“Should I be thinking about my customer retention tactics?”
“We’re supposed to be focusing on new, different business walking through our door… right?”
You’ve probably asked these questions to yourself at least once before.
Complex questions deserve complex answers, but I’ll keep it brief: yes, and yes. Simply put, customer retention maximizes your revenue with all new guests.
With that in mind, let’s take some time and focus on our customer retention tactics.
Who are your “regulars”?
We’ll touch on that question more later - I promise. For now, there is just one question I want you to focus on:
“Do I have any customer retention tactics in place today?”
Let’s see if these customer retention tactics align with what you already have in place.
Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited covers why most businesses fail, and how a small business owner can be truly successful. One of the points outlined is to operate your business like you’re going to franchise it.
Now I’m not saying you need to franchise, and neither is Mr. Gerber. What we’re saying is that your business must rely on systems that can be analyzed and followed, as opposed to relying on people doing a great job working for your business.
Here are some examples of how this can impact your customer experience:
As a leader, it is important to be willing to perform the work you’re asking others to do.
As a business owner, it is even more important to create a system where you (or spectacular individuals) aren’t relied upon for that work to be done.
Think about the processes you have in place and how often you have to “do it yourself.” Why?
A consistent experience is one of the most important customer retention tactics. Outline a few key behaviors that can apply to every interaction. A few examples:
Key behaviors and checklists can help you standardize any aspect of your business.
You provide an amazing experience, have an amazing attraction, and are in a great location. Why aren’t you seeing more familiar faces revisit your facility?
Here is an easy way to view this.
Just like customer retention tactics, your customers have evolved with time. Expectations change, and you’ll need to be waiting where they expect to find you.
A more advanced customer retention tactic caters to your highest paying customers -- those that book events at your facility. You should want more than anything for Timmy’s birthday party to come back year after year, and to impress his attendees so they book with you, too.
What hoops are you making these guests jump through to set up their event?
Phone tag isn’t fun for you, or your potential customer. By the time you make contact:
Eliminating this barrier is one of the most important customer retention tactics you can implement. To do this, you need online booking.
One of the many benefits of party booking automation is to keep up with demand at any time, day or night. Aside from booking parties after your operating hours, think about customers calling at the worst possible time to inquire about your availability on a given time and date.
In 2018, we saw an increase from 44.9% in parties booked online to 47.6%. Perhaps I’m biased here (I did book my wedding venue via email), but we have the data to show where customer evolution is trending.
As promised, let’s revisit that question about your regulars.
Are you asking guests about their experience, or just waiting for a positive/negative review?
A couple weeks ago at LaserTAG 360 I had the pleasure of hearing Jeremy Hoyum, Owner/Operator of Jake’s Unlimited (2018’s Top FEC of the World), speak about a problem they faced during the recession.
To make a decision, they simply surveyed every customer on their way out.
They quickly found they were headed in the wrong direction, and avoided making what could have been a bad decision.
What you think is or isn’t important may differ from your client base. What decisions have you made without consulting the customer first?
New business is critical, but customer retention tactics are key to long-term success.
To learn more about meeting your customers where they are, check out our 2019 Online Booking Study, or book your consultation so we can talk about your digital presence.