Restaurants across the industry are increasingly innovating and finding new ways to provide convenient and frictionless experiences. Advances in guest engagement, from Wi-Fi marketing integrations to subscriptions, make it easier than ever for visitors to interact with your brand. They also enable you to determine which messages and promotions will resonate best in the future.
Guest engagement helps you get to know more of your customers and keep them active with your brand. Here are five of the top trends for delivering high impact to your top-line sales:
Looking for ways to update your guest engagement strategy? Today’s loyalty programs don’t just offer discounts – they leverage machine learning to target guests with the offers and promotions most relevant to them while motivating behaviors that increase revenue. In order to be successful, loyalty programs need to enroll as many guests as possible, encourage them to become active members, and drive incremental purchases, so if your impression of a loyalty program is just a digitized version of the old-fashioned punch card, think again!
Here are seven ways to reward guests that can be built into your loyalty program to boost guest activity and ROI for your brand:
1. Experience-Based Rewards
Some loyalty programs reward their guests by providing memorable experiences. This works particularly well for fine-dining brands, which may offer access to exclusive events and allow points to be redeemed for private tasting menus. Some programs also give members a superior dine-in experience through priority seating and the ability to make reservations in advance. Receiving preferential treatment and exclusive experiences makes these guests feel not only valued but special.
2. Tiered Birthday Rewards
The birthday reward is a staple of most loyalty programs, but it doesn’t need to be the same for all of your guests. California Pizza Kitchen’s CPK Rewards program offers different birthday rewards for guests depending on their level of engagement. Whereas guests in the lowest tier are rewarded with a free birthday dessert, those in the other three tiers receive a free birthday entrée. Guests in the diamond and elite tiers also receive free entrées on their half birthday and earn double points throughout their birthday month, giving these guests even more reasons to celebrate! Using this rewards structure for birthdays makes it possible for all members to benefit, but the rich rewards are reserved for your best guests.
3. One-to-One Marketing
Loyalty programs should no longer employ a one-size-fits-all approach. Sending out the same offers and promotions to all of your guests is not going to drive the impact you need. As the penetration of your program grows and you gather data on more of your guests, you can use these insights to fine-tune your marketing strategy. Restaurants should target each guest with individualized offers and promotions, providing content that is relevant to them while giving you the best possible revenue drivers. […]
More than ever before, customers are driven by convenience; they want what they want when they want it, and where. And, so, to keep up with consumer demand, restaurants and convenience stores need to begin serving up their offerings outside of their own walls.
The term “off-premises” refers to delivery, takeout, and catering experiences. An off-premises interaction is one in which a customer is receiving and consuming food or goods outside of the restaurant or c-store.
The challenge for c-stores, and for restaurants especially, is to maintain the positive brand experience—and collect the essential customer data—when the entire interaction is taking place outside of their walls.
For the most part, the guest engagement drops to just two critical touch points: the point of order (whether online or over the phone) and the time of distribution (either pick-up or delivery). […]
Facts and figures are easy to come by for any guest engagement platform, be it loyalty programs, e-club programs, or CRM. But what are the key measures that marketers can rely on to deliver material impact with the customer engagement program? Running more than 350 programs has provided Paytronix with a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t, telling us where to focus effort for the greatest impact.
To remember the most important measures, use the acronym EAT. It stands for Enrollment, Activity, and Triggering. Plus, there’s an additional measure called Penetration Rate. Consider how these four measures impact your guest engagement program:
- Enrollment: Adding new members drives program impact. Although some members will inevitably move on from your brand for a variety of reasons, the key is to add more than you lose. Enrollment can be encouraged through numerous marketing strategies, including promotions and cashier contests. You should also make it easy for guests to join by offering mobile apps, text-to-enroll, NFC loyalty, and website enrollment.
- Activity: It takes active members for a program to maximize its potential, and the level of activity provides a multiplier effect on the amount of impact. Having a frictionless, guest-centric, fully supported program will result in a high percentage of active guests. Your program should offer attainable benefits and make it easy for guests to interact with the brand. Implementing well-thought-out customer engagement strategies will provide the best results on your program’s success.
- Triggering: The extent to which your team can trigger incremental spending is directly related to the impact your program delivers. Incremental spending is primarily measured in two ways, with the first being an analysis of pre- and post-program transactional data. How were the members behaving before the program launched and what are they doing post-launch? Typically, Paytronix programs see at least a 20% increase in spend after the launch happens.
The other way to measure is by using target-and-control campaigns. These enable the marketer to hold a control group out from the targeted segment. When results are reported, a clear picture of incremental spend and visits comes into focus. The control group behaves as it normally would, while the target group exhibits the behavior prompted by the marketing message or special challenge presented. Target-and-control programs answer the question that CFOs have been asking CMOs for years: “How many of these guests would have visited anyway?”
- Penetration Rate: The percentage of checks associated with a guest who identified as a member is the penetration rate. This is an important measure because the higher the penetration rate is, the more opportunity the brand has to drive impact with the program. If the penetration rate dips below 15%, the brand should be alarmed, as programs with low penetration rates generally underperform on all organization expectations. Paytronix clients routinely achieve penetration rates of 47–70%.
Brands that focus on these four measures deliver the greatest impact to their organizations. Visit us at www.paytronix.com to learn more.