Getting members to enroll in your restaurant’s loyalty program is difficult — keeping them is even harder. From online ordering to delivery and reservation apps, diners have more choices than ever before to sway their appetite and spending.
In this saturated market, is it possible to lure lost loyalty program members back from the competition? Whether they’ve totally opted out of your program or simply haven’t ordered in a while, the short answer is yes. The trick is knowing how.
Start with reviews
The cardinal rule of restaurants — or any business really — is “the customer is always right.” If your customers have something to say, listen closely. Tap into customer feedback via surveys, reviews, and questionnaires, either in-house or online. Now more than ever, with sites and apps like Yelp, Google My Business, OpenTable, as well as the abundance of social media foodie bloggers and influencers, customers have the power when it comes to reviews and ratings.
Track your reviews and respond to them when appropriate — and most importantly, take them to heart. If the feedback is less than ideal, you have a clear direction of what to adjust to draw your customers back in. On the flip side, diners’ positive reviews provide great content to repurpose and promote to boost company morale. Bottom line? You can’t get anywhere without happy customers, so if they’re not coming back for dinner, you have plenty of avenues to find out why and fix it ASAP.
Show your emotional side
We’ve all seen restaurants increasingly show their silly and feisty sides, so why not show a little emotion? All it takes is telling your customers you miss them. Gifting exclusive discounts, coupons, or products through a re-engagement campaign are easy ways to incentivize your lost loyalty members to return to your establishment.
Starbucks does a great job of making its re-engagement content personal. If a member’s loyalty account becomes dormant, the coffee giant sends an email reminder about its free birthday reward. To capitalize on the offer, customers must refresh their information, which Starbucks then uses to personalize content even further. Most of the time, lost loyalty members are open to returning, but your brand needs to make it worth their while.
Keep it fresh
Your customers are always evolving and changing (and so are their wants and needs). That means your loyalty program should, too. Restaurants with static loyalty programs that don’t shift with customers’ changing interests will be left behind.
Successful loyalty programs keep up with their customers (or even better, predict their future wants and exceed them) to delight members consistently. Create unique, interactive experiences that your customers will enjoy and take the opportunity to collect zero-party data that can be used to further personalize your interactions. Look for a loyalty solution provider that supports rapid innovation using first-party data so you can quickly create new, personalized marketing campaigns to meet the needs and wants of your customers.
Keep them coming back with social
With privacy laws and policies like GDPR coming into play, it can be difficult to contact former restaurant-goers once they unsubscribe from your emails. If that’s no longer an option to reach loyalty members, keep the lines of communication open with social media.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow restaurants to target advertisements to customers based on similar interests, demographics, and more. When properly implemented, social advertisements reinforce your message with your ideal audience and keep your restaurant brand top of mind.
As the pool of competition grows — and as customers join more loyalty programs — it’s easy for them to forget about the benefits of your restaurant’s loyalty program and become dormant. However, creative re-engagement tactics like satisfaction surveys, exclusive offers, and social marketing can get your program back on their radar and into your restaurant. If you’re ready to get started, contact Marigold Engage+ today.
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