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Somebody sent me a quote I liked. It appealed to my sense of always trying to understand human nature and the "purchasing dynamics" of the human species.

Here is the quote:

"Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste."


I would imagine that is how many of us feel when we buy products or services from places where we have actually had bad experiences. Or it is how we feel when we have heard about bad experiences that friends and family members have had at different stores or whole groups of stores. Imagine what anxiety you might feel about buying a car, or a used car, or home improvements or certain restaurants (that's why they are not there any more).

People will simply stop buying from a store, outlet, auto dealership or repair shop if it creates too much anxiety and causes them to think they will have that bad experience.

Once you lose that trust; once you fail to perform; once you cause the customer to experience failure, you have a slim chance of getting that customer back. Very slim.

To avoid customer anxiety at your bowling center, watch them as they come to the service desk, when they buy their "games" or "packages." Watch them as they begin looking for their bowling balls and then how they bowl. Watch their faces as they bite into your food or drink your beverages. Watch them as they go in or come out of the bathroom.

Pretty soon, you will be able to tell where the anxiety can bubble up. Your job is like Walt Disney once said about cleaning windows in his employee manual, "There will be no dirty windows."

Your job is to write an employee training guide that simply says, "There will be no anxiety amongst our customers."

To diminish if not eliminate the anxiety level in your center, here are eight tips to get you started on eliminating customer anxiety.

1. Welcome every customer, ask then if it is their first time, and thank them for coming to your establishment. Then thank them again.

2. Make sure you tell them what your best bowling value is right then and there.

3. Direct them to the color codes of house balls.
Make up a small printed sheet with the colors of your house ball weights on them and give it to them so they can more easily select their bowling balls.

4. Ask if they have used the automatic scorers before.
If not, either give them instructions OR, if time permits, go down there (or send someone down there) to do it for them.

5. Tell them where the restrooms and food and beverage areas are located.
If you have the technology to do it, offer them a quickie menu of about 6 to 8 items and ask them if they want to order right then and there; you'll shoot an electronic message to the kitchen and the waitress will bring it down in less than X number of minutes.

6. Sometime during the course of the evening,
you or someone else stop by the lanes, ask them how they are doing, whether you can assist them with anything or get them anything. Again thank them for coming.

7. When they leave, and you thank them for coming,
ask them to fill out a customer database card and you'll send them (via email) $5 in bowling bucks which can be used next time at your center.

8. Do you and your customer a favor:
make sure everything is prepaid, hopefully to include bowling, shoe rental and a food item. There is nothing like the sheer terror of buying something and not knowing what the bill will be until AFTER YOU HAVE ALREADY CONSUMED IT!

What other ways can you eliminate customer anxiety?

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Comment by Phil Ontko on March 23, 2010 at 5:38pm
Two thumbs up!

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