Recently, I booked myself and five friends into a bar for a unique, master-class rugby game here in New Zealand that was sure to bring a night of good times and plenty of indulging.
Historically, I have not needed to book for such a thing, but with the current Level 2 alert systems in place, all bars around New Zealand was only allowing 100 people into their premises at any one time. (This has now lifted)
Given that NZ is a rugby-nut nation, and most people love a good drink and meal, this limit on capacity was a major blow for local eateries and drinkeries.
What prompted me to attack my keyboard today was the bar I ended up booking us in. Why are they so special?
Because they answered the phone.
On the surface, them getting my reservation may not look like a big deal. But let us do the math.
The group of us ended up spending a grand total of $242 NZD.
The bar was at full capacity for the game, meaning they were seeing at least $120 — $200 per group. A rough total of $20k take that night.
From our group of five, that’s $230 that three other venues did not see. Prior to getting through to The Pegasus Arms, I tried other venues around 3 pm on a weekday (2 days out from the game), but none of them answered their phones or answered their Facebook Messages.
This is why a plan to mitigate lost leads is vital in 2020.
What are you doing as a struggling business to mitigate the loss of leads you never knew you had?
Perhaps you think you’re not struggling and that everything is good? Good for you, but you can’t be certain of that.
The three venues could have done any of the following (and so can you):
- Dedicate one staff member each night to have the phone and social media on them (if you do not have an automated booking system).
- Offset that lack of available resource by ensuring other staff pick up the slack.
- Put a voicemail on your answer machine that informs potential customers that you’re busy, but you are taking reservations.
- Get customers to leave a voicemail with their reservation details, check this every hour and turn off the voicemail when it’s full.
- Chuck banners on your website, social media, or add an automated Facebook Messenger pop-up.
These simple tips can be translated into any business as the results are all the same; ensure you have a plan in place to capture as many leads as you can.
Of course, I am not bothered — I love the Pegasus Arms — but it got me thinking about how much these other establishments will lose out on. And that kind of made me sad.
It’s important in these difficult times we support local, but it’s equally as important that these places start getting smarter about how they’re running their business, how they’ll save as many leads as possible, and how they will survive the financial crisis we’re going through. Because if they don’t have a plan to cater for one of the biggest events of the year, then it’s their loss.