

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5 Ways to Motivate Customer Engagement Virtually & In-Person

Here are a few unique ways you can motivate customer engagement virtually and in person this year.

1. Small Business Bingo

Partnering with and supporting other small businesses in your community will, in turn, attract more customers to your family entertainment center. 

One way to do this is by creating an incentive for customers to shop. The idea of “Small Business Bingo” came from an article we read about someone who implemented it in their community.

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Get a few (up to 10) local businesses on board.
  2. Create a bingo card that lists all of the participating businesses. Each square on the card should also include the minimum amount a customer should spend while visiting each business.
  3. Distribute this card throughout your community and set a deadline. 
  4. Encourage participants to shop at each of the businesses listed on the card and ask that they submit their proofs of purchase. You may want to create an email specifically to collect these submissions. 
  5. Whoever visits and purchases items at each of the businesses first wins a prize! This can be a cash prize, gift card, or membership.

To make this game of bingo more “virtual”, you can ask that customers write a minimum of 3 reviews for 3 of the businesses they visited. 

2. “Small Business Trail” or “Business Crawl” 

An alternative to “Small Business Bingo” would be the “Small Business Trail.”

  1. Team up with 3-5 businesses in your area. 
  2. Create a punch card for customers to use. If they visit 3 businesses, they get a prize. If they visit all 5 businesses, they’ll get another prize! 

Let’s say you partner with 4 other local businesses - a bakery, a pizzeria, a toy store, and a bookstore. If a customer visits 2, they’ll get a 5% or 10% discount on the next visit. If they hit all 4, they’ll get 15% or 20%. 

Have customers take a picture of themselves inside each business as proof of visiting!

3. Facebook Raffle 

Let’s hop on Facebook. Being a go-to place for giveaways and raffles, it's great for motivating customer engagement.

  1. Get 10 local businesses (including yourself) to offer up a gift card of $5, $10, or $20. 
  2. Create a Facebook post tagging all of these businesses and listing the gift card rewards. 
  3. Ask the participants to visit one of the 10 businesses, post a photo of them inside or outside of the business, and post that photo on Facebook tagging both the host of the contest and the business they visited. 
  4. A participant can enter up to 10 times by visiting each of the 10 businesses. Then, pick a winner (or, winners if you’d like) and give the gifts away!

To create a chain effect from your Facebook post that’ll benefit the entire community of local businesses, ask that each of the businesses you tagged offer up the same raffle. 

Here’s the catch: they MUST tag the one company that posted the original post (YOUR BUSINESS), but can then choose any other local businesses in their raffle.

This is a great way to get more eyes on your business while serving your community!

4. Instagram Giveaway

Let’s not forget about Instagram!

If you know of a local redemption game company, ask them if they’d be willing to provide the prize giveaway for this one.

Alternatively, ask a local business if they’d be willing to do the same. Free pizza from the pizza place next door is just one example! As with all of our previous examples, the more businesses involved, the better.

Here's the idea:

  1. Post a picture of the prize to Instagram. 
  2. Ask your followers to like, leave a comment as to why they deserve the prize and follow your account AND the pizza place’s account. Bonus points if they tag 3 friends!
  3. Add a caveat that the prize must be redeemed IN PERSON by coming into your facility. This way, the winner you select is more likely to spend some time at your FEC once they visit. Perhaps add another prize into the mix: a day passes for your FEC!

5. Donation Fund 

During the peak of the pandemic (and still now), many businesses struggled to find the funds that would keep them afloat. 

That’s why we were incredibly inspired by The Barstool Fund. This fund helps qualifying restaurants (all you need to qualify is that you keep your employees on payroll) stay afloat by providing them with the funds that they need.

What makes it so brilliant is that this fund lists each business and its financial needs on the main page, runs a fundraiser for it, and then moves on to the next business once the previous business's needs are met. They also sell pro-small business merch, of which 100% of the proceeds go to small businesses that have applied to their program.

One pattern we’re seeing is that a lot of businesses in our industry are closing down before asking for help. Customers are shocked to find that their favorite businesses are closing! “Do they have a fundraiser? If only I knew...” they ask. 

Taking from Barstool's example, a great way to boost engagement is to set up a fund for your business or to collaborate with other small businesses to do so.

To boost engagement, offer several “donation tiers” and rewards to donors. Patreon or Kickstarter is a great example of how you can do this. For instance, in Tier 1, a donation of $50, might get that person a slice of pizza and a soda for free at your facility. Tier 2, a donation of $100, might get them 1 hour of free play. 

If collaborating with other businesses, you can merge tier ideas or combine them.

Perhaps you might want to also host an exclusive party at your facility for donors. Everyone can walk away with a coupon or voucher. The possibilities are endless!

Add a Virtual Tip Jar to Your Online Store

If you’re a PCS customer, we recommend that you add a “Virtual Tip Jar” to your online storefront. It’s an incredible tool we’ve seen customers implement and it truly makes a difference. 

This WILL encourage your patrons to drop in a few extra bucks each time they make a purchase to support your business!

For more information, contact your Customer Success Manager.

Leave a Comment, We'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Please leave a comment below to let us know what you thought of this post. Any favorite ideas? Do you plan on trying one out? In what unique way have you motivated customer engagement? Let us know!


Our new guide on building a playbook will help you:

  1. Identify the core elements of your unique playbook.
  2. Get your team to buy in.
  3. Manage and maintain the build-out process.

We also provide you with templates that'll get the ball rollin'. If you'd like to learn more about how to start building an FEC playbook, click on the image below to download a copy of this complimentary guide!

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