Especially in the categories of sport, entertainment, recreation, and pastime; all of which we can attach to this activity we call “Bowling”.
In fact our most loyal customers, (league bowlers) are also our most disloyal. They probably bowl in other centers; travel to other centers to bowl in a tournament and may take their families to a birthday party in “a nicer place.”
We hardly ever tell customers about our story or the stories that happen in the center, the happy ones, the inspirational ones, the ones where we raised money for the little league or the food we collected for the homeless or the mentally and physically challenged people we hoist each week.
Nope, we’re always trying to get people to come back more frequently by creating “new” offers, offering special coupons, bounce backs and free games. To communicate these offers we resort to every known sort of technological means possible because we have been told that “the system works.”
Sure it does – it’s how we communicate in the 21st century. And when the offers stop working, we invent other offers to get them to try something else!
All of these efforts are designed to make people take action in the short term. We even tell them that the offer expires in 10 days or 30 days in the hope that providing this sense of urgency will psychologically make the potential customer feel that if they don’t buy, they will be “left out”, and that they will “miss a great deal.” It works…in the short run.
But if you’re in it for the long run, you have to probe and dig and FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE really FEEL about their experience in your establishment. I have studied enough psych courses to know that 95% of the decisions we make are emotional…even as we tell ourselves we are rational, logical buttoned up business people. Uh uh! Why did you buy your house? How about your car or truck or boat? Big purchases, yes, but far less rationally decided than you (or I) want to admit.
So, trying to change how people feel about your “Happy Lanes” brand is not just about just trying to manipulate them into spending a few more bucks on their next visit it’s about changing their thoughts and feelings about your brand.
Because as Bernadette Jiwa, a world renowned marketing guru in her own right says, “People Come Back Because They Feel Like It, Not Because We Made Them.” And how they feel about us directly correlates to the stories we tell them.
What story are you telling your customers to make them feel like coming back?
Please share this with a friend. Let me know what you or your friend thinks, Thank you.