Keeping good customers is more profitable than finding new ones. Your restaurant’s POS system will help you to build a loyal customer base.
Your POS system is the technology centre of your restaurant, where payments are made, preferences are tracked and customer profiles created. Nurturing your customer base to ensure their return to your business needs not just a good POS system, but a loyalty program tailored to your customers’ preferences.
Why loyalty programs – weren’t we doing quite OK before hand?
Today 71% of Australians are part of a loyalty program, http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6983-how-popular-are-customer-loyalty-programs-really-201609261433 so it is has become part of our social and retail culture.
We no longer “go online” but we live online today. So at every turn we have businesses marketing their services and products to us. With so many ways of being marketed at, we are (quietly) seeking brand loyalty more than even before.
However, being part of a loyalty program and actually using a loyalty program are two different things. So it’s important to get it right. Spend the time and effort to think it through so that it does the right thing by you and your customers.
A loyalty program that helps you to foster a loyal customer base that will regularly return to your restaurant will increase revenue as well as increase profitability. Customers who like your restaurant because they have a good experience, will be willing to pay for this service and not expect discounts.
ZEN’s Global Membership has a range of features in its POS offering that ultimately will help you build a good loyalty program such as:
- Paperless sign up process
- Gift Cards
- Point accrued and redeemed
- Prize draws
- SMS and email to send out offers
- Demographic targeting for special promotions
With these features as an integrated part of your POS software, here are a few tips to help you develop a loyalty program that supports your restaurant.
Get to know your customers preferences
The research shows that people are generally split between being happy to earn reward points and receiving discounts through loyalty programs. Some like longer term rewards and some like it sooner. You know your customers best. Write down the top 5 qualities of a typical customer and set about creating rewards that work for them.
- Would they appreciate a free drink every 3 visits?
- Or, would they like you to accumulate their points for a free meal every two months?
Think beyond monetary rewards
Remember that you are building a loyal community which goes beyond how much money they spend. What does your typical client like? Would they appreciate you remembering important dates such as their birthday or anniversary? Would they like it if you remembered their last visit and what they ordered so that you can offer a related suggestion on the menu?
Thinking beyond monetary rewards will help you build brand loyalty and reduce the need to discount and offer free perks over time.
- You’ve noticed they often order vegetarian – send them a message with your latest vegetarian dish
- They always order red wine with their meals – acknowledge this and let them know you have a red wine suggestion for them on their next visit
- You have noted they prefer local produce so let them know of the fresh local snapper you are sourcing for the next few weeks.
As with all relationships – personal or business, the small things go a long way to building loyalty.
Keep rewards fresh – ask for feedback
A loyalty program only works when it delivers what your customers perceive as value. Take note of who is using your loyalty program and why they are using it and notice any trends.
Ask your customers when they last used it and how easy it was. Be willing to try out different ideas to see what works.
Engage your customers in continuing to use your loyalty program
The reason Woolworths and Flybuys are the most popular reward programs http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6983-how-popular-are-customer-loyalty-programs-really-201609261433 is because they are always reminding us. “Do you have your Rewards card”, and “Do you have your FlyBuys card”? In fact, not only do we now expect the question, we are primed and ready with our card in hand.
Lets take a leaf out of their book. Train your customers to use your loyalty program after they have had a taste of its benefits. Offer a genuine incentive to a new member on their next visit to get them started. They will be more inclined to use your loyalty program if they see that it is delivers real benefits.
Call H&L today to find out more about setting up a Customer Loyalty Program for your restaurant
An effective restaurant customer loyalty program in today’s noisy online world is a balance of using technology to make you efficient and taking the time to pay attention to the small things that matter. We look for brands that engage and delight us and we will go back for more of that experience for this reason.
Call HL Australia today on 1800 778 340 to find out more about the loyalty program features of our ZEN Global Membership Software.