5 Steps to Create a Loyalty Program that Drives Sales

Posted by Natalie Korz

Natalie is the Technical Writer for SpeedLine Solutions. Her adoration for pizza goes all the way back to the early days of her childhood when her family used to have Friday Pizza Nights and watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

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Maintaining a strong customer base is crucial for the long-term success of any restaurant. A loyal customer is five times more likely to repurchase and seven times more likely to try a new dish than new customers. However, simply having a program isn’t enough; it needs to engage your customers on an emotional level and effectively drive sales. After all, nearly every restaurant offers a points or perks system—you need to create a program that stands out from the competition. This blog post defines loyalty program best practices while providing recommendations for achieving remarkable results.

How Does a Customer Loyalty Program Help a Restaurant?

Before diving into the strategies for enhancing your customer loyalty program, we first need to understand why such programs are essential for your pizza restaurant.

Increases Revenue: Research shows it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, plus loyal customers tend to spend more. According to Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%.

Promotes Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Satisfied customers become brand advocates. They are more likely to recommend your restaurant to friends and family, effectively serving as free promoters for your business.

Nurtures Customer Relationships: Loyalty programs are an excellent way to make your customers feel recognized and appreciated. A personalized loyalty program increases satisfaction, engagement, and brand loyalty.

Now that we understand the importance of loyalty programs, let's look at strategies for improving them.


5 Steps to Improve Your Customer Loyalty Program

1. Make it a Personalized Experience

Treat your loyalty program like a relationship with your customers. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations. Tailor your offers to their preferences to emotionally engage them more effectively. For example, use data from their past orders to suggest personalized deals and promotions, and offer them an exclusive deal on their birthday.

Result: Personalization can increase sales by up to 20%.


2. Offer Exclusive Perks

An effective loyalty program provides value to its customers. For example, create a VIP tier within your loyalty program that offers exclusive early access to new menu items, limited-time discounts, and special events, to make your loyalty program feel enticing and exciting.

Result: Implementing member-only perks can boost customer loyalty by 25%.


3. Communicate Value Consistently

Regularly communicate with your loyalty program members to keep them engaged and informed about your latest events, offers, and news. Your emails compete with the rest of your customers' inboxes, so grab their attention with a strong subject line, short and to-the-point content, and an enticing CTA (call to action) of what to do next. Some powerful CTAs look like: "Get 25% Off Order", "Try Harvest Pizza Now", and "Get 2nd Pizza Free Now".

Result: For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses can expect an average return of $42.


4. Leverage Cross-Platform Marketing

Social media is a valuable tool for nearly any marketing campaign, but posting to one channel might not be enough. Research shows that cross-platform marketing (promoting your campaign across various channels) effectively reaches a wider audience and promotes a cohesive brand experience. Share user-generated content, run contests, and encourage customers to tag your restaurant in their posts across your restaurant’s social media channels, like Meta (formerly Facebook), Instagram, TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter).

Result: Customers who engage with companies via social media spend 30% more.


5. Create Channels for Feedback

Your customers have valuable experiences and opinions; provide them with the right incentives and opportunities to share them. Surveys and feedback forms are structured methods for understanding their preferences, concerns, and suggestions. To encourage completion, keep surveys short (no more than two minutes) and provide an incentive, like 20% off their next order.  Gathering customer feedback for your restaurant not only makes customers feel heard but also provides valuable insights for improving your business.

Result:  Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue.


Restaurant Loyalty Program Best Practices

To summarize, some best practices for enhancing your restaurant's loyalty program include:

  1. Offering personalized rewards and experiences
  2. Implementing exclusive perks
  3. Communicating regularly
  4. Engaging customers across social media
  5. Encouraging and acting on customer feedback

With the above strategies, pizza restaurant owners can create an emotional connection with customers that leads to increased loyalty and higher profits. Remember, a well-implemented loyalty program isn't just about rewards; it's about building lasting relationships with your patrons. It’s time to take the leap: invest in your loyalty program and watch your pizza restaurant thrive in today's competitive market.

Interested in learning more about how to build a successful loyalty program? Read 5 Features Customers Expect From Your Restaurant's Loyalty Program.

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Posted on Thu, Oct 19, 2023 @ 08:10 AM.
Updated on November 9, 2023 @ 7:23 PM PST.

Tags: Customer Loyalty, Customer Service, Restaurant Marketing, Social Media Marketing

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