Tips for making your loyalty program easy and attractive

More than ever, restaurants need to think outside the box when it comes to gaining and keeping loyal customers. As marketing tools like apps and loyalty programs become table stakes, brands need other competitive advantages to gain effective engagement that leads to increased revenue. Loyalty programs are nothing new, except according to a KPMG Report, 61% of consumers globally agree that joining loyalty programs is very difficult – or that earning rewards is very difficult. Ease of use is clearly where brands can excel to help increase lifetime customer value.

What do we ask customers when we ask them to sign up for loyalty programs? We are, in essence, asking them to go out of their way to do something or take an extra step. And the more difficult it is, the more you have to donate to motivate the customer to follow through.

So, what is the key to success with loyalty programs? Make joining as simple as possible and it’s even easier to stay involved. As a result, your brand can relieve reliance on the exorbitant discounts that are often required to get customers to take those onerous extra steps, adding up to significant savings at the bottom line.

Make it easy to order directly and become a loyal customer

Online ordering experiences and loyalty programs must be customer-friendly. In the ordeal against a third party, making sure customers order directly is key to customer retention, data that helps drive more personalized marketing, and commission dollars. Third-party delivery channels invest a huge amount of time, money, and resources to make their interfaces so user-friendly that customers order through them without a second thought. Brands should strive to make their ordering experience seamless through partnerships with online ordering providers and integrated CRM experiences.

The more difficult your application or online ordering experience, the more giveaway or discount you will have to increase registration and first party ordering. This can be too expensive for restaurants, and unnecessary for customers who were planning on making a purchase anyway.

Alternatively, if your loyalty program is easy to sign up for or better yet, simply place your first online purchase, and easy to use, there will be less incentive needed. Customers are more likely to return to purchase directly, either through an app or order online, when they know they will earn progress toward perks and the ordering and process will be simple.

Greg Creed, former CEO of Yum! Brands and Board Member at Thanx, coined the term “Easy Strikes Better” in his recently published book RED Marketing: Convenience, Ease, and Excellence. Ease of use and convenience will always win out over the many shiny elements that brands often prioritize, which is why even the most sophisticated and customized apps still need to be user-friendly for consumers.

So, how can restaurants make their loyalty program easier? Here are some improvements to focus on to improve the user experience.

  • Use a login without a password. One of the biggest problems with the digital dialing experience is having to type in a password, or forgetting the password altogether.
  • Provide an easy login link. Modern user experiences bypass passwords entirely with more secure authentication methods like two-factor authentication.
  • One-click re-order offer. Many customers like to order the same things over and over again. Make it easy for them to re-order with a single click or with a tap, and save their previous orders.
  • Avoid administrative hurdles in advance. Your customers are hungry. Put your list front and center and after they complete their basket just ask for information like name and location.
  • Ample rates. Personalization should not be limited to your marketing approach. Customers should be able to personalize and personalize their orders based on preferences, dietary restrictions, etc. Make it easy for guests to add modifiers to their orders or they may go to third party channels that already do this.
  • Suggest add-ons with a single click. Create Opportunities to increase revenue, such as “Add an avocado for $1” with just one click or tap, or “Add a dessert or milkshake” within the order window.

Don’t depend on the app

All that said, you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in the app basket. Ease of use for customers also means making it easier for them to interact on their favorite channels. Loyalty must not specifically rely on an Application to register or participate in each purchase. Relying solely on app engagement, the loyalty hack will almost always amount to a line of affinity. When you remove dependence on apps, this is how you can start to see 60 percent+ loyalty rates.

Asking your customer to add another app to their smartphone is a big ask, especially for new or first-time customers who haven’t yet built a strong enough connection with the brand to warrant downloading the app. In fact, it is these customers who are the most important to move into your marketing funnel, so that you can capture their data through loyalty and guide them to subsequent purchases.

Personalization is the key

Take convenience a step further by making your experience not just easy, but easy for a specific individual. The same KPMG report shows that 60 percent of consumers say they are loyal because they feel a personal connection to a company. When you use data to create messages and deliver offers that are more in line with your customer’s habits and needs, you give them a deeper, more rewarding experience.

User-friendly digital experiences help create the flywheel. The easier it is for customers to order directly and engage in loyalty, the more data you can collect. And with more data, brands can customize marketing more effectively to drive repeat purchases. Our easy-to-engage and effortless loyalty program makes all the difference when it comes to driving more profitable behaviors from your customers. By eliminating the friction of traditionally onerous orders, brands can rely less and less on expensive discounts and see better return on investment from their marketing efforts.

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