Category Archives: Miscellaneous

What Message Does Your Website Send?

Most consumers are turning online for information that will help them make smarter purchasing decisions and better entertainment options. According to the eCommerce Foundation, approximately 88% of consumers research product information online before they make a purchase online or in a store. This fact reinforces the importance of a website for today’s businesses. The pandemic has further increased the importance of a website as many consumers are relying on the business website to get information and determine if they are open or closed.

The center website is a valuable part of your business and offers many opportunities.

  • Improves your customer service
  • Saves you time
  • Keeps your customer informed
  • Always open
  • Doorway to the world

Is your website working for you or is it suffering from the “build it and forget it” syndrome? A critical component of any successful website strategy is ongoing maintenance. Research shows that it takes 1/20th of a second for website visitors to form a first impression about your business. What is your center website telling your customers?

When you land on an outdated website you might think:

“Business must be slow, it doesn’t look like the site has been updated in 4 or 5 years.”

“I wonder if they are still in business?”

“Wow, if their website is out of date, their center must be too. I’ll keep looking.”

Is your website hurting your business and driving customers straight to your competitors? What message is your website sending the customers?

SEVEN DANGERS OF AN OUTDATED WEBSITE:

Diminishes credibility.

If your website is sparse on content, includes errors and outdated information, your credibility will take a nose-dive.

Makes you appear you’re not “with it”.

A higher value is placed on companies that are professional, well maintained, cutting-edge and in tune with the latest developments in the industry. If this is your center, but your website is not, there is a big disconnect and could be costing your customers.

Makes the competition look great

If the competitor’s website looks better, informs better and establishes credibility and trust faster, you run the risk of losing the customer.

Center appears to not care. If the center website hasn’t been maintained, it must not be important.   Is that the way the center is also?

Quality of the experience is questionable.

New customers don’t have much to go on before deciding to make a call or book online. They use the website to judge you and decide if they want to visit the center.

Can result in a bad customer experience and brings down employee morale.

When customers request expired or outdated coupons, click on links that are broken, see a program that is no longer available, it can lead to a bad customer experience and leaves employees frustrated when customers complain.

Looks like the center is out of business. When customers land on a website that hasn’t been maintained in years, it makes them wonder whether or not the center is still in business. This is especially true with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This can turn customers away and cost your center thousands of dollar in business.

If the center is closed, due to weather, a private event or a pandemic remember that your website is the only link your customers have to you to find out the status of reopening. Many centers have used the mandatory COVID-19 closure to perform maintenance on the lanes and building. This is also the perfect opportunity to go page-by-page and link-by-link to make sure that your website is fresh, current and correct.   This could also include changing out the photos or adding new content to reengage the audience.

Visualize your website through the eyes of the customer you are trying to attract.   Tap into the things that matter to that audience. For example, the Corporate Party page should be extra polished, professional and easy to maneuver. Customers viewing this page are often short on time and expect a professional presentation. On the other hand, the number one viewer of the Birthday Party page is Moms. The page should be bright, fun, and should feature things that matter most to moms such as convenience, fun for everyone, safe environment and what is in it for the guest of honor.

The pandemic has made it more important than ever to review and update your website. Don’t let something as simple as an outdated website cost you business. Take time to review your website and make sure the message it tells customers is a true representation of the experience the center offers. Turn your website into your #1 marketing and sales tool. Communication is a key to success and a website is a large part of the center’s communication with customers and potential customers. So…give your website a little tender loving care and make sure that the impression you are leaving customers with is the one you intend.

Are You Ready?

Chalk question marks above woman at blackboard

The presence of COVID-19 is still there but the focus is shifting to a more positive note. There is light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel. As the federal government and various states start to unveil protocols for reopening, centers are shifting their focus to preparing the center for a successful and well thought out plan to resume business.

COVID-19 has forced centers to look at many areas of the business that often get put on auto-pilot, such as preventative maintenance, deep cleaning, staff evaluation, customer experience, business procedures, marketing, etc. Today, we need to focus on delivering an outstanding experience and getting customers back into the center. Customers will want to know what standards and protocols are in place for their safety. We need to earn their confidence and reassure them that every effort possible is being made to maintain a safe and fun environment for them.

As restrictions are loosened and businesses begin to slowly reopen, it leaves centers with many agonizing decisions. Owners are struggling with state, local, and federal guidelines and economic impact versus physical well-being. Centers are torn between what they feel is the right thing to do for their business and how the public will respond to that decision.

As the preparation continues to welcome guests back to the centers, it is important to stay connected, watch what others are doing, follow social media and learn from the best practices and mistakes of others. Timing and messaging is extremely important to avoid negative backlash.

Some centers are emailing reopening surveys to customers using their feedback to form their decision on the proper time to open.   A message of concern for the safety and well-being of customers should become a common thread in all communication. Don’t take it for granted that guests will know all the measures you are taking to provide a safe environment. Even when the center reopens, the customer is going to want to be reassured the center is safe and clean. Make it obvious. Post guidelines and reminders of social distancing, handwashing and other CDC recommended signs throughout the center.

It is important that the cleaning and operations standards are known by everyone on the team and the importance of adhering to them. Customer expectations are going to be high and an outstanding guest experience is crucial. If you are hiring new staff or bringing back existing employees, it is important that they all are fully trained to provide customers with a safe and outstanding experience.

As reopening is fast approaching, now is the perfect time to take care of some of the details that will make it less stressful.

  • Train staff. Outstanding service and attention to cleanliness will be expected.
  • Post guidelines and reminders of social distancing, handwashing and other CDC recommended signage throughout the center. Purchase or have printed. Order social distancing floor stickers, if using. Check CDC, OSHA and local guideline.
  • Communicate with customers. Consider getting feedback on reopening to minimize backlash. Be sure to post opening and new procedures on the center website and all social media channels.
  • Be prepared to address questions and inquiries from customers.  Especially those on Social Media.  Keep in mind responses should be timely, authentic, and consistent.  And be prepared for any negative publicity regarding opening and have a plan in place to reply.

“Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude”

~Lou Holtz

Be sure to visit the QubicaAMF Customer Resource Page and join our Beyond the Frame Facebook group for the latest discussions and resources. The Facebook group includes recorded webinars and recordings of the live shows featuring proprietors from across the nation candidly sharing their ideas, tips, challenges and best practices to help their fellow proprietors.

Here’s a few reopening best practices we’ve recently heard:

iStock-1179365840_Best Practice [Converted]

  • If face masks are needed, consider purchasing customized ones with center logo. https://24hourwristbands.com/custom-face-masks
  • Purchase sanitizer and wipes as soon as possible. Keep in mind these are in demand items and might be out of stock with some vendors. Be sure to keep a proper inventory on hand, as these product will likely be difficult to obtain for a while.
  • Prepare your food and beverage operations. Find the latest OSHA resources related to COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
  • Remember to check dates on draft beer and have lines cleaned prior to opening.

Be patient and remain positive. Bowling reimagined will be better than ever before and will be available soon! Have questions you are struggling with? Post them on Beyond the Frame where others can provide feedback and ideas.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

 

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