What kind of Loyalty Program does your customer actually want in the holiday season!

With the festive season knocking at the door, people are dashing for their annual holiday shopping and busy planning holiday gatherings with friends and family. Amidst all the rush, food is always on top of their minds.

Why not add to the cheer by rewarding your customers with a thoughtful loyalty program?

Whether you’re a major chain, a small local cafe or even an online-only restaurant, loyalty programs can help drive sales and engage customers, while bringing significant benefits to the diners as well. According to the Bond Loyalty Report 2019, 73% of customers are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs and 79% say such programs make them more likely to continue doing business with brands.

If you haven’t implemented a reward system yet or have been thinking of tweaking the existing one, the holiday season is the perfect time to do so because this is when purchases see an upward surge. But these programs need to be meaningful and revolve around building deep relationships with customers rather than focusing on quick profits.

Today’s customers are not merely looking for discounts and freebies but a much closer connection with the brand of their choice. They are drawn to loyalty programs that make their brand experience better, where rewards and benefits are appealing and meet their personal needs.

The holiday season provides just the right opportunities to get creative and design something that’s both functional and thoughtful. Here are some handy tips to help you plan a successful loyalty program.

Memorable experiences

Holidays are when people create a lifetime of happy memories, so why should you, as a brand, offer them, anything different?

Give your customers a chance to experience something unexpected, unique and unforgettable because purchase preferences are transforming and people aren’t just spending money on buying things. They want to connect with the brand. Make it memorable by including games or contests in their loyalty programs.

For instance: encourage the members of the rewards program to search the website and social media pages to find the “magic” daily code. The code can be changed every day and the customers can use the same to unlock bonus discounts at the time of checkout. Just make sure that the payoff is truly rewarding.

Successful integration of such programs will increase customer retention, brand recognition and not to mention provide a quantum for word of mouth marketing.

Personalized services

The Bond Loyalty Report 2019 suggests that when brands offer the right personalization, there's almost seven times an increase in member satisfaction with the loyalty program. In addition, members also tend to spend more, stay longer and say good things about the brand.

To offer such tailor-made services requires you to know your customers intimately—what dishes and drinks do they order regularly, how much do they spend on each meal, do they prefer in-house dining or online orders, etc.

Thanks to technology, it’s not difficult to gather such important data and efficient restaurant management systems can help you to do so. During the holiday season, providing a personal touch to the dining experience will definitely make for happier guests.

Something like flat 10% off on their repeat orders throughout the holiday month is something that would attract them. Sweeten the relationship by sending personalized e-cards to your loyal members on Christmas and New Year.

Long-term benefits

With an attractive loyalty program, you can attract a host of new customers but once the festive sheen disappears, so will the customers’ interest in you. All the investment you put in to promote the program will prove futile if this happens.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand that customers are not only looking for loyalty programs that will see them through the holiday season but one that will offer them long-term benefits. Make sure you look ahead and conceive something that will ensure year-round engagement.

The key is to pull in customers with impressive holiday-themed offers and retain them with rewards that work beyond the season.

Extra cheer

Holidays should give people more opportunities to celebrate and this means that with a little extra incentive, you can give your customers more reasons to cheer.

We’re not just talking about discounts or free food here. Studies show that 75% of customers today expect to be rewarded for non-transactional activities like watching the brand videos, taking a survey or referring a friend.

Time is a form of currency and customers should be rewarded for spending it on your brand. Offer rewards like free delivery on the next purchase, no packaging cost etc. for participating and spreading holiday campaigns.

The easier you make it for your customers to interact with you, the more likely they’re going to keep ordering from you.

Simplicity and convenience

Time is luxury during this time of the year. If your loyalty program takes too long to register, has complicated terms, is difficult to redeem, then you’re definitely not going to find too many takers. Design your program such that they are easy to sign up for, offer trouble-free tracking and have speedy rewards.

Keep the reward system as simple as earning 25 points per dollar on online transactions. You may also end the holiday craze with a bang, where the customers with maximum orders throughout the month can earn an additional 50 points per dollar, applicable for only one day!

Ready for the holidays?

Don’t miss out on the holiday season to create a strong connection between you and your customers, utilize all that your loyalty program to give members the red carpet treatment.

Want to integrate a loyalty program to your restaurant’s online ordering website? Speak to us today!