We know that customers are by far the most crucial part of business, but how do they really affect business?
Customers that have established relationships with the business are more open to expressing their feedback in products or services - this serves as a crucial indicator for businesses as they often speak from the perspective of the community and it helps businesses cultivate a strong understanding of their customers' needs and wants.
With that said, how businesses respond to their customers’ feedback and how they invest in products and services that improve their customers’ experience is just as important, those that remain passive with their customers’ feedback will risk becoming irrelevant and outdated. That’s why we have merchants like Just Darts and Clique Gaming that are willing to go the extra mile to provide their customers with better service. Here’s their story.
Just Darts - A Family-Friendly Game Centre
Unlike any other arcade, Just Darts is an upbeat and modern-day arcade made especially for dart enthusiasts that are looking for a reasonable hourly rate and a professional experience of the dart game.
Located in the heart of Orchard Road - Centrepoint, Singapore, it is an open and family-friendly space that welcomes people of all ages. Its arcade-style electronic dartboard gives reliable and highly visible overhead scoring for multiple players which are perfect for small competitions, corporate events, and even tournaments.
Eric Lim, the founder of Just Darts shared that he started the business because he noticed how almost all the electronic darts machines in Singapore are usually either in pubs, bars, or nightclubs. He wanted to create a safe and warm place that welcomes the family crowd as well as young darters who don’t meet the legal age to enter those premises to play with the dart machines.
Other than being a trendy activity among youngsters, Eric believes that Darts is an activity with a lot of potentials to be developed into a mainstream sport and even on its way to becoming an Olympic sport.
Overcoming Challenges With Customer-Focused Strategy
Eric shared that people are more reluctant to spend these days due to the pandemic. In order to appeal and encourage customers to spend, they had revamped their strategy to focus more on creating new promotions to attract new customers and retain their regulars.
That’s one of the reasons why they decided to onboard the Fave platform with FavePay and FaveDeals to boost their brand awareness and to provide customers that still love going to the place with a more affordable bargain.
“Through Fave, we have seen an increase in the family crowd using FaveDeals and this has increased our revenue.”
He also pointed out that while FaveDeal has driven many new customers inquiries through calls and Whatsapp to their business. Fave Cashback has helped to drive more returning customers back to the outlet to enjoy discounts.
“Returning customers will share their satisfying experience at the store which will get their surrounding friends interested to try out as well, that has helped us gain more returning customers.”
Apart from using Fave Cashback to get more returns, they also have their in-house loyalty program for their members.
“Members get a cheaper hourly rate and are also able to participate in member-only events or darts challenges to win prizes.”
This is all part of their strategy on providing a satisfactory service to increase word of mouth marketing as it is a crucial component to their business. Word of mouth marketing is successful when customers feel prioritized and important. Eric's strategies create good customer satisfaction as he puts customers at the centre of his business, making them feel exclusive and appreciated.
What It’s Like to Go Digital for Them
In going digital, Eric mentioned that they recently removed the Credit Card payment mode from the outlet, even with that, they have around 40% mobile payments and 60% mobile payments.
Eric also mentioned that they onboarded Fave because his wife was a big fan of FaveDeals so she recommended the business to try it out. Since then, it has helped them drive a new demographic of customers that have not tried out darts gaming before.
Aside from that, by onboarding Fave, they also get to view their deal performance breakdown. It allowed them to track the performance of their promotions with their customers.
“It gives us an overview of how many customers purchased and redeemed our FaveDeals.”
This has served as an indicator for them to see whether they are doing the right thing to appeal to customers.
When asked what his advice to new entrepreneurs is, he shared that it’s important to make full use of online and social media platforms to market your business. Going online offers you a vast potential to reach out to more customers so come up with your strategy to appeal to these endless potential customers that are always online and continue to improve from there.
Clique Gaming - A Home to Gamers
This cyber-cafe is one of the largest cyber-cafes in Singapore with two branches, one in Parklane and the other in Safra Tampines. They are well known for their immersive gaming experience and their high-end facilities which include private game rooms, virtual reality rooms, over 150 computers equipped with GTX1080TI graphic cards, and Razer Kraken headphones. Not to mention custom-made sofas for gamers that would spend hours on end in front of the PC and high-end computers that are constantly updated to ensure that it can smoothly run the latest games.
What also makes this cyber-cafe popular is because of its affordable gaming rates and their line up of the best and latest games. These days, they have also gone on to include console games with consoles like Playstation 4 and in the future, the new Playstation 5 when it launches at the end of this year.
The Customers as One of Their Pillar Principles
Established in 2004 under the name Gamestop Alternative in Balmoral Plaza. Brighton Yap, the director shared that the company was renamed Clique in December 2014 because they wanted their customers to feel like they belonged at home in the Cafes.
Many of their customers have also become their personal friends over the years because Clique is not just a business, it’s also a place to build friendships. They focus on providing a service that puts its customers at the forefront of their business. That’s why all of their seats are custom-made sofas designed to make you feel at home.
“We hope to become a successful multi-chain entertainment outlet where gaming with sofas, giving our customers affordable rates while maintaining our equipment at the highest level will be the norm in all our future outlets.”
Their guiding principles in running the business include never compromising in something you believe in - stick with it and improve as you go along but the vision must never change and there must always be improvements every day as he believes that;
“Not every idea works but all you need is one idea that works out of 100 ideas that does not”
Brighton also shared that apart from that, their services must always be customer-centric. They put in real effort into going to their own stores every day to engage with their customers. They listen to their customer’s feedback and get to know their customers by their names.
They believe that a business cannot sustain just by having new walk-in customers. A business must always be built from the heart. Customers are their friends and through the years, this has helped them grow the business. They will always reinvest in their stores to give their customers better value.
Maintaining Their Relevance and Overcoming Challenges
When it comes to overcoming challenges, Brighton mentioned that every business has its challenges and they are not an exception to it as they have also had their fair share of facing challenges.
Before COVID-19 happened, they had to make sure that they maintain their relevance in the gaming industry as mobile games are now increasingly popular and as a result, they had included mobile games into their games menu.
During COVID-19, they were forced to temporarily close during the circuit breaker. It was ultimately a hard time for businesses as their operating income went to zero during the period. In overcoming these challenges he pointed out as businesses are always changing, they are handling the crisis as it comes.
Although the Circuit Breaker is over they are still in the midst of recovering the business as this pandemic is likely to stay with us. Their key to overcoming a crisis is to always remain positive. that, they are upgrading the business by implementing Playstation 5 into their stores at the end of the year - making the console area a more conducive area to play!
“We handle problems as they come on a daily basis. Adopting a positive mindset helps in facing these challenges from time to time”
What It’s Like to Go Digital for Them
When asked their reason for going digital with Fave, Brighton shared that he believes in advertisements and Fave provides a perfect environment for that.
Since signing up for Fave, many of their customers have bought Fave vouchers and gave positive feedback with the platform. Many of the customers have also become repeat customers and friends to the business.
Apart from that Brighton also mentioned that FavePay and FaveDeal helped them promote their services online more proactively.
“We list many of our services on FaveDeals as it lets more people know that we offer these services. The strategy is to make sure more people know that we offer these services.”
The best thing for them is that Fave Cashback has helped the business by giving customers a reason to come back. Brighton also pointed out that these days, they noticed that there are more people using digital payments now with a 10% increase in usage of digital payments since 2018.
They get to know more about their customers’ behavior and buying patterns through FaveBiz Insights.
“We run the analytics weekly. From the data, we know what customers want and hope to see. Then we will form our future business strategy from there and see what deals we can develop further.”
His advice for new entrepreneurs is to consider doing business as similar to the action of jumping out of an aircraft with only a parachute and nothing else.
“You must never be afraid. You are on your own. If you have a passion and a vision, never be afraid to go and pursue it. It is also very important to note that you must work hard and always work towards your goal.”
There you have it, the perfect examples of how customers play a crucial role in your business. You may have always heard the phrase ‘customer is king’ but what does that phrase really mean to your business? It’s safe to say that even if you don’t believe that the customer is king, your business should always revolve around providing a service that customers want and how to continuously improve their experience.
How do you prioritize your customers? Give that some good thoughts and translate that into action. Ask your customers for their feedback and see what you did right and what you did wrong. On another note, you can always figure that out using the FaveBiz Insights that translates raw data into visuals with actionable insights.