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What does customer care mean to you?
To us, customer care is so much more than customer service.
Customer care means going the extra mile to show kindness or support beyond what they would expect, both while they’re in your facility as well as long after they’ve walked out your door. When you do this, you open up an opportunity to create a special connection with your guests, making them more inclined to support YOU when you need it as well.
The most successful business owners prioritize doing the “little things” within their business model. After all, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact!
Following are four ways you can demonstrate great customer care:
If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation where your facility can’t be open due to maintenance or a state regulation, creating to-go kits for your guests can be a great option! You can offer onsite pickup or even go the extra mile—literally—and offer delivery. For example, a Pottery Studio can pack up ceramic products and paints for families to create their piece at home. Then, once they’ve finished painting their piece, customers can drop their items back off to be glazed and fired.
This is also a creative way to make your facility a part of “at-home” parties! Your FEC can still be a part of a birthday party or special event being hosted outside of your walls by offering activity or craft bags! Consider putting together large goodie bags that customers can purchase in bulk, filled with several crafts or activities, as well as some party decorations like balloons and party hats. They’ll allow children and adults to tap into their creative side and will have any party buzzing about the unique experience it offers! It’s a great way to earn extra income, especially during times when your facility may not be able be open.
These kits are also perfect for rainy days or winter break when your customers are looking for something fun to do indoors. Advertise these kits year-round in your online storefront as well as display them at the welcome desk at your FEC so guests know they’re available as soon as they walk in.
Not only can these activity bags provide extra income for your facility, they can also serve as a referral tool—but how? Customers can use these kits as gifts! Not only will the recipient of the gift be occupied for hours with the activities inside, their parents will know where the clever idea came from, and want to visit your facility to see what else they can enjoy.
Life can be unpredictable. The best days are sometimes spoiled by a sickness or unexpected circumstance. Kids get sick. Tragedies occur. Parties are requested to be cancelled or changed. It happens. How you—as a business owner—respond, however, will demonstrate how you care for and feel about your customers.
Of course you need to have standard policies and procedures that should be followed, so you’re looking out for yourself financially.
You can’t give everyone a full refund back for every guest that calls to cancel because they’ve changed their mind, however, it’s smart business practice to make decisions for unexpected circumstances on a case-by-case basis. When out of the ordinary situations arise, show grace and offer your guests one (or both!) of the following to show how much they mean to you and your business:
Sometimes the best customer care is given after your guests leave your facility. Follow up with your party bookers after their event, especially ones that you know live close by and have the potential to become a regular customer should they have a great guest experience each time they visit. When you give them a call, ask them:
Talk about how important it is for you to hear what your guests loved about their party/play day, as well as what areas can be improved.
You can also apply great customer care this way if a child unfortunately falls or becomes ill while at your facility. Calling a customer to check on how they or their child is doing speaks volumes about the type of business owner and person you are. Offer them a free play or a discount the next time they come back to show how much you care.
As a local business, it’s important to show your community that your customers aren’t just a card swipe or twenty-dollar bill to you. To be a successful business long-term, you need to work to establish a personal connection with your guests and show you care for them as people.
Review your customer database and reach out to your most frequent and loyal customers. Ask them if you can contribute to an extracurricular activity they participate in, such as buying the jerseys for their child’s little league team or buying a couple dozen boxes of girl scout cookies.
A donation may not feel like much to you, but to them, it will mean so much and you’re sure to get new customers walking into your FEC through word-of-mouth about how generous and supportive you are! You can also give back to the community by sponsoring a local fair, 5K or event that takes place in your city or neighborhood. Find a way to make an impact and invest in the very people that visit your facility and help your business grow.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
- Sir Winston Churchill
When you’re building a business and running your facility on the day-to-day, it’s easy to get caught up on the numbers, goals and progress. However, making customer care a priority will not only make your facility more profitable from the repeat business you’ll receive, but it's sure to make your work day more joyful and allow your business to stand out among others.