Tag Archives: Time Bowling

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.

Is Your Field Trip Program Working?

Bowling or Bust 1

A great way to reach families is through daycare or school field trips.  Field trips offer a unique opportunity to introduce bowling to children in a fun environment and generates enthusiasm that will have Mom and Dad wanting to go bowling to see what it’s all about.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take the traditionally slow times and have them booked weeks in advance?  Wouldn’t you like to have a waiting list within an hour of opening for business during the summer?  Wouldn’t you love to have as many kids and families as you have during Spring Break all year long?  Field Trips can help you make that dream a reality.

Field trips programs work best for all involved when structured around time bowling and are most often priced per child.  It’s always a good idea to have options available that include a snack and a drink or a meal and a drink to help boost food and beverage sales AND to expose the kiddos to the great food available so they can go home and share with Mom and Dad, and even have a healthy option available to satisfy that health conscious parent.  Keep your offerings simple, yet have something to fit everyone’s needs and budget.

Infuse BES X into your field tip program and create an offering that will set you apart from your competitors.  For example, create a theme field trip program and make it routine to change the theme twice a year.  Create a monster theme, utilizing Monster Factory and create a field trip where it’s okay to be a little monster. The kids will be so excited to show their parents the monster they created which will most likely be granted a prime spot on the refrigerator art gallery.   Or how about an underwater adventure? Utilize Oceano and offer a fish stick basket for lunch or Goldfish snacks and “ocean water” (blue raspberry Kool-Aide) for a snack.  Don’t think field trips are just for little kids though.  Let those older kids shake, rattle and roll with YouToons and watch as they laugh so hard they don’t even notice how many pins they knock down.  Don’t forget to provide a group photo at the end so the group coordinator can post at the school or make copies and send home with the kids.

TIPS FOR FIELD TRIP PROGRAM SUCCESS

  • Keep it simple. Offer 1 or 1 ½ hours of bowling and have snack and/or meal options available.
  • Drive business where you need it most. Some centers offer a slightly lower price for morning sessions versus afternoon sessions in the summer time since mornings are typically slower open play times.
  • Make sure to give each child a print out of their scores or crazy monster/characters.
  • Provide a bounce back coupon for each guest. Make sure to promote it in all marketing material as an added value.  Remember, kids can be very persuasive and they can’t drive themselves to the center, you will likely get at least 2 shoe rentals and 1 additional bowling revenue for parent.
  • Create a fun atmosphere.
  • Play “safe” or “mom approved” music.
  • Utilize Lucky Train during field trips to generate additional excitement.
  • Select appropriate staff to work during field trips. The staff should have fun too…if they aren’t having fun, how can you expect the customers to have fun?  If an employee is bored, disinterested or disgruntled, it shows in their actions, body language and tone of voice.  If they’re enthusiastic and excited, the customers will be too.
  • Promote your field trips to childcare facilities, public and private schools, mother’s day out programs, homeschool programs, scouting organizations, summer camps, YMCA’s, karate studios, gymnastic studios and other organizations catering to children. Data on these types of groups can often be obtained from simple sources such as an internet search, going online to schools in the area or marketing lists can be purchased by Standard Industry Code (SIC).
  • Don’t forget that often times, field trips are planned for outdoors and in inclement weather, organizers are frantically looking for alternatives at the last minute. In your field trip marketing plan, be sure to include a Rainy Day promotion so organizers will never have to worry about a rainy day again.  Click here for Rain Check email.

By hosting fun, memorable events for kids, they will become your biggest promoters and best form of advertisement.  They will convince their parents to take them bowling more often.

Real success means giving ALL your guests a reason to return. Provide them with a unique, personalized experience that will have them sharing their excitement with family and friends and wanting to return again soon.  Provide great service, a fun atmosphere, a clean, well maintained facility, a smile and a heartfelt thank you and the customer will remember that their expectations were fulfilled or better yet, exceeded!  That amazing experience will have guests staying longer and stopping in more often and the positive word of mouth advertising will have others doing the same thing.  So, don’t forget to give your all your guests a reason to return!

Are you ready to turn empty lanes into cash in your register?  Then start promoting field trips and watch as more bookings come in and more families discover your center.

Not sure where to start?  QubicaAMF’s Virtual Marketing Manager program offers a full line of field trip programs and a variety of other promotions and programs complete with customized deliverables just for your center.  For more information contact VMM@QubicaAMF.com and ask about your free center mini assessment.

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