Customer loyalty provides a firm foundation on which any restaurant business can thrive. It enables expansion and growth and can be crucial during tough times. Loyalty also creates brand advocates – 55% of loyal customers will tell their friends and family about a business – and it can increase profits by up to 95%. However, customer loyalty doesn’t tend to arise automatically, it’s something that, more often than not, businesses have to work hard to earn. So, how do you build it for your restaurant?
Perhaps the simplest way to build customer loyalty is via the incentive of a loyalty programme. Delivering value is the key to a loyalty scheme – is it worth your customers being a member? According to a 2017 VISA study, more than 50% of customers want loyalty schemes to be mobile and accessible via smart phones. Developing loyalty apps can be particularly rewarding as they can be personalised and used to build trust.
Loyalty is easily cemented when customers feel like they always get the VIP treatment. Find a way to identify your regular customers, whether by giving them a VIP card or using loyalty programme data. Ensure that those who regularly visit enjoy the perks, whether that’s something as simple as being greeted by name or a free beer on each visit.
From at-table ordering to ePOS technology that provides convenience and security when it comes to payment, integrating technology can be crucial for generating loyalty. The most effective types of restaurant tech are those that enable customers to personalise their experience, which enhance convenience and enjoyment and which demonstrate the business’ commitment to data security.
Create an events schedule
Hosting events sets your business apart from others in the market and gives customers the opportunity to really engage. Exciting and unusual events not only offer customers an incentive to return but also to bring others with them. That could be hosting a film screening or a quiz or having a launch night for a new menu or dish.
Gamification increases loyalty – and spend
An element of gaming can give customers a reason to want to return to your business, as opposed to that of a competitor. You might opt for a games night with classic board games or games on a giant screen. Or you might look to integrating gamification into the order process to help with upsell. Gamification is particularly useful when it comes to loyalty programmes – an element of gaming can increase spend by up to 39%.
Have a heart
A recent study found that almost half of consumers will demonstrate loyalty to a brand that is proactive in its charitable support. This is most effective when it’s regularly done, from frequent donations to hosting monthly fundraising events. Being a giver can also help to attract new customers, as almost three quarters of consumers will recommend somewhere that supports a charitable cause.
Creating loyalty is about simple, effective steps that will make your restaurant stand out and give people a reason to return.
Comtrex’s ePOS system is a great way to increase your customer experience and improve loyalty. Get in touch with Comtrex today on 01293 789 500.