Starbucks launched a customer loyalty program when they realized that people had been coming in more, and the increased visits made them grow to new heights. Sales rose 7% as soon as it was introduced, with an increase of 18% on net revenues after just one-quarter of its release!
A study found that loyalty programs can be a difference-maker for sales. 83% of consumers are more likely to buy from businesses with these types of deals, so when you’re looking at two similar establishments it pays off, in the long run, to go with one that offers a program like this as opposed to just discounts on certain days or particular items.
Loyalty programs have been around since the days of coffee punch cards. These are a type of rewards system that incentivizes members with free items, exclusive promotions, and offers for every “X” coffee purchased – just like when you were younger!
Launching a loyalty and rewards program is an effective way to increase sales and customer retention. To maximize your loyalty program’s impact, it’s important to outline the business objectives you hope to achieve with specific types of offers or promotions that will work for your company in order to help you reach these goals. Loyalty programs are beneficial for both sides; businesses need their customers coming back time after time while customers want personalized incentives just as much! By balancing what works best from each side, every party wins when they’re working together on this mutually rewarding relationship.
We’re here to help you get started! Loyalty programs are an effective way of getting customers into your establishment again and again. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create one that increases spending, creates lifelong customers, and turns them from fickle friends into die-hard fans:
1. Set goals for your loyalty program
One common goal is to increase your customer’s loyalty so they come back more often and spend more money on each visit. This can be accomplished by offering a rewards program where customers must eat at the restaurant X times before receiving their reward, or offer special prices for dining during off-peak hours like Sunday brunch when there are fewer people around.
Your loyalty program should include more add-on purchase offers like offering a percentage discount on any bagels or breakfast sandwiches purchased with a coffee. For instance, if your goal is to increase the average transaction value; you need not worry about coming up with new rewards that cost money and are only accessible for elite members–giving away freebies in exchange for purchases still works!
You’re in luck! There are tons of ways to encourage customers to visit your store more often, like offering free coffee after 7 purchases.
2.Make your loyalty program easy to use.
59% of modern customers prefer loyalty programs tied to smartphone apps. In these situations, the customer is rewarded for their purchases and can easily interact with businesses through in-program messaging. Plus, 59% of people spend over two hours a day on their phone while carrying it wherever they go – making this new method incredibly easy!
3. Make it an exclusive club
The mobile loyalty app that so many businesses are building is targeted at customers’ attention, not just convenience. By creating a loyal customer base on their smartphones – the tech tool always in hand for most people nowadays – brands can revolutionize how they offer and reward perks to those who remain dedicated over time.
A tiered rewards program is when you gamify your loyalty program. As customers spend more, they unlock better and fancier rewards to show their prestige level. This sense of progression inherently makes customers that value exclusivity go out of their way to get the VIP treatment from a store–even if it means spending extra money!
In an increasingly competitive restaurant industry, digital loyalty programs are a way for restaurants to offer customers more complex and personalized rewards. Restaurants no longer have to make do with simple “points” or discounts that come standard on all customers; instead, they can reward individual preferences such as favorite foods—all through the convenience of their phone!
In this day and age it’s not just about points anymore: With today’s rapidly changing technology there is much more potential in creating unique customer experiences tailored around your personal tastes than ever before.
4. Use customer data
You’ve probably heard the phrase “you get what you pay for,” but did you ever think about that in regards to your favorite restaurant? Not only does it mean quality food and an enjoyable time with friends or family is worth more than a quick bite on the go because of how much better both are. But also – according to customer data collected through loyalty programs which restaurants have been implementing over recent years – each visit gives valuable insights into who we spend our hard-earned money on, why they do so, and when they plan their next meal out at the said establishment. This information can be used by businesses like yours not just as fodder for creating new campaign ideas but rather satisfying specific customers needs to be based on those aforementioned factors;
5. Train your staff
When launching a loyalty program, it is important to make sure your service staff has all the tools they need. Specifically, training should include:
- How to give points for purchases through their point of sale system
- Which tiers are available and what rewards can be earned in each tier
- What technical assistance will be readily available as needed
6. Promote it
You want as many people to be members of your rewards program as possible. For that, you need to market your loyalty app along with having staff position it to customers.
Arianne Boisvert, Senior Customer Growth Specialist at Lightspeed says one of the keys is which mediums you use for communication about its value- and she has an example: “a national coffee chain found success by sending push-notifications when someone in their vicinity was using a coupon code”.
Rather than sinking money into a paid marketing campaign, you should focus your efforts on getting people that already know and love you to sign up for the loyalty program since there’s a much higher probability they’ll see the benefit in signing up.
Staying top-of-mind with members is crucial to successfully promoting your loyalty program. Sending out emails about new menu items and offers; texts reminders for points owed or rewards received; and notifications through text messages or push notification apps like Facebook Messenger when there are updates on the status of orders.
Sending timed communications using either of these communication channels ensures that customers take advantage and remember your brand. Just make sure you aren’t spamming them with too many emails or texts, as this may feel more intrusive than anything else – which is not what you want to do if they are going to unsubscribe from the list because of it!
Here are some creative ways to communicate with customers and make them feel more informed, helpful, and less sales-y:
- Fun: Congratulatory email when a customer moves up to a new rewards tier
- Enticing: Offers and promotions exclusive to loyalty program members
- Opportunistic: Get “X” points for each purchase of an item from our menu. This offer is only available for the next 24 hours!
- Informative/helpful tips on how they can save money or maximize their perks through your service
When it comes to customer engagement, social media is key. Why not take advantage of an Instagrammable bathroom or interior design by repurposing some user-generated content? The Standard has been a shining example for showcasing customers on their feed and tagging the person’s personal account in order to share with them how much they’re appreciated!
7. Gather feedback
Loyalty programs are a way of saying thank you for your support and loyalty! We love to hear what our customers think about us, so we’ve put together this survey with some open-ended questions. Please take the time to complete it as best as possible – if there is anything that doesn’t apply or any other feedback, please let me know in the comments section on Typeform after completing the form below.
Customer feedback helped Domino’s Pizza reinvent itself. It can help you too! Ask your customers questions about their dining experience and engage with what they have to say – this will help tailor the restaurant of their dreams for future diners as well as give insight on how to put out fires before they start.
77% of customers are likely to buy from a business they’re introduced to by friends or family. We know that word-of-mouth is the best advertising, so it’s important for our restaurant and brand growth if we focus on making our existing customers happy – this may even lead them into becoming long-term repeat clients who will recommend us!
Good customer service is the key to higher levels of trust, which leads customers back into a store. Happy customers make more purchases and recommend your business to their friends!