8 Ways to Drive Customer Loyalty Today

A digital customer loyalty program helps retailers and restaurants enjoy seamless management and stronger relationships with repeat customers.

As punch cards and coupon clippings have become antiquated, it’s time to ask yourself: “Is my customer loyalty program outdated?” While the buying experience continues to revolve around convenience for consumers, discounts and exclusive offers have become a focal point for them, too.

It’s simply not cost-effective to manage a loyalty program through traditional efforts or with outdated tools. By deploying a digital loyalty strategy, retailers and restaurants can enjoy seamless management and stronger relationships with repeat customers.

The following are 8 ways business owners can take advantage of customer loyalty software:

1) Mobile App

The average person looks at his or her phone 46 times each day, incredible! It only makes sense to build your loyalty program around an easy-to-use mobile app, rather than an old-school punch card or keychain tag. Offering customers a reward program through their smartphone ensures they will never miss an opportunity to gain or redeem well-earned points. Consider check-in rewards or surprise offers to urge frequent use, and the ability to virtually pay through the app itself.

2) Free Perks

Providing an incentive is an effective strategy in amassing more app downloads. One approach in executing this is to offer bonuses, freebies, and discounts to program members only. These items will create customer loyalty due to their cost savings and uniqueness to cardholders.

Smartphone users today have limited storage for excess apps. The average person utilizes only 26 each month. With millions of different apps available, it is paramount to create a need that coerces the consumer in keeping the app on their phone. Businesses must ensure offers are consistent and enticing enough so that the user won’t be tempted to delete the app.

3) Partner with Other Companies

This strategy has been known to work best within malls and plazas due to consumer tendencies to visit multiple stores within one shopping outing. Businesses should consider promoting digital receipts that provide buy-one, get-one reciprocals from one store to the other. The key to success is developing a relationship with a business that works well within your target audience, breeding success for all parties involved.

4) e-Newsletter 

While social media seems to get all the love, it’s important to realize that more people use email than Facebook and Twitter combined. E-newsletters are effective ways to reach past buyers. By segmenting lists and sending highly relevant emails, it can be a strategic way to encourage timely purchases. Consider offering special deals, discounts, promotions and more to your target audience.

5) Round Up for Charity

Philanthropy and community involvement is paramount today, no matter the business or industry. One way to get involved is to offer customers the ability to recruit fellow supporters of a charity. For example, if a customer’s bill came to $12.74, their total would be rounded to $13. That 26 cents is automatically donated toward a recognizable charity – which could be at the national or local level.

6) Notifications and Texts 

These are some of the most powerful features of loyalty software. Use push notifications in your app strategically, yet sparingly. Make sure it’s worthwhile and something that your loyal customers care about. This can be geo-targeted based on user location. Also, don’t sleep on text alerts. If you store phone numbers in your database, use SMS messages for same-day specials such as % off orders or a free dessert. The opportunities are endless, but make sure you add some urgency!

7) E-Gift Cards

Like punch cards, no one wants to carry plastic gift cards any longer. Instead, let customers purchase digital credit online. Not only that, but allow them to send this virtual “cash” to their friends and family through the loyalty app.

8) Happy Birthday! 

Storing customer data in the cloud gives you the ability to keep track of useful information, including birthday’s (if they provide it). Who doesn’t love a free birthday gift? Send your loyal customers a special treat on their special day, or on other relevant holidays.

In order to initiate and maintain a customer loyalty program, you need more than a dedicated staff. You need restaurant POS software that integrates seamlessly with customer loyalty software capabilities. Every purchase, visit, check-in, and text should be stored and put to use through the cloud, and tracked through your POS software.

PAR’s innovative, Brink POS software keeps customer data safe and secure in the cloud. Restaurants that deploy Brink can effectively integrate with online/mobile ordering and loyalty programs, along with faster software updates. It’s a monthly payment, SaaS model means there are no long-term commitments!

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