Keeping Your Customers Loyal Through Technology

In these increasingly competitive and challenging times securing repeat business is vital. Creating a customer loyalty program is an excellent way for the hospitality and on-trade sector to keep their satisfied customers returning for future business, ultimately increasing overall sales. Loyalty schemes have long been recognised as an effective way to drive repeat business – but how do you make a loyalty scheme that really delivers for your business?
Offering rewards to loyal guests motivates them to continually choose your establishment. While it is important to gain all of your customers’ appreciation and satisfaction for your business through high quality food, drink and service, it essential to narrow down the rewards and reserve offers and promotions for your loyal customers as well. Your patrons should have a sense that you value them and are paying special attention to your loyal customers.

A YouGov survey in 2018 revealed that consumers really do enjoy being part of a loyalty scheme, with 77% of the population being members of some loyalty program and 72% believe they are a good way to reward customers. However, the hospitality sector is lagging behind with only 25% uptake compared to supermarkets having a 65% uptake, indicating either a disconnect between hospitality customers and an inclination to join loyalty schemes or, the hospitality sector not doing enough to promote them!

Tiered Loyalty Schemes

Businesses that have implemented loyalty schemes have found that tiered loyalty schemes serve up almost 3 times more value per customer for food and beverage (F&B) brands when compared to ‘one off’ email offers or discounts according to data from Coniq, a provider of CRM and loyalty solutions.

The research, which analysed over 169,000 transactions made by 57,000 loyalty customers across bars, grab and go F&B outlets and restaurants, identified that brands offering tiered loyalty schemes, which unlock rewards based on levels of spend, drove 2.6 times more in average yearly spend (£58.36) than those driven by one time offers (£22.29).

The research also suggests that the higher quality of customer data and insight that loyalty schemes are able to gather, allows for greater levels of personalisation enabling brands to tailor rewards based on demographics, buying behaviours and key information such as a customer’s birthday or preferred time of day.

Even simple loyalty mechanics such as traditional stamp cards were found to perform significantly better than blanket, discount-led strategies. The research identified that stamp cards led to more than double the visitor return rates when compared to ‘one off’ discounts, with tiered loyalty schemes again the most successful mechanic at 2.3 times higher.

Sean Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer at Coniq, explained: “Our latest research found that 61% of customers who sign up to a database never return to that restaurant, which starkly highlights the importance of identifying and targeting the 39% who do. In addition, there is huge variation in customer lifetime value, underlining the need to identify, nurture and reward your most valuable and loyal customers.”

To make a really effective loyalty scheme, you need an EPOS system as the central hub. That way you can collect customer information, keep track of their loyalty and then reward them for their loyalty! An intelligent EPOS system will provide a business with a wealth of data that can be harnessed for targeted campaigns, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, themed evenings or sporting events, or for that matter any special event throughout the year.

Playing your cards right

The key to getting a loyalty scheme right is by making sure it’s a scheme customers deem worthwhile without compromising profits. Operators should keep away from schemes that give users a percentage discount every time they dine, stay or drink and instead focus on giving customers an incentive to come back. Loyalty cards are an easy place to start but operators need to be careful: many people don’t want a wallet full of plastic and it may be an idea to consider investing in an online system for customers who want to participate but don’t want the clutter. The reward also needs to be more substantial than earning a free drink or collecting points that don’t ever seem to amount to much.

Building brand identity

Creating customer-specific rewards and matching the reward to the concept of your business will help the effectiveness of the program.

Presence online and within the local community is an important factor in encouraging customer loyalty. Businesses should consider microsites for the regions or even for individual outlets, and local social media streams, managed on the ground at each location to notify nearby customers about what matters to them. Independent restaurants and pubs can more easily ensure they’re active online and encouraging engagement from local customers. Running competitions on social media and advertising events online is a great way to remind people about the business and inspire them to visit again. With so many different store and eatery options available, consumers need these little digital reminders to stay loyal.

Serving up quality

One of the easiest and most effective ways to drive customer loyalty in both hospitality and retail has nothing to do with the consumer; instead it comes down to quality of service. In restaurants pubs, bars and hotels, the difference between attentive service and lax service can hugely impact the customers decision to stay loyal and come back – or to never return again. It’s important to ensure the customer’s experience is the number-one priority, because it doesn’t matter how good the food is or how nice the clothes are, if consumers aren’t happy with the service, they’ll vote with their feet.

Keeping in touch

Most retailers and restaurants accumulate a substantial database of customer details, including birthdays, eating preferences, email addresses and phone numbers. As long as customers have opted in for marketing purposes, there’s no reason why restaurant operators and retailers shouldn’t be putting this data to work. Businesses should offer discounts around birthdays and anniversaries, or send a more personalised email now and again, showing relevant new dishes or products. Marketing components of CRM systems are designed to automate this process and make it easier to connect with the customer and encourage repeat visits.

GDPR – A word of warning

In May 2018 European Union’s new Gen Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect to protect the privacy and personal data of consumers. In very simple terms the law means operators need to make sure that anyone parting with personal data is fully informed of privacy and consent statements. When any form of personal data is collected for the purposes of running a loyalty program, a ‘legal basis’ for processing it needs to be considered – consent being one of the most commonly used.

Generally issues to consider our database security expecting opt in/opt out preferences for emails not selling or losing customer data, and be as transparent as possible using plain language when it comes to privacy policy and opt in messages. If in doubt seek advice!


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EPoS and Merchant Solutions from 3R Telecom

3R offers a wide range of hardware: robust, durable EPoS tills from both countertop to self-service kiosks; accompanied by kitchen screens for chefs; along with tablets for waiters; combined with either integrated countertop payment terminals or wireless payment solutions; and much more!

Coupled with our signature CES Touch EPoS software, which can come accompanied by a non-dependant cloud-based solution, this is the cutting edge in EPoS experience. Touch boasts a wide variety of features such as: a comprehensive table planner for any size establishment; an entirely revised split bill system; extensive stock control; and intensive operator management and tracking. We at 3R help to promote both multi-site businesses as well as single site users and can provide support when scaling a business to multi-sites. 3R aim to achieve all your requirements and expectations and are more than happy to take on feedback from our valued customers.

3R’s reporting facilities safely stores information regarding your business and can be uniquely tailored to suit your requirements. 3R hold the advantages of providing customers with speed of service, better staff productivity, cost control, stock control, and visibility with operator tracking/ control, and reduced shrinkage. With mix and match offers, quick meal deals or special offers can be created on the fly. In conjunction with our extensive reporting suite, an increase in profits can be realised almost immediately.

Call on 01992 574 650 or visit www.3rtelecom.co.uk

C.C.R Systems Ltd

CCR Systems have been supplying, installing and maintaining Retail and Hospitality EPOS systems for over 34 years.

We are an ISO-9001 registered company with a diamond award for customer satisfaction. Our Powersuite software package that includes Total Control Premier/Stock, Instant Loyalty and Drilldown is the ideal package for all types of Hospitality & Retail outlets.

Our hardware is a choice of top of the range touch screen terminals from selected quality manufacturers. The ORDERMAN Restaurant table ordering system is without doubt the best of it’s kind, utilising the latest Oderman 7 hand held terminal and Kitchen Monitors or printers. Have a look at our web site on ‘ccrsystems.co.uk’ and view the ORDERMAN video.
We also cater for the client that needs a low cost system that easily compares with the box shifters.

Please contact GEORGE GUNNERY on 0151-644 8296 for a quotation for your establishment, or email to: epos@ccrsystems.co.uk