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3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty at Your FEC

Rebecca Twomey
Jun 11, 2019 7:00 AM

As the owner of a Family Entertainment Center, you have a lot on your plate. From hiring to firing, bookkeeping to running day-to-day operations, managing staff, events, and so much more. And when it comes to customers, it’s likely that most of your energy is focused on getting new customers—customer loyalty might not be something you’ve had much time to consider.

Well today, I’d like to help lighten your load by sharing actionable ways to increase customer loyalty at your Family Entertainment Center.

Why Does Customer Loyalty Matter?

Did you know that it costs FIVE times as much to attract a NEW customer than it does to keep an existing one? (Invespcro)

That’s right! Building lasting relationships with your customers is much more efficient than having to constantly search for new customers.

It’s also a lot more rewarding! There’s nothing better than seeing a familiar, happy face walking through the door. Happy customers will improve the quality of life for your staff too. After all, who wants to work at a miserable place? I’d argue that no one would!

3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

Now that we’ve established why customer loyalty matters, let’s talk about some ways you can increase customer loyalty at your FEC.

    1. Start with Kindness 

This is most certainly the simplest point I’ll make in this article, but it’s the most important. Kindness matters. Empathy matters. Treating those around us with respect and dignity: it matters.

Think about the last time you walked into a place of business and you were greeted with a warm smile and kind words. Or, the last time you called a customer service line and were treated like a queen (or king). How did that genuine kindness make you feel?

My guess is, it probably made you feel like you mattered.
But don’t take my word for it.

Psychologists and scientists have been studying acts of kindness for years. David Hamilton, author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness, shares that scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, is an antidote to depression and even slows the aging process. We're actually genetically wired to be kind!

So, what might kindness look like at your Family Entertainment Center?

  • Create a plan for how you’d like your staff to treat customers. Document it, and share it with new staff members when they're on boarded. 
  • Explain why it matters, and how your staff members can impact positive change in the world through their role in the organization.
  • Encourage buy-in from your staff by leading by example. Decide how you’ll greet customers when they walk through the door and be consistent with your message.
  • Check in and have your staff check in on customers throughout their visit to your facility. Use warm phrases like, “are you having a great time?!” Or, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
  • Be consistent – kindness one moment and frustration the next is not a good look.
  • Ask for feedback. At the end of your customers visit, check in with your customer. “Thank you so much for coming in today! We are dedicated to customer service and your happiness is our number one priority. Did we accomplish that today?”

   2. Handle Problems Head On

One of the worst things you can do in a business is ignore your customers—especially when something has gone wrong or they’ve had a bad experience.

If you’re looking to gain loyal customers, it’s important to handle problems head on. Face them immediately, rather than waiting.
Say the wrong food item is delivered to a party, or a staff member drops the ball. Take ownership and responsibility. Acknowledge what went wrong, state how you’ll make it right, and check back in.

It’s also important to teach your staff how to effectively handle problems so that anyone can step in and take ownership to problem-solve in the moment.

Phrases to use when problems arise:

  • “I completely understand how you feel. Here’s what I will do to make it right…”
  • “Thank you for your patience and understanding. I will take action on this right away.”
  • “I am so sorry that this happened. We are dedicated to customer happiness, and it is my mission to make sure that you’re happy. What can I do to make it right?”
  • “I am so sorry that we delivered the wrong food. I’d like to make this right. I will provide the correct items and to make up for our error, would like to offer you a choice of an appetizer on us.”
    3. Ask for Feedback Often

Customer feedback is the bread and butter of your business! Happy customers will keep you in business. Unsatisfied or angry customers can run you into the ground.
Get ahead of it by asking for feedback often. There are lots of ways to ask for feedback, but remember: the more time goes by, the more people forget.

Asking your customers at the time of their experience will help you to access more accurate results. And soliciting additional feedback after their encounter will help solidify how much you care about their happiness.

If you check in often while your customers at your facility, you’ve planted seeds.

Now, when their time with you comes to an end, it’s very important to have a process for soliciting feedback on their experience. This might occur in some sort of “check out” process. Or, if there is no check out process, be sure that a staff member is there to close out with those customers.

If it’s a group or a party, you might have a manager stop in and say to the group: “Your happiness is our number one priority. Did everyone have a great time?!”

Verbal affirmation, especially aloud, is a great first step.

The manager might then say, “Thank you!! As a gift from us to you, we’d like to welcome you back any time with this coupon for our very best customers.” At this point you would provide a little card that provides some sort of discount or coupon for returning customers.

And if you want to take it a step further, consider including where they can provide positive feedback about their experience with you. This might be a link to your Facebook, Yelp, or Google+ listing asking for a positive review, or a link to a survey that you can then use as quotes on your website.

Conclusion

As you work to build customer loyalty, please know that our team here at Party Center Software is here to help! If you’d like more ideas, or would like to share what’s worked for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team! We love watching you succeed!

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