Loyal Diner: ‘Hey, do you want to go have waffles? I have a coupon with 50% off desserts’.
Prospective Diner: ‘That’s a pretty generous discount. You must be a regular visitor at their restaurant’
Now that’s a delightful conversation clearly highlighting the benefits of customer loyalty programs.
With competition brewing on all sides, it is important to engage your customers by giving them a positive restaurant experience while offering them perks that show you care about them. After all, you are 50% more likely to sell to a repeat customer than a new one. In a study done in the US by the National Restaurant Association, 57% of adult consumers are more likely to visit restaurants that offer loyalty programs. We feel that metric is probably quite close to the Indian scenario. Doesn’t it make sense to emphasise nurturing our relationship with our existing customers over acquiring new ones?
There is always a potential pool of customers, but how would you target the ones that would remain loyal to you?
Identify and engage
According to statistics, chances of a customer being loyal to your restaurant increases by 80% if they return for a third visit. With consumer sentiment shifting constantly, it becomes all the more necessary to make sure their experience is authentic and personalised which will, in turn, increase your chances of gaining loyal customers.
A simple text message has proven to be useful in driving customer traffic to restaurants. An SMS doesn’t just limit itself to fancy discount coupons, but is an effective medium in forming a communication between your diners and your restaurants. Customers are over four times more likely to open an SMS than an email, making it the top choice for customer service.
Plus, research shows that 91% of people keep their mobiles closeby throughout the day, and most of them read their text messages.
The success of your restaurant, thus, lies in identification, engagement and customer retention. A more personalised experience, based on understanding of the basic customer needs and imbibing your restaurant with attributes for customer satisfaction will convert your satisfied customers into devoted ones.
Incentives and reward programs
Did you know loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase?
If you truly want to build a loyal customer base, offering perks and incentives to your diners is one way of keeping them happy.
One good example of this practice is the airline and hotel industry, who reward points to their frequent customers which later translates into some kind of discount, gift card and other special treatments.That’s why passengers prefer flying a particular airline or staying at a hotel offering them the maximum points.The much popular coffee chain, Starbucks, in addition to their reward program, engages the customers to use their app to place order, pay and even access streamed music. With earning stars being a part of the Starbucks loyalty reward program, customers can later redeem these stars as rewards like free coffee.
Gain loyal customers with a problem-solving approach
Who isn’t looking for a loyal customer? With technology, you can reach out to them in ways that weren’t possible before. A usual discount offer has no charm anymore and customers expect a specifically crafted and personalized plan. Personal gestures in the form of birthday and anniversary cards and wishes, or personalised gift cards on special occasions, can delight them and improve the probability that they will come back. Restaurants everywhere need to engage in this practice as 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers.
Divide and delight
Smart and targeted communication is another key approach that helps in creating opportunities and experiences for the customers.
Segregate your customer base depending upon their needs and use. There are always a bunch of spenders, looking for quality service, then there are the loyalists, who’d love you for your brand value and would stay loyal, no matter what. The ones who do not like burning a hole in their pocket and are big on savings would hunt you for your amazing deals. Strategize to make sure you have something to offer to each category.
This service that caters to all of these segments of your customers and gives you the option to appreciate each of them based on their preferences and behaviour. The loyalty program has three avenues:
- Visit based: Offers that include a free starter or a beer after 3 regular visit to the restaurant.
- Expenditure based: Earn 1 point for every Rs.100 spent and redeem all collected points at a later stage as discounts, gift cards or coupons.
- Punch Card Based: A coffee on the house after you have bought 4 of them.
Dining, over the years, has turned into a personalized experience, thus making customers an integral and crucial part of the restaurant business. It can cost 5x more to acquire new customers than to keep current ones, so retargeting campaigns and loyalty programs are essential in a robust, cost-effective growth plan. This makes inResto Loyalty an essential tool that can help you nurture stronger relationships with your customers, thereby helping you build consistency and confidence, delighting them at every turn. Plus, the controls are in your hands. You take the calls. Want to find out more about the product? Click here.