New technology creates new ways to do business. It also opens up doors for you to better understand your business and your customers. And that’s important. Without knowing who your customers are, you’re unable to attract the right crowd or provide the experience they’re expecting. And without knowing how your business performs, you’re on your way to driving it into the ground.
Here’s how using technology can lead to uncovering data, and how that data ultimately allows you to maximize your revenue.
1. Collect information about your guests
The issue: Nearly every nightclub and bar has an estimate of how many guests walked through their door on a given night. What they don’t know is who walked through their door. They get people in, serve them, and let them walk away without knowing anything about them.
The fix: Use a digital system to handle every aspect of your door process, including checking guests in on the guest list, counting general admission walk-ins, serving VIP reservations, and selling/checking-in guests who bought a ticket to your event. Using one system to handle everything allows you collect data on every type of customer that walks through your door. And when you connect this to your point of sale system, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information.
The benefit: Now you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact information, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are. This means you’re now able to better identify your guests, upsell them before they walk through your doors (hint: more $), and provide personalized service (so they spend more $).
2. Improve marketing efforts
The issue: Venues end up spending marketing dollars on mass marketing efforts (or sometimes no marketing at all), blasting vague messages to a broad range of people who may or may not be their customers. All because they don’t know who their customers are.
The fix: With the digital system, you have a complete buyer persona for all of your target customer segments, including demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. Use this to your advantage. As an example, you can segment your audience into a list of females who attend your venue on Friday nights and spend at least $100. You can then send a text message to this list with a message that’s 100% relevant to them. And that’s powerful marketing.
The benefit: You’re no longer wasting marketing dollars on efforts that don’t convert. Instead, you’re able to drive your most loyal customers back into your venue with personal messaging, you’re able to establish a healthy mix of male and female customers, and you’re able to drive customers who haven’t visited in a while back through your doors. Better marketing results in better guests which results in bigger spending.
3. Provide better service
The issue: A recent study and published Nightclub & Bar article shows why millennials aren’t frequenting nightclubs. Long lines to get in, pretension, and rude staff are a few of these reasons, amongst several others.
The fix: Using a digital system fixes the three issues mentioned above. When you use a system that manages you’re door, you’re able to streamline your door processes and optimize your lines. There’s no denying that having a line gives the impression that you’re a hot nightclub, but there’s a difference between a healthy line and a bottlenecked line. Plus, when your door system ties to your guest database, your staff is able to treat each guest with respect and a more personalized service.
The benefit: Putting a bit of strategy can help your speed of night, improve customer morale while waiting in line, and get people through your to start spending money inside your venue faster. Plus, when your guests are treated with great service, they’re more likely to enjoy themselves and want to stay (and spend more while they’re there).
4. Know your business results
The issue: Most venues don’t look at their data to get an accurate gage of how well their venue is performing. The problem is few venues have a system in place to analyze this data, and even fewer have the necessary time and resources to comb through data points to make sense of it all. As a result, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may or may not be working.
The fix: You guessed it — use a digital system to help manage your venue. This system reports back on valuable information about your venue’s results, including:
How much money you made or lost over a given time period
Which days of the week are your busiest
What types of liquor you sell the most on a given day
How many tables are reserved a night
Which promoters are bringing in the most guests
Which servers are upsetting the most and making the most tips
What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic
The benefit: This information allows you to get a true sense of how your venue is performing, which in turn allows you to understand what is and isn’t working so you can make the necessary changes. Is a certain promotion bringing in a ton of people? Keep doing it! Is a promoter not providing results? Fix it. That’s the true power of data. When you have absolute clarity around your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing.
Whitney Johnson's articles are provided by BookBottles and she will be speaking at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show. Make sure to check out her session on more Marketing Tools to Drive ROI.