A Fresh Batch of Loyalty Engagement for 2017


Good news! Americans love loyalty programs. In fact, the average household is enrolled in 29 different programs! Yet they’re only active in 12 or so. (1) So it’s vital that your program stand out and keep your customers engaged.

Since repeat customers spend up to 67% more than new customers (and it costs 5-10 times more to get new customers than to keep existing ones) (1), you just might consider a few of these business-building strategies to increase your customers’ lifetime value.

1. Show Value of Your Program Quickly

Create a friendly onboarding process for new members. Show them the benefits of the program, make it easy to understand and reveal all the ways they can earn rewards. And you don’t have to reserve this strategy for new members, you can send similar information to existing customers as a reminder.

2. Prove Value at Every Touchpoint

Starbucks does a great job at this (2). But even if you don’t have a loyalty app, you do have customer touchpoints that can be used to foster loyalty, including your marketing, customer service desk, packaging and even the hold message.

3. Reward for Engagement

This is a great way to stand out, since only 25% of loyalty programs reward customers for some sort of engagement (3). Reward your loyalists for activities such as referring friends, reviewing products and taking surveys—all wins for your business.

4. Regard Your Customers as Members

As most loyalty programs are transaction based (and fairly predictable), yours can stand out by delivering value outside of the transaction. Stop thinking of your buyers as customers and more like members of your fan club—every day.

There are hundreds of ways to do this, from featuring loyal customers in social posts and sending loyalists personalized thank you notes, to giving them members-only upgrade options every time they shop.

And, after consistently doing so, your loyalty program just might become an invaluable part of your product….with your loyal customers your biggest fans.

5. Give Members the VIP Treatment

If you treat customers like members, you still need strategies to build additional excitement. That’s when you roll out the red carpet, figuratively of course.

First, tell them they’re a VIP! Send a card or email. Then give them an extra level of service. Let them “skip the line” with advance sales and early warnings. If you have tiered status—let them skip up to the top (at least temporarily) to inspire them to buy more. Special treatment can also include free products (with purchase) or sneak peeks of new product roll-outs.

The VIP treatment doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive. The recognition alone will excite most people. The important thing is to make customers feel privileged and appreciated.

We’re here if you need any more loyalty ideas—or if you’d like to offer dining incentives in your loyalty program. Simply contact us at incentivesinfo@restaurant.com or (855) 243-2558.

(1) Major Rewards: 3 Customer Loyalty Programs That Actually Add Value
(2) Loyalty Case Study: My Starbucks Rewards
(3) Fixing the Cracks: Reinventing Loyalty Programs for the Digital Age