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How to Reduce Customer Friction and Accelerate Growth

Yosuke Carter
Jan 29, 2019 5:21 PM

Friction can be a good thing.

You need it to keep your tires on the road while you're driving. If you're stranded in the wilderness like Bear Grylls, friction can help you start a fire and save your life.


For a family fun center, friction can slow down your flywheel and create stall points in your revenue growth. In layman's terms, making it difficult for your customers to accomplish simple acts can hinder word-of-mouth and negatively affect your revenue.


Let's look at a few common friction points.

Your Online Visibility

Online visibility goes beyond interrupting people with emails and promotional ads. It's about showing up when people are looking to know something, do something, buy something, or go somewhere.

You create friction when people get the wrong information from business directories like Yellow Pages or review sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor. Minimizing confusion is why you need to make sure your local listings are accurate.

How to fix it:

Check the accuracy of your business listings with tools like Moz Local or MerchantCentric, then make updates to them.

Your Online Reputation

Now that you're on your way to improving online visibility let's look at another area of friction that can keep potential customers from visiting your center or booking a party. It's your online reputation, which may be the worst friction point because these are actual customers who are now telling others not to come to your center.

Anyone who's been in this industry for a while knows you can't please everyone. As we learned from Good Fella's Distillery's customer experience blunder, it' best to own up to your mistakes and do whatever you can to make things right.

How to fix it:

To manage your online reputation, you have to know when people are talking about you and respond quickly. Using an online reputation management tool like MerchantCentric can help you keep track of all your reviews from multiple sites.

Your Website

Even the untrained eye can distinguish good website experience and bad ones. A poorly designed website can not only create friction but act as a roadblock to getting new customers.

a bad website experience

Now let's take a look at Jake's Unlimited, winner of the 2018 IAAPA Brass Ring Award for Top FEC of the World award. With great design, simple navigation, and clear calls-to-action buttons to their online booking module, they provide a frictionless experience.


How to fix it:

In Google Analytics, set up Events Goals to track how many visitors are getting to your online booking app and Goals to determine how many people are completing the process. The insights will give you the ability to identify how many people are getting to your online booking page; then you can run experiments to make improvements.

Your Customer Experience

The customer experience may be the most critical area to minimize customer friction because it's what determines if they will ever come back, rave about you, or tell their friends to avoid your center like the plague.

If the check-in process for a birthday party is confusing, or if there's mass confusion amongst your staff in double-booking parties, your customers will likely share their experience on review sites.

party check-in confusion

How to fix it:

From my experience, customer delight and advocacy start with the first impression and builds with consistent, high-quality interactions with a company. Start by identifying the areas of friction throughout the customer journey with your team and try new things to reduce frustrations.

Coming Full Circle

Now that we've taken you through the common areas of friction and ways to fix them, it's time to look at the ones that are unique to your center.

If you're experiencing a revenue growth stall, there's a pretty good chance that there are customer friction points you have not addressed—or don't know about.

By overcoming confirmation bias and looking at circumstances objectively, you'll be on your way to reducing friction and accelerating your flywheel. If you don't, you might find yourself in the wilderness fighting for survival with Bear Grylls. 

Book more parties with the Online Party Booking Tool Kit

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