“Smile with Your Eyes If You’re Wearing a Mask”


Intercard’s Rachelle Granger recently shared some ideas that she thinks FEC operators should adapt, especially in light of doing business post-lockdown.

By Rachelle Granger

I started my career in the FEC industry in redemption sales, helping customers select the right merchandise to draw in new customers and retain existing customers. I am now selling cashless technology for arcades and FECs, which keeps me in touch with my many customers and friends in the industry. During the current COVID-19 crisis many of them have asked me for advice on their redemption operation. Here are a few ideas I suggest implementing that are especially useful now and can help you in the future as well.

Use your downtime to inventory your stock of redemption merchandise. Neglected inventory management causes higher cost-of-goods over time, lowering your profit margins in the game room. Accuracy of redemption inventory creates re-ordering efficiencies that not only save time but keep your cost-of-goods-sold in check while having the product assortment that drives gameplay.

When you have updated your inventory, you can effectively plan what you need to order from your redemption supplier as soon as they open for business. You want to keep your bins and shelves stocked and keep your wall looking pleasing so that when your customers return, they will get excited about playing your games again.

Promote your merchandise displays on your website and social media pages, including any new items. Make sure that any staff in the photos are shown wearing masks and gloves when they handle merchandise. You can also promote what you are doing to keep the redemption counter as well as your games sanitary and as safe as possible for your customers. Sanitation is going to be a major customer concern for some time, so make sure customers see you staff cleaning everything, all the time, whether in your venue or online.

Depending on the public health policies in your state or city, you and your staff may be wearing face masks for the foreseeable future. This will reassure your customers that you value their safety. It also requires taking extra steps to maintain high customer service standards.

Masks muffle voices, so your staff have to be careful to speak clearly and enunciate well. They also have to learn to express themselves with their eyes and to smile underneath the mask. If you do that your customers will know that you’re smiling, even if they can’t see your mouth. It’s like talking to customers on the phone; you have to show engagement and excitement with your voice when people can’t see you.

It is going to take a lot of smiles to help us all get through the current crisis. Fortunately, people in our industry are pretty good at smiling and helping people enjoy themselves. Let’s keep it up.

Rachelle Granger is a sales and customer service specialist with extensive experience in the amusement industry. She is now an Intercard sales rep for North America.


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