Very often, I call our various bowling center clients to ask questions, note how staff members respond and listen carefully to their tone of voice , their management of questions, overall demeanor and accuracy of answers.
Lately I have been happily surprised that more and more “staff” know the answers to my questions and seem genuinely happy to help. One of the technological advances I have noticed is that staff members who wear headsets can filter out the bowling center noise and not have to ask me to repeat what I said or ask me to speak louder or some other request.
I like that and think you might want to look into giving your people headsets that filter out bowling center background noises so they can understand the customers’ questions more clearly. It also looks more professional and hi tech to customers who are already there. IMHO.
But the one thing most centers aren’t getting right is taking birthday party reservations.
As soon as I ask about parties, I am told in machine gun fashion that the center offers three parties and then I am bombarded with all the things you include in each parry. When the staff member gets to the 3rd party, I am so confused I usually say, “Let me think about it and call you back.” Ok, “click” goes the bowling center phone.
For those who don’t have or are resisting on line reservations, here are the important questions you have to ask before giving out any information via the phone.
After introducing yourself, the center and asking how I may assist you, the customer will usually say “yes I am interested in your birthday parties
The 10 Questions
- Hello, this is Jimmy Smith, may I have your name, please?
- And Ms. Jones, what is your phone number in case we accidentally get cut off?
- What is the name of your child and how old will he or she be?
- Oh that’s great, Sarah will be 10 years old. Well here’s wishing “Happy Birthday” in advance to Sarah. Has Sarah ever had a bowling birthday party before or attended one?
- Well do you have a particular date and time in mind so I can check if we have availability. Our parties fill up fast so I want to make sure we have space.
- Yes, we have Saturday, July 27th at 2pm open. Just let me pencil that in. Now do you know approximately how many friends will be attending Sarah’s party?
- Ok about 10 or so is that right? Do you recall where you had Sarah’s party last year and about what your budget was then?
- So, is about $20 per child a comfortable number for you this year as well?
- I think we can accommodate your budget and provide some options as well. May I tell you about our party package that fits your budget exactly?
- I’m glad you like the party we will do for Sarah. I know Sarah will love it. And you will too. No fuss. No muss. We do all the work for you. We also have some options like an adult lane so adults can bowl alongside Sarah and her friends. Would you be interested in any special amenities like face painting, clowns, magicians, etc. Would you be interested in any of those options? They really will make Sarah’s party unforgettable!
I’m so happy that you will have Sarah’s party here at Happy Lanes. We will make it a great one just like we have for hundreds of children before!! Could I please get your credit card to reserve the lanes on July 27th at 2pm? The total cost is $___________so I will need ____% of that or ______$$. Is your credit card handy?
Please try to utilize this script or a similar variation thereof and thus, you won’t be making it difficult for your customer to buy from you.