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In business since 1977 the Mission Statement of Buena Lanes is “provide the community with a recreational facility while at the same time make a profit,” states General Manager Dan Mueller. “The only way to remain in business and thrive is with very little to no customer turnover. And for this to happen you have to know what drives your market, you must be consumer driven and consumer focused.” This attention to marketing is what led Dan to Partywirks and online booking.
Buena Lanes offers lots of parties for birthdays, scout troops, and clubs. With 38,000 square feet, 42 bowling lanes, arcade, skating rink, snack bar, lounge, and a pro shop, they have the venue covered.
However, Dan’s concern was with missed phone calls and potentially lost business. “I was concerned with the number of phone calls that were waiting for us on Monday mornings. This meant we were missing sales.” This was not in line with their customer driven focus. “Our customers were calling us and they wanted to spend money but, we were not there to answer their call.”
Once they began offering online booking they noticed that most party reservations occurred between 7-10:00 p.m. This is a time when most children are in bed and busy parents have the time to sit quietly with their computer at home and make their party plans. These parents do not want to call and engage in telephone tag, they want to book online and on their timeframe.
Dan has also been very pleased with the customer service and rapid response by the Partywirks staff. “If I have a question, I am confident that I will get my answer quickly and have found the service to be excellent.”
Not only does Buena Lanes know that their business is now open 24/7, they also know that their customers are receiving the same consistent and accurate party information from their website. With Partywirks handling the online booking, the staff at Buena Lanes can spend their valuable time on other management details.
Dan says if you are not offering online booking then you are losing business. “A business without online booking is like a bowling center without automatic scoring. Customers like doing things online. They like to read about it online, make their plans on their schedule, and then book it. With just a couple of parties we pay for our Partywirks service for the entire year.”
“Adding online booking is not a capital experience that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, if you are an aggressive business person it is a must. If you do not have online booking then you are losing business.”
Dan has switched all of his marketing online. Partywirks takes care of their online bookings and Carey Tosello, consultant at ebowl.biz manages all of their online marketing; from email blasts, text messages, coupons, and Face Book.
Buena Lanes is certainly walking the walk and a perfect example of meeting the needs of their community. With this progressive business attitude there is no doubt they will be providing their communities recreational needs for years to come!