Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Consider... a new approach to creating customer loyalty - Part 2

In our first post about a new approach to loyalty we discussed focusing your program on developing true customer loyalty versus luring people in with discounts and freebies. Now let's look at different approaches to achieve that goal.

In a study called The Local-Ladder Effect, researchers found that people are motivated to climb to the next step or tier not only because they want additional rewards, but also because they desire the status of being at a higher tier. People constantly compare themselves to those around them, thus there is a competitive nature that fuels our need to see scoreboards and ratings. 

Exclusivity also makes customers feel more valued. Oftentimes offering something to everyone dilutes the reward's value. If too many people are offered the same reward, then it's no longer perceived as being special. This is the inherent problem with many loyalty programs that send out email campaigns and coupons to everyone that signs up.

Tiered programs feed well into the behavior of social standing. Having different levels appeals to the human behaviors of competitiveness and status. It also encourages loyalty and can even make your customers your best brand advocates.

Some examples of rewards to consider to appeal to these behaviors include:
  • Advanced notifications of special events giving the opportunity to VIPs to book their tables in advance or at a discounted price
  • Special, unlisted menu items 
  • One-of-a-kind experiences such as a cooking lesson with the chef
  • Free corkage
  • Fee valet
  • Bump up on waitlist whereby a VIP is bumped to the top of a waitlist
Anyone can signup for a loyalty club and get that free dessert coupon, but only a high level VIP can get seated right away, making that person feel special and truly rewarded for the time and effort they took to attain that higher tier. 

Those satisfied customers will often become your brand advocate by virtue of bragging rights. Often they will post their special status or reward via social media, thus spreading word about your establishment.

Restaurants can keep tabs on their VIPs by indicating them in Guest Notes on Rezku Prime or Rezku Tablet. Tie those systems into Sendku and restaurants can send targeted emails to their different tier levels. 

All of this feeds your customers' behavioral needs while at the same time motivating them to remain loyal and return over and over in order to rack up points and climb the tiers. By using techniques like this, you've created a true, loyal customer versus a deal grabbing one. 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.

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