Why Have a Loyalty Program?
Loyalty programs are basically a part of the sales and marketing strategy of your successful restaurant business which offers incentives to customers such as loyalty points, vouchers, and rewards programs that may be redeemed at the time of purchase. It is one of the major tools for customer retention. With increasing customer volatility, loyalty programs have become a key tool to be ahead of the competition and make sure that loyal customers stay with your restaurant.
Loyal customers are the best customer. Your loyal customers become your brand ambassadors when they love your restaurant. These loyal customers let the world know about your restaurant business and its unique selling point (USP). But it doesn't happen by chance. You need a strategic approach to build such loyal customers for your restaurant. For your loyalty programs to be successful, make sure you adopt a strategic restaurant loyalty program to back them. This is where the loyalty programs play a major role in building loyal customers as your brand ambassadors.
Importance of Loyalty Programs
Several studies have proved that a loyal customer brings in as much as 10 times more than a new customer for your restaurant. Loyalty programs help you identify loyal customers for your restaurant. Customer satisfaction is one of the primary reasons for growth of your restaurant.
Loyal customers satisfied with your product or your services is more likely to recommend you to new customers. This may prove a solid sales strategy for your successful restaurant because the chance of converting a prospect increases by four times when it is a case of customer recommendation. A few other important loyalty programs include-
- Loyalty program builds an emotional connection with the customers
- Loyal customers have a high ROI for the brand through loyalty points
- Loyalty program helps you reach and get new customers
- Enhanced customer insights give your brand a strategic push
- Loyalty programs deliver higher profits with more growth
How to develop a loyalty program
Loyalty programs offer your customers rewards, vouchers, gifts, and recognition. In turn, a customer earns their loyalty points for your brand. Here are some steps that must be followed before developing your loyalty program-
- Study on customer behavior, payment, customer satisfaction, and buying pattern can help in developing a loyalty program
- Assess customer satisfaction through surveys, interviews, and feedback. Identify employees who are good at customer service and want to be a part of the program
- Set your goals to measure the level of success or desired results of the customer loyalty program
- Set a budget to manage customer retention, customer development and create strategies
- Profile your loyal customers based on different parameters like purchase volume, payment, etc., and plan a customized strategy for a loyalty program
- Apart from customer retention, also focus on a prolonged relationship with the customer in a loyalty program
Loyalty Card App
A loyalty card app is basically software that helps run loyalty programs on your online ordering. These loyalty program apps offer loyal customers earn points on every purchase or online order. With these loyalty points, customers may earn perks or discounts on their next purchase with you. There are call to action also associated with these apps like requesting and directing customers to follow your brand on social media.
A loyalty card app is undeniably beneficial for the customer, but it is also a powerful tool for your business. As per a recent survey report, more than 68% of customers are up for joining the loyalty programs. More than 58% of the surveyed loyal customers stick with their brands even with cheaper options available.
To create and implement a successful loyalty program can be a difficult task. But, creating simple, consistent and customized deals to targeted customer groups through restaurant loyalty program ideas can help keep you ahead of your competitors and attract new customers.
Offer Rewards for Repeat Customers
A loyalty program helps your repeat customers feel good about your restaurant. Rewards for their purchase show them that the brand appreciates its relationship with them. Rewards also make customers feel like they are saving money on their menu items and push them to continue supporting your brand. Here are a few ways how repeat customers can be rewarded through restaurant loyalty programs-
- You can offer discounts on high-spending customers
- You can create a loyalty card scheme
- You can give free items on multiple purchases to the customers
- You can offer reciprocal discounts with associated business to the customers
- Customers can be invited for the trial of new products and services
- Offer discounts on new products and services
- Rewards on referrals are also a good strategy
For more, click on Best RestaurantRestaurant Loyalty
It's hard to create a loyalty program that will work for your restaurant.
There are so many ways you can create a loyalty program for your business, but you don't know which way is the best fit.
Regular Customer Rewards
Loyal customers are those customers who are loyal to your brand or restaurant and make frequent purchase from you. There are two challenges when you plan for restaurant loyalty programs. One, you need to retain these loyal customers with you, second, you need to make such offers that make loyal customers feel valuable for your business.
So, for such group of loyal customers you need to develop customized loyalty program to make them feel happy shopping with you. Here are a few points to consider for restaurant loyalty program ideas-
- Opt for selective communication channels with loyal customers
- Focus on customer satisfaction with customer service practices for customer retention
- Invite loyal customers for promotional events
- Partner with associated business for reciprocal discounts to loyal customers
- Offer discounts on birthdays of loyal customers
- Offer different options for payments like credit cards
- Use personalized marketing for these customers like sending messages on their email address
Bonus Points for Shifting Frequent Buyers
The bonus point system is the most common kind of customer loyalty program in practice for restaurant loyalty programs. In this, customers earn points on purchase that turns into rewards or offers for the next purchase. The only requirement of the success of this method is that you need to keep the relationship between loyalty points and tangible rewards simple.
Bonus points system not only increases your sale and boosts business but also holds on to the customers. There are shifting frequent buyers who wish to look for other options as well, these bonus points holds onto such customers and make them repeat customers for your brand along with bringing in new customers for a loyalty program.
Recognition for Big spenders
Big spenders are a pretty large group of customers who are also desirable. These big spenders also become potential repeat customers for your restaurant provided they experience customer satisfaction at the restaurant POS. Brands often encourage such big spenders to spend more money. The basic concept behind this is that when you shop more, you can save more. This gives them recognition as a loyal customer through restaurant loyalty programs.
For example when customers reach a certain shopping value, they get additional rewards and perks. These rewards and perks may include free shipping and returns, gift cards or freebies depending on your loyalty program. These perks can be identified at the POS system of the restaurant.
Restaurants are always looking for ways to increase customer loyalty.
The problem is that there are many different ways to go about implementing a restaurant loyalty program.
Create Exclusive Offerings For Your Most Loyal Customers
Who would not want 'something extra' on their purchase and brands also give generously for their most loyal customers. Gather and store data such as major milestones, purchase habits, transaction histories, customer service records and others to provide customized offerings for your most loyal customers.
This gives you the analytics to build a more customized reward programs that benefits the segment of your loyal customers. This gives you the chance to understand your customers better and chances of these customers remaining loyal to your brand.
Offer discounts on certain days of the week
You can offer discounts on certain days of the week which can be announced through your loyalty card app. The customers are more inclined towards such deals on those offer days and turn to shop more on those days. This practice not only boosts profit and sale but also keep customers loyal to your brand through such offer days.
You need to be prepared for these days with enough stock to fulfill demands of the customers and staff support for customer satisfaction. One way of doing this is to provide customers multiple payment options like credit cards and punch card. If both these points are taken care of, these days can do wonder for your brand.
This can be easily done through App Clips. App Clips event starts with a special App Clip tag or QR code or NFC tag. As the customer enters the store or restaurant, a brochure with information on rewards is received. The customer will have to hover the phone over mark covering the NFC tag. This works in the form of prize wheel offering loyalty points or gifts. Launched by Apple very recently, App Clips work even with first time customers when the dedicated app is not installed in the smartphone.
Create an Exclusive Restaurant VIP Program
Customer is the ultimate king of your restaurant. One must understand that your restaurant business run because of your customers. And, unless you retain them and they get customer satisfaction, everything else in restaurant industry will go in vain. You can make such loyalty programs on two counts, amount based and visit based. So, there are certain points which you need to keep in mind when creating an exclusive restaurant VIP program. These are-
- Make process of loyalty easy and simple for customers to understand
- Incentivize customers to involve them in your loyalty program
- Stay in touch with your customers through mails and information on offers
- Seek feedback from customers to make necessary changes in your loyalty programs
- Customize your loyalty program to give customers enhanced customer satisfaction and experience
Hold a contest or special event
Another way of engaging with your customers is holding events. Webinars, customer engagement summits, contests and special events where customers can engage with the employees face to face. This brings a human element in your business and customers feel like they know your restaurant better than several other competitors.
There is also a concept of game based loyalty programs where you can turn your loyalty program into a game based loyalty to encourage your repeat customers.
A customer loyalty program is important as it can affect the success of your restaurant in the long run. Apart from encouraging repeat customers, keeping you ahead in competition, expanding customer base and increasing sales, loyalty programs help establishing your restaurant through word of mouth. While working in customer service, business development and sales and marketing, customer retention can be influenced by incorporating the right strategies. And, loyalty programs helps you develop such strategies.
Loyalty programs can be difficult to set up and maintain.
Loyalty programs are a great way to keep your customers coming back for more.