How to retain customers is a question that every business owner and manager has to ask, and arcade franchises are no different. Retaining customers is cheaper and more profitable than gaining new customers, with studies estimating that it’s 10 times as expensive to gain a new customer than to keep a current one. Long term customers also spend more money and spread more positive word of mouth than new or single time customers. As such, retaining customers is of vital importance to any business owner or manager. Here are several business tips for arcade franchises to retain customers.
Keep The Arcade Clean
While arcades aren’t subjected to the same health and sanitation requirements as restaurants, the level of cleanliness is still important for customer retention. Customers often cite the belief that management doesn’t care about them as a reason to stop visiting a business. Since arcade franchises have to deal with high amounts of foot traffic, they also have to deal with customers bringing in dirt and grime. An arcade cabinet with gum stuck to the undersides, or with sticky buttons gives off an impression of neglect. A clean establishment helps customers think that management cares about them and retains customers.
Get Customers Involved In New Developments
Something that customers appreciate is the feeling of being involved in a community. In addition to providing a feeling of belonging, having some involvement in decision making processes makes a customer feel heard by management. For instance, if an old arcade cabinet is being replaced, a good manager or owner could offer customers a survey on what they want the cabinet replaced by. This also acts as a way to get feedback on what cabinets regular customers prefer the most. Being asked these questions, even if they don’t get the outcome they wanted, helps people to feel more like partners than just customers. Customers that feel invested in your business are much easier to retain.
Provide Unique Experiences
In the days before widespread personal computers in homes, arcades thrived because they were able to provide experiences that regular people weren’t able to get anywhere else. Classics like Pac-man and Street Fighter 2 being available at home means that modern arcade franchises need to switch from offering cutting edge processing power to offering unique hardware. A good example is the Panoramic Optical Display. Essentially a 270 degree view screen with a cockpit like controller setup, Japanese developers Namco Bandai use this technology to bring their famous series to life in arcades across the world. Short of buying the cabinet themselves, fans of the series have to continue to go to their favorite arcade franchises to experience something like this.
Maintain A Social Media Presence
For many customers, just having a clear, constant, and open line of communication is an important factor in customer satisfaction. With modern technology, this can easily be achieved with an active social media presence. In addition to being a cheap and effective way to promote a business, managers can use social media channels to address customer complaints directly in their business model. Even if a customer is financially compensated for an inconvenience, many will still be upset unless they were given a personal apology of some kind. Keeping lines of communications open help customers to feel cared for, which in turn drives customer retention.
Set Up The Right Atmosphere For The Customers
Any good business will have to do market research to find a regular customer base, but arcade franchises have more to consider than, for example, a restaurant franchise. Games that might be enticing to younger children or families would turn away a lot of older patrons expecting something more mature. Conversely, the alcohol present in a “barcade” aimed at a 20-something audience would prevent teenagers and younger kids from entering. Once this atmosphere is established, it’s vital to keep it the same. For a long time customer, one of the worst feelings is visiting a favorite arcade only to see that it has been retrofitted into something completely different. Setting expectations for a customer base, then maintaining those expectations will help business owners retain customers.
Customer retention for any business owner or manager is of critical importance. Retaining customers often involves a business being associated with a particular set of emotions. In addition to enjoying the product, customers must also feel that the management of an establishment really cares about them. They have to feel that they are a part of a community. Social media channels and personalized service drives this feeling of community. For arcades in particular, business owners should be sure to provide games that consumers can’t just buy and enjoy at home. They also have to provide an atmosphere that customers can become accustomed to.