I recently wrote a newsletter article about Poway Fun Bowl in guess where, Poway California! They have been offering online party reservations since January 2009. No, this is not a simple "fill out the form and wait for an answer, we'll get back to you" process common on many websites, this is a real "show us the dates, times so we can book right now and move on with our day" type of process that you have come to expect from hotels and airlines...they've been doing this for years. Now, pioneers like Poway Fun Bowl, Buena Lanes, Gable House Bowl and Parkway Bowl are delivering this same level of online convenience to their customers, and why not? It is 2010 after all, the age of the Jetsons!
What have the results been at Poway Fun Bowl since using this new service? Tremendous!
Party sales are up 20%! Who would have thought in this economy, especially in hard hit California that anyone could grow their party business 20%?
Most importantly, new customers from outside their traditional market area are coming in. Why would this happen? Because people who would never drive over to schedule a party or wait on the phone can simply book online...easy is king! Because the internet knows no geographical limits people in outlying areas who do a Google search are apt to find Poway Fun Bowl in the results. When they click on the website and see the Book Now links - they do! As any marketeer knows, key to growth is finding and cultivating new customers so this benefit alone is huge. When you consider that when little Johnny brings his 5 to 10 friends to his party those other kids, maybe little Johnny himself have never been in your establishment. This is the perfect time to introduce your business to new customers. Who knows, maybe little Johnny or his friends will become league members or someday bring in their friends from work or school.
All this is possible because a huge bottleneck called the telephone and voicemail have been replaced with an online receptionist. Online customers are famous for being quick on the finger and moving on at light speed when faced with any obstacle and for many, the phone and voicemail are yesterdays solution and today's hassle. If you want to capture more customers, more advertising, more fliers and more programs are just not as effective if at the end of the day all these new prospects are funneled into voicemail. My friends, the future is here and it is all about converting online visitors into new customers at the level of the website before they click away.
Let's get this party started!