Level Up! Step Your Game Up in 2018

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The end of the year is coming to a close, which means you’re most likely gearing up for your New Year’s Eve party. But in the midst of all this, it’s also the time to assess your business and set your venue up for even more success in the coming year.

We’re at this critical juncture as an industry of keeping up with the demands of customers, the expectations of general consumers, and continuing with everyday business to keep things afloat. It’s a lot to manage, particularly during the busy holiday season.

But in 2018, we as an industry can’t afford to keep pushing out implementing new practices. There have been articles for the past few years claiming nightlife is dying. I disagree. I believe society is evolving, and we’re not evolving with it. We aren’t dying; we’re falling behind.

Think about the experiences your customers have in every other industry. Retail, online entertainment, even coffee shops have all shifted to cater to individual needs based on timing and past habits. Retail stores send emails suggesting items you might like because of what you’ve bought in the past. Amazon reminds you of when you’re likely due to repurchase a household item. Netflix suggests a show you should watch based on what’s trending and what you’ve previously enjoyed. Starbucks knows once you get into the store what they should offer to upsell you based on your tastes and budget. These industries start with tracking your behavior so they can later reach out you on a very personal level to motivate you to spend even more. It’s personal. It’s data-driven. And that’s where we’re falling behind in the nightlife industry.

In 2018, it’s no longer about opening your doors and assuming people will walk in – it’s about guaranteeing people will walk in, and the right people at that. But just like every other industry, it starts with tracking your customers’ behaviors. And I mean every customer, not just your VIPs.

Fortunately, tracking your guests is fairly simple with the right system. It shouldn’t add a ton of new processes to your staff, nor take up much more additional time to collect the data. The best solution is a system that has ID scanning, POS integration, and a CRM system at the core of its functionality. Solutions like Vēmos are built with these three at its core, combined with general admission, guest list, tickets, and reservation management features. The reason having the core is important is that you’re now able to track every guest who walks through your door, including their spending habits once inside.

Take this example: It’s Friday night, and it’s Lucy’s first time at your venue.

  1. You scan Lucy’s ID with the system to verify legality, but because you’re using a system backed by a CRM system, you have now created her personal guest profile in your database.
  2. Lucy then goes to check in with the general admission cashier to pay cover. You now know Lucy is a general admission guest who has paid $20 to get inside, bringing her lifetime value up to $20.
  3. Lucy goes to the bar and orders a Vodka Tonic. The next time she orders a Martini. Every time she places an order, it’s added to her guest profile because your system is integrated with your POS and is backed by a CRM system. Her lifetime value in her guest profile rises every time she orders.
  4. Lucy comes back with 5 friends as a guest list customer the following Friday. You scan her ID to verify legality, and are notified that this is her second time at the venue and she’s worth “X” amount of dollars. You notice she’s brought more people with her. You thank her for coming back and bringing more guests to your venue. This provides personalization and gives her that specialized treatment.

Now that you have Lucy’s profile and see that it’s building over time, you’re able to amplify her experience. Does she keep coming back every week as a GA or guest list guest? Upgrade her to a reservation and start her off with a bottle of Champagne to thank her for her loyalty. Is there a new concert coming up that you think she’d like? Send her an email or text message to buy a ticket before the concert is revealed to the rest of the public. Do you think there’s a craft cocktail she’d like better that would earn you more revenue? Promote it to her.

Because you started with collecting and tracking behavior, you’re now able to later reach out with personal messages to get your guests to come more often and spend even more once they’re inside your venue. This is what is going to get you to level up to other experiences in other industries.

It’s no longer sufficient to make assumptions on how your venue is performing and who your guests are. It’s also no longer sufficient to just focus on the data from one area of your business. Success in this space is about taking a comprehensive approach that provides insight into all of your guests. After all, the more you know, the more you can do, and with the New Year approaching it’s time to garner even better results and higher revenue than the previous year.