For many Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), the first step toward implementing a loyalty program was to introduce business cards with the offer “buy 10, get the 11th free” on the back. Amazingly, for some of the larger brands, this is still the extent of their loyalty solution.
This raises 3 questions:
- How can outlets better reward customers for their loyalty?
- How can outlets be more dynamic when encouraging people to choose their brand?
- How can outlets capture customer details for targeted marketing initiatives?
In order to answer these 3 questions, I have broken customer loyalty down into 3 areas:
1. Loyalty programs
Offering point accrual and redemption is a great way to reward customers for their loyalty. Points could be based on:
- Purchase amount (x points per $)
- Number of visits (x points per visit)
- Eligible items (x points per visit)
- Eligible combos (x points per item or $)
- New eligible items in period (x points per item or $)
Sumo Salad is a good example of a brand using accrual and redemption to reward loyalty.
2. Stored value and prepaid gift cards
Sored value and gift cards are solutions to look at, when encouraging people to choose your brand. Customers can:
- Pick up a card in-store and load a value
- That value can then be redeemed for future purchases in any store across the business
- Cards can be topped up with additional value
- Bonus awards can be applied with ISSUE or RELOAD events
- Balance inquiries are available in-store, via website or smart phone
Starbucks have pioneered the ability to load value onto a card. You can use a prepaid Starbucks card in any store around the world; no need to carry cash or worry about local currency.
3. Online registration and customer marketing
It is important to collect customer data, so that you not only know who your customers are, but you can encourage them to return. A simply way to do this is to encourage online registration by offing a small incentive. E.g. “Register your details online to be eligible for member’s only discounts”. Once customer details are captured, the database can be used for targeted marketing initiatives such as:
- Emails campaigns around new products or events
- Special rate coupon distribution via email, post or smart phone
- Reminders about promotions and their timeframes
- Important announcements such as new store openings or extended operating hours
With growing competition in the QSR market, it is essential that you conduct a solid analysis of your customer loyalty offering and ask yourself these 3 questions:
- How can I better reward my customers for their loyalty?
- How can I be more dynamic when encouraging people to choose my brand?
- How can I capture customer details for targeted marketing initiatives?
With well thought-out answers to these questions, you will find yourself with a blueprint for a loyalty program that will ensure your customers keep choosing your brand over the one available next door.
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