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How To Create Customer Relationships With Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty

How To Create Customer Relationships With Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty

Customer loyalty is something every business owner strives to achieve, and it can be a tricky thing to gain. For some, it comes easily and it can seem to the outside world like they’re in cahoots with a higher power. For others, it feels like it belongs alongside statements like ‘I can’t make people fall in love’, and ‘I can’t bring people back from the dead’, amongst a genie’s terms & conditions. ‘I can’t create customer loyalty’ is just another rule to make Aladdin feel like the street rat that he is so constantly told he is.

But what if you could create customer loyalty? What if a wish granted by an animated genie voiced by Robin Williams could be emulated, and this time not by Will Smith?

I’m talking, of course, about customer loyalty schemes and below I will outline how a customer loyalty program works in general, and how you can harness them to work for your business covering these key areas:

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What is  customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty is the ongoing relationship between a customer and a business. Positive feelings toward a brand build the dedication of a customer to repeatedly return to a business and purchase goods or services. 

What are the types of customer loyalty programs?

Like most things, customer loyalty programs come in all shapes & sizes and they can reward customers in many different ways.

A common loyalty program within the hospitality industry is one based around frequency. We’ve all got wallets and purses stuffed full of cafe cards filled which themselves are peppered with holes punched out of them, building towards the promise of that glorious free cup upon your 10th purchase.

It’s a simple way to make sure that out of the multiple cafes you have to choose from for your morning fix, you choose their cafe.

And there’s others, such as special discounts where a customer receives a voucher for something, let’s say $10 off their next visit. These can be very helpful in getting customers to spend a little more than they would normally, all under the illusion of saving money.Person paying with a crisp pineappleBare Wholefoods in Sydney took this route when they celebrated their 4th birthday, sending a $10 discount code to their customers via email. This alone generated an extra $11.5k in attributable revenue which, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes offers like these worth every penny.

There’s also a points-based program where customers can accrue points that can be converted into a monetary amount to be spent in-store. These can be tiered too, so a $4 coffee can give you, say, 10 points which would equal $1 earned to spend in-store, but something like a social media share would get you 100 points. It incentivises the customer to not only spend money in your business, but also take part in your marketing too.

Western Australia’s Pinjarra Bakery introduced a points-based reward system which saw 58% of their customers returning for a 2nd time and visiting an average of 5 times per month.

Finally, there’s customer loyalty programs that don’t involve any financial investment from the customer at all. Sounds risky, I know, but rewarding customers who merely spread the word with a discount offered for each referral is a solid way to gain their trust and with that, their loyalty too.

Why are customer loyalty programs important?

For starters, if you reward your customers for their loyalty, they’re far more likely to keep coming back, as opposed to the cafe down the street who has no customer loyalty program, even if your product isn’t as good as theirs. 

Sometimes, a little kickback here & there is worth more than the best croissant on the strip, if you get what I’m saying.

And these rewarded customers are going to tell their friends about it too.

Think about it, there’s no greater feeling than the smugness felt when you’ve been on the receiving end of a bargain, right? And as dirty as it can make you feel, you’re still compelled to tell everyone within earshot of how savvy you’ve been with your savings. And those people will most-likely have ears, and they will hear you and become jealous that they’re missing out on the VIP treatment.

And because it’s 2022, this gloating isn’t limited to strictly spoken words. They will absolutely gloat online, and their followers will see the Instagram story of a takeaway cup with your business’ branding on it, and the overlaid caption about how they got it for free alongside a couple of charming gifs, and an idea will seed in their minds that they too must visit your business so that they can make their followers feel exactly the brand of FOMO that they felt, and the cycle will repeat itself until the end of time.

It is a truly great form of marketing.

Are there any weaknesses to customer loyalty programs?

As with most great things, there is a weakness, and your customer loyalty program is not immune to these.

They are, however, not too big a deal, and so you shouldn’t be put off, trust me.

What are these minor weaknesses, you ask?

There will be some investment from the bottom-line when you decide to kick off your program. These can be as straightforward as printing off a run of physical loyalty cards and buying a hole punch. 

They could be the small amount of money invested into promoting your new loyalty program on social media, so that in between pictures of other businesses’ customer gloats, up pops an advertisement for yours.

Or, if you’re more frugal than most, it could merely be the sting you feel when a customer qualifies for a freebie, and you have to hand one over.

All of these can be seen as weaknesses, but once you dig a little deeper, you can see that they’re clearly not.

How do you measure customer loyalty?

But how will we know when true loyalty has been achieved? We’re not kings or queens. Our customers aren’t going to bend the knee and pledge fealty to us.

If only it were that simple.

No, for this we have to dig into our metrics a little, and study the juicy details inside.

Now, depending on how you implement your loyalty program, there are varying degrees of how that loyalty can be measured.

If you have a fully digital system, customers should all have an individual identity of some sort within your business, and this can be used to track how much, and how often they grace you with their patronage.Business owner tracking customer loyalty program successIf you’ve sent out a special offer, it’s as easy as checking how many customers have redeemed it.

And if you’ve chosen a physical system, you can dedicate a button on your POS for that 10th coffee free, and check how many times it’s been used. This will also come in handy when it comes to tracking how much extra revenue these regular customers bring in. Just see how many transactions have gone through using this dedicated button and how much was spent to get an idea of the extra revenue a good loyalty scheme can generate.

On top of all of these, there’s also customer reviews, where you can see people so loyal to your business that they felt compelled to immortalise their loyalty with a 5-star backing, and a paragraph about vegan options, wait times and friendly service.

What are the best customer loyalty programs?

Honestly, the best customer loyalty programs are the ones where neither the customer, nor the business has to think about it.

For example, my local pizza place does a 10th pizza free program with online orders, and because I have to log in to order, all of my details, including the sobering reminder of how much pizza I consume, is already there and is updated automatically with every purchase.

Again, any offers they send to my email are usually redeemed. Stuff like free delivery, even though we all know I could do with the exercise, is too enticing an opportunity to pass up.

And you can bet that as the weekend approaches, my Instagram feed is peppered with these offers in what has to go down as one of the most successful targeted marketing campaigns of all-time as images of pepperoni, and offers of a free garlic bread get me punching their website in Chrome and placing orders almost on autopilot. Every. Single. Time.

Introducing Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty

I think you’ll agree that introducing a loyalty program to your venue can prove to be an extremely profitable endeavour if it’s done correctly.

With Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty, you can put your business in the best position possible to achieve this success and see not only more customers through your doors, but also see them more often which can lead to only one thing: more profits for your business.

Learn more about Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty

Discover exactly how Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty can help your business create lasting relationships with your customers today.

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