Building a community among customers is a brilliant way to promote your brand and as such you’ll see many types of businesses running a loyalty program. It’s a particularly good technique for marketing for restaurants and when done right will create a real buzz about your brand and encourage repeat customers. It’s seven times more expensive to market to a new customer than an existing one and loyalty programs allow you to communicate with those who already love what you do. However, loyalty programs can be tricky to get exactly right. Here are three common mistakes that businesses make:
1. Making it too hard to join
When people visit a restaurant or cafe, they’re there for a reason. Whether it’s to meet friends or enjoy some quiet time with a coffee, one thing’s certain: they don’t want to be bothered. If joining a loyalty scheme involves filling out forms or talking to a member of staff for an extended time, you’ll notice that interest plummets and sign-ups may be few and far between. Try making it easier by introducing an online membership or app, so that all your customers need to do is pop on to their phone and sign up in seconds.
2. Investing in plastic loyalty cards
We all know someone with a purse stuffed full of plastic loyalty cards and so this may be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider your loyalty program. However, plastic cards are expensive and easily lost. Going digital is a far more efficient way to run a loyalty scheme, as people rarely leave the house without their mobile. Expecting your customers to remember your card every time they go out is unrealistic.
3. Not tracking usage
With plastic or cardboard loyalty cards it can be very hard to track how often the cards are being used, analyse results and allow you to offer bigger rewards to more frequent visitors. It’s vital to know these stats in order to market to the right people and the right time and an app could do it all for you.