How to launch a highly functioning loyalty program

By Sky Accountants

Customer loyalty is very important in the hospitality industry and a loyalty program is a good way to attract and maintain return customers through open communication lines and discounts. 

However, it is also crucial to ensure that your loyalty program is organised and properly marketed to reap its benefits. It should not cost you plenty of time and money.

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If you want to create and launch your own loyalty program, you need to analyse the available data on your target demographic. 

Find out how they behave and other data that might aid you in understanding them.  You may want to set-up a system where customers can leave important information such as their average spend, frequency of visits and contact details.  It would be helpful to find out when your customers visit, how they pay, what the most popular items on your menu are and what kind of deals engage them.  You can use this data to know where your loyalty program should focus on or where you need to drive sales to.

While setting up a loyalty program can already feel like an achievement because of all the planning, design and staff meetings it entails to perfect the structure; you still need to give it constant attention for it to work effectively.  You need to push out the program through different marketing channels because it won’t engage or progress on its own.

Remember that you need to allocate enough time, money and energy to implement a highly functioning loyalty program. 

Customers do not like badly organised or badly handled loyalty programs.  According to research, customers do not return to businesses because of the lack of understanding in terms of their requests, the lack of update throughout the experience, and the lack of explanation about the work carried out.

Make sure that your loyalty program will be an asset, not a liability. 

If it stalls, confuses or wastes customer time, you will risk losing them.  You should have the capital to involve designers and marketers and maintain the program a few hours a week yourself.  The loyalty program must be simple, without the need for too many steps before your customer can join.  It will also be helpful if it is connected to your point-of-sale checkpoints to avoid disrupting their experience. If you make it easy, they will enjoy it rather than be annoyed by it.

Your loyalty program should also have its own name for memory retention and branding. 

It is different from a special offer, so communicate key value points to your customers and utilise social media platforms to reach your audience.  Seek the opinion of your long-time customers and staff before going public.

Invest in a high-quality program and create a pattern of return customers. Track their spending patterns and open communication lines with them.  Keep in mind that a successful loyalty program can bring in more profits, so throw in a worthy offer and just earn back the small losses when discounting.

To help you attract and maintain customers, Sky Accountants Ballarat can collect data and background information from the major areas of your business including financial performance, current trading levels, income and expenses, margin analysis and trend analysis (food, beverage, other), marketing strategies, management and HR, systems and procedures and administration, record keeping and measurement.  We can also do an on-site operational review to inspect your physical premises.  

Sky Accountants Ballarat can provide you with an operational and strategic review report which includes monthly Financial Reports that can be used to monitor actual results, budgets and KPIs.  We can work closely with the CEO or General Manager to recommend actions that may help your business reach its financial and business objectives.

Consult the experts about how to attract and maintain return customers.  Click here to speak to Sky Accountants Ballarat who specialise in business.  We are big believers in the use of professional tools to manage your business.  The right tools can streamline your processes so that the business is best placed to trade profitably.   

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