Posted on July 07 2018
FECs Operators should aim for exemplary customer service from their FEC Staff. To better explain why, let’s start with a short story. When he tells the story, an operator in the Middle east can’t help but laugh. While checking out the competition, the general manager of an acclaimed FEC in Dubai, spied a shameful exchange with a guest. The customer had complained that a staff member never said “thank you.” Sensing the commotion, a counter manager strolled up, looked at the guy, and pointed at the receipt and declared, “It says ‘thank you’ right there.” “I was dumbfounded,” the GM says. “That’s the message you’re sending your employees? It’s alright to treat customers rudely?”
Many people think there’s an endless line of guests coming through the front door, he says, but “that’s not the case.” From the top down, superior customer service is paramount to the success of a family entertainment center, says the GM of a well-known FEC in Dubai. “We can install the most cutting-edge arcade games and attraction in that would, but great customer service will ensure more repeat visits from guests than the entire gameplay experience,” he said. An FEC’s video games and prices can always alter without disturbing customer traffic, but great customer service always must remain solid. If you have excellent customer service, your guests will keep coming back.
So how does an FEC become the hub of affability where every question is answered with a cheerful “Absolutely!” and an open smile? It starts with recruiting the right employees. A person without a strong resume but an outgoing personality and a disposition to listen carefully can go a lot farther in improving an FEC than someone who may have a lot of experience but lacks personality. With the right direction, that person may become the ideal employee. Inspiring employees to improve starts from managers who lead by example.
The Right Attitude Matters
Instead of recruiting trash collectors or bathroom attendants in an FEC, operators should encourage regular employees to keep the property clean as appearance plays a huge role in a guest’s overall experience. It’s also everyone’s job to do the simpler things such as holding the door open or saying “please” and “thank you” to every guest to the more complex tasks such as keeping an attentive eye on younger guests. It is indeed a high compliment just to see parents “sacked” out on the sofa area in an FEC, while the children are gainfully employed in the indoor play area/arcade area. This might just be the only opportunity that the parents got in the whole week to even sit down, rest or close their eyes for a few seconds that whole week. Because of the high level of security and staff interaction, parents know they can relax. They can let their kids roam on their own. That is something a harassed parent will pay big money for.
Staff Should Be Proactive
Superior staff interaction means that employees are always ready to answer questions. It doesn’t matter if they’re just walking in from the parking lot or heading to the break room for lunch—guests will see the uniform and might stop them for some information. Customers certainly won’t appreciate a terse response of: “I’m not working right now. Ask someone else.”
Anticipate Guest Needs
But even before guests have a concern, employees should be able to anticipate their needs. When people look confused by a game, ask if they have any questions on how to play it. When a family comes up to the front desk, suggest a few suitable options or packages right away. Staff members also should share customers’ excitement if they win a jackpot or get a high score, because they’ll appreciate the enthusiasm as much as their own accomplishment.
Guests Should Receive Technical Help with A Smile
On the flip side, malfunctioning games can be the source of one of the biggest customer service blunders. Some poor customer service examples include: Staff won’t apologize for the problem and explain what’s going on. They’ll fumble with the keys and open it up. They’ll fix it while talking to a friend and then walk away. You don’t even know if the game is working correctly or not even after they fix it and walk away. Being open and honest when something breaks down makes for a much better approach. Describe what happened with the attraction or game and tell them it should be up and running in a certain amount of time. Then suggest something else to do close by.
Tracking Guest Service
Great guest service must be maintained year round, and to make sure employees stay on point, shift leaders and supervisors should constantly hover all over the floor. Some FECs also employ a “secret shopper”-type program to address any other concerns. Secret shopper program helps to point out employees who to improve their guest service skills or those doing a spectacular job. Top performers will receive a $20 or $50 debit card they can use for games or food at the FEC.
Managers Should Be Easily Identifiable By Staff
Also managers should not blend in with the rest of the staff, making them tough to identify for any serious problems. Managers should preferably wear a referee shirt with “management” written across the back of it.Boomers, which hires a secret shopper program as well, will issue gift certificates and bestow employee-of-the-month honors as incentives. Managers should not forget to thank their staff either.
Feedback is Paramount
Regardless, feedback—in all its varieties—still should be discussed with the staff. Managers shouldn’t just share the negatives to make people feel bad, but to make them aware. Correction of mistakes and ensuring they never get repeated is crucial. Positive re-enforcement, on the other hand, can serve as a motivational tool. FECs have often noted that performance ratings improve once employees knew they already had received high ratings on customer service and general performance.