Tag Archives: BES X

PROPERLY POSITIONING POST PANDEMIC PRICING

Restrictions are loosening as more of the population becomes fully vaccinated.  Centers are evaluating their policies on physical distancing, mask requirements, vaccine mandates, hiring and recruiting. 

However, one of the biggest concerns (and perhaps opportunity) that has emerged from the pandemic is the rising cost of doing business.  Higher prices are everywhere you turn! 

It’s all over the news.  It started with toilet paper shortages, now it is lumber shortages, fuel shortages, chicken shortages, car shortages, appliance shortages, staffing shortages, all resulting in supply and demand price increases.   AND, Consumers are faced with the same challenges on a personal basis therefore, they are anticipating that businesses will need to adjust pricing accordingly.

So, what about your center?  Have you evaluated your current pricing strategy and taken into account the rising labor costs, higher inventory costs, higher operating costs, higher EVERYTHING?   There is no better time to take a deep dive into the budget and make corrections where necessary before it’s too late.  Every center needs to be rethinking their long-term strategy.  

Some centers have opted to absorb the rising costs to avoid what they perceive will be push back from customers.   However, this can’t be a long term solution with the anticipated continuance of rising prices and shortages.  If your costs are increasing and your prices aren’t, then it is actually like you are implementing a price cut.

Positioning a price increase properly is crucial to consumer acceptance.  Here’s a few things to keep in mind when increasing prices:  

Emphasize the FUN and value instead of the cost/fees.

Price becomes secondary if the experience meets or exceeds expectations.  Utilize system games and features to kick the fun up a notch and increase the perceived value of the experience.   See idea below.

Show genuine appreciation and gratitude.

Feeling appreciated nurtures loyalty.

Be transparent

Candidly share the impact of rising costs to the overall experience.

Promote exceptional service that goes the extra mile

Make sure to deliver exceptional service to every single customer, every single visit.  Weave this into your DNA. 

Focus on convenience.

Customers expect it to be easy to do business with the center and don’t mind paying for it.  If it is difficult to do business with the center, they will simply stop doing so.

Promote quality over quantity.

Spotlight the quality of your restaurant and bar items and talk less about size and quantity, especially if these have decreased.

When price increases are determined and it’s time to put them into effect, another key factor is share with the team the key elements that need to be focused on for the most successful acceptance of the new pricing. 

Another area to look at when evaluating pricing is what is being given away for free…coupons, specials, deals and freebies.  Are they still necessary?  Have you tried to get rid of these things in the past but got push back?  Now might be the perfect time to reduce what you give away and put more money in the register.

When evaluating pricing, you should also take a deep dive into lane utilization and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.   Are you offering bowling by time?  Offering time based experiences provides a better guest experience, as very clear expectations are set.  If the center is running a waiting list and lanes are in game option, the undetermined lane turnover time can be a huge disappointment for guests waiting to bowl.  Plus, if 5 people on 1 lane take 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours to bowl a game, you are missing out on ¼ – ½ hour per lane of revenue if sold by time rather than game.  Why should you lose revenue when customers choose to stop bowling so they can take a 10 minute call for work or go take their child to play a video game?  The pandemic has made it easy to introduce time based experiences and is an easier way to control the circumstances and offer more efficient and more relaxed experiences while providing the best way to maximize your dollars per lane.  

Keep delivering exceptional experiences and adjust pricing when necessary so you can continue serving your customers for years to come.  Bowling is back and is here to stay!

IDEA:  Want to add a little more fun for customers?  Try routinely running Lucky Train during peak times. This graphically appealing feature is engaging for all ages and is a great way to get a little user generated advertising.   It’s simple, Go Live, Get Lucky!  If a customer gets chosen as a Lucky Train winner while streaming live, they get an additional prize or larger prize.

Go Live, Get Lucky Point of Sale Display  

The ABC’s of the BES X, Y and Z’s

Smiling friends taking selfie on smart phone

So what’s all this buzz about Millennials and Generation Z? Our demographics are changing and it’s time to tap into this new generation, what some refer to as the “Genzennials” and make sure we are providing the experience they expect and are willing to pay for.  They are our future!

Generation Y or Millennials were born between 1981 and 1995 while Generation Zers are those born after 1995 and are primed to become the dominant youth influencers of tomorrow.

Yes we still have Baby Boomers and Generation X customers and even generations before them.  However, the bulk of today’s customer are Millennials and we are rapidly approaching a shift to Generation Zers. All customers are important but it’s time to be aware of the Millennials and Gen Zers.

Millennials are emerging professionals and this year their spending power will eclipse Baby Boomers at $3.39 trillion.

Gen Zers are savvy, connected and changing the world.  This new generation of consumers, employees and voters is having an impact now…today.  Generation Zers are starting to enter the workforce and earning their own paycheck and have $44 Billion in annual purchasing power.

In order to attract your customer, you have to know who they are…what are their expectations and their preferences.   Today’s generations do not mind paying top dollar for something but they expect to get what they want! 

So, what things are important to them?

Technology is important and Genzennials have all been immersed in technology all their lives and can’t live without it.  The only difference between Gen Y and Z is Millennials use technology to enhance their experience whereas Gen Zers, technology IS the experience.  Mobile is an extension of who millennials are but with Gen Zers mobile is their life and where all their interaction happens.  They want everything to happen thru mobile.  Today it is crucial for centers to have mobile website and online reservations is no longer a luxury but now a necessity.

Speed and convenience are expected!  Today’s customers want on demand delivery. Utilizing Conqueror QPads allows the center to deliver quickly and conveniently at all service points.

Social media is part of today’s customer’s DNA.  Snap Chat, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are part of everyday life, especially with Gen Zers.  Celebrity is reality with this generation and they think they can be one.  They like to do things to have the celebrity experience.  They take photos of themselves, upload videos, create silly photos using Snap Chat filters and are constantly posting to YouTube and Instagram.  This trait is part of why customers love YouToons!  They get to feel like a star!  Make sure the center has a social presence and monitor it closely.  Take a look at your staff and often the employees in this demographic will do the best job with your social media.  Have Facebook GameConnect set up and available for the customer to easily satisfy their social needs.

Family is important and valued by both Y and Z Generations.  Family plays a big part of decision making and they are searching for inclusive experiences that can be personalized or customized to fit their needs.  BES X allows you the ability to satisfy these needs with selfie grids, environment and game choices from the console and adaptive skill levels allowing the experience to include something for everyone.  Create packages and promotions that are appealing to families and keep in mind this often includes grandparents too.  Your Lane Your Way (YLYW) puts the customer in control of their experience and allows them to choose what they’re in the mood for or what their group desires to make their experience personal.

Everyone likes to be rewarded and this is especially true of our customers.  Millennials are at a place in their lives where they are developing their brand loyalty and who eventually gets them, normally gets to keep them positioning the center for future success.  77% of millennials participate in loyalty or reward programs according to a survey conducted by a Montreal based loyalty management firm, Aimia.  They expect reward programs to be free, easy and fast and in exchange, 44% will promote the business through social media.  Setting up a loyalty program is easy in Conqueror Pro and can help you offer 1 more reason for Genzennials to choose your center.

Supporting causes and the need to make a difference in the world is important to them.  Gen Y and Gen Z generations want to make the world a better place.  Support local causes and create programs to support causes and Network with local causes and create programs that support them and they can help bring more of this demographic to the center.  Music is also a common denominator and sponsoring a music event at the center is another way to show your support for a cause.

User Generated Content (UGC) is the magnet that draws Millennial’s and Gen Zers in and keeps them there.    According to Wikipedia, user-generated content (UGC) is defined as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites”.  Content created by the customer and in their own words. Today’s customers rely heavily on realistic reviews.  Realistic reviews which means they don’t always have to be positive.  Negative reviews can have just as much impact on today’s generation, if handled with honesty and transparency.  These authentic consumer conversations have more of an impact than recommendations from friends and family – they trust strangers.  Therefore, it is very important to constantly monitor user generated content and reply to comments in a timely manner.

Because user generated content is so important to Millennials and Gen Zers, it is important to concentrate on the experience you offer your customer.  Make sure it includes the things that are appealing to them and will generate a great review or comment.  Strive to make each experience worthy of an Instagram post!

Concentrate on the experience!

Inclusive and personalized experiences

  • Welcome screens
  • Selfie grids
  • Showcase that Your Lane Your Way lets them be in charge of the experience that can include games and environments that appeal to a diverse group.
  • Let the customer be a star – Tap into the Gen Z’s who are intrigued with becoming a Star
    • YouToons
    • Selfie Grids
    • Facebook GameConnect
    • Birthday photo capture
  • Offer programs and packages that are family friendly
  • Consider time bowling, if not already a part of your business model so the customer can experience all that BES X has to offer. We want to encourage the customer to have fun taking pictures for YouToons or browsing through the games and environments to customize their experience but not at our expense.  Transform the customers from coming in for a game of bowling to coming in for a bowling experience.  Time is money!

Convenience – Make it easy for them to spend money with you.  They are a cashless generation.  25% of Genzennials carry less than $5 in their wallet or purse today.

  • Accepting credit cards is a must
  • Use QPad to get them on the waiting list upon arrival instead of fighting their way through the crowds.
  • Take food and beverage orders from the lanes with Lane Order menu or QPads.
  • Offer online reservations or at the VERY least, a mobile friendly website.
  • Use LED Color Effects to direct customers to their lanes quickly.

Provide over the top customer service

  • Call customers by name.
  • Thank every customer
  • Listen when customers speak
  • Staff your center with employees that radiate enthusiasm with their body language and come to work every day equipped with good attitudes and a smile.
  • Don’t just meet expectations, exceed them!

Make it FUN!

  • This should start with the employees. Customers are coming to the center to have fun…shouldn’t the employees come there to have fun too?  Encourage them to interact and get to know the customers.
  • Do something unexpected
    • Run Lucky Train
    • Randomly place a hidden sticker on a chair for a prize
    • Call a lane on the virtual intercom to let them know their next game is on the house

We have a great future ahead of us if we continue to be aware of who our customers are, what they want and how to reach them.  Let BES X help you tap into the future and provide an experience that will have the customers spreading great word of mouth advertising and putting out user generated content that will keep them and their friends coming back again and again.

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