When paper punch cards won’t cut it for your rewards programme…
This guest blog from our partner Como giving advice to hospitality businesses on how to improve customer loyalty.
If having a successful loyalty club were as simple as using freebies and rewards to keep your customers shopping, then perhaps a simple punch-card system would do the trick.
But today, the most effective loyalty clubs are about much more than rewards. In the current business and technological environment, loyalty programmes are an essential tool for gathering actionable business intelligence, and increasing both sales and efficiency. With a digital, cloud-based loyalty programme, you can turn nameless, short-term customers into club members who enjoy an enhanced experience – and who keep coming back for more.
In addition to conventional rewards, a comprehensive loyalty programme offers your restaurant and your customers these four key benefits:
Unlike a simple paper punch card, a cloud-based loyalty club typically requires members to sign up – giving you a great opportunity to gather useful information through a digital registration form. Then, each time your customers check out and identify themselves at your POS, you can keep track of their purchases and other key data. That way, as time goes on and a club member keeps shopping, you’ll get a fuller picture of their purchase habits, based on the data gathered at the POS from each transaction.
The information you accumulate allows you to offer each customer specific deals that are especially likely to interest them. While customers tend to enjoy that personalisation, it also gives you extra opportunities to increase your sales by bringing the most relevant offers to each member’s attention.
Customised real-time communication
Alongside the specific offers that each club member receives, the way your restaurant communicates with them is an essential part of their customer experience. With a feature-rich, cloud-based loyalty solution, you can communicate with members instantaneously using a variety of digital channels, including push notifications, SMS text messages, pop-up messages within mobile apps, and emails. Most importantly, you can personalise the messages that you send each member, based on the information gathered from your registration form, your POS, and other places.
Personalisation at your restaurant
While mobile apps and other high-tech tools can help your customers stay connected to your business while on the go, it’s largely up to your employees to give those customers a positive, personalised experience inside your restaurant. But even on your “home turf,” your loyalty club can help you by providing useful customer information to your employees. With a comprehensive, digital loyalty solution, your team can view details about each loyalty club member at the POS. Then, your employees can use those details by recommending products that are likely to interest a customer, telling them how many points they have earned, or simply calling them by their name.
Useful business intelligence
In addition to getting a better understanding of who each member of your club is and how they shop, having a digital loyalty club enables you to gather and analyse aggregated data showing important sales information – findings that can help you run both your loyalty club and your restaurant more efficiently. For instance, if you see that one of your locations has a drop in sales every Monday around lunchtime, you can offer your club members a discount for that specific location at that specific time of week. Or, if you see that loyalty club members aren’t ordering much of your newest dish, you can create a special offer encouraging them to try it – or maybe replace it with a better-selling item.
Growing loyalty with data
Ofer Rahum, Chief Business Operations at Como explains that companies need an engagement solution that integrates with the POS to gather rich data. “Como empowers hospitality and retail businesses to maximize revenue per customer and business growth with Como Sense, an end-to-end customer engagement solution. Como Sense integrates with POS software to create a seamless, cloud-based solution that combines a branded mobile app, rich variety of loyalty programs marketing automation, and deep business insights with any third-party services.”
Successful loyalty programmes benefit both your customers and your profit margins. The key to an effective loyalty programme is gathering data and applying that information in innovative, useful ways– ways that would be impossible with old-fashioned paper punch cards.
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