What do customers expect from loyalty programs now that wasn’t a requirement years back?
Loyalty programs from the restaurant industry started as highly transactional applications. Participation typically followed a model in which a thing of value was given away in exchange for the consumer signing up for the loyalty program and then earning”free things” in exchange for loyalty or repeat visits. The customer would normally receive copious amounts of email advertising once signed up, but the messaging of these emails are general in character; such as new product introductions and such.
As a result of cloud technologies, restaurant owners finally have real-time access to loyalty program information globally. This access is crucial for restaurant chains and business management to allow customized configuration across all channels: in-store, online and on mobile devices, so that everything is compact for guests. Consumers today demand convenience like never before, so downloadable loyalty apps with personalized customer profiles that save behavior and order history are now crucial also.
How must loyalty programs bridge the gap between restaurants/hotels and third parties?
Strong loyalty programs will create a balance between the needs of the company and the needs of the guests. Programs that don’t provide value to the client will become obsolete, as clients won’t find engagement in these kinds of loyalty programs. Similarly, programs with no benefit to the company won’t last either. Resources of big data statistically demonstrate that customers are prepared to give their loyalty in exchange for value.
Value doesn’t always equate to”free.” It may also mean providing exceptional opportunities or providing additional advantage. Point systems are normally the most opportune way to do this. Rewarding customers with points based on how many times they see, the amount they spend, filling out simple surveys, or how many new people they refer to a rewards program can generate points to grow their customer profile. Supply your loyal guests with a simple way to get their points; either via your site, or even better, your mobile app.
What will loyalty programs of the future look like?
Loyalty programs of the future will be constructed holistically around data. Data, along with the profound learning methods of the current AI technology piles foreshadows that applications of the future will adapt more quickly and be more applicable to their participants. Strategies like A/B testing enable rapid learning so that apps can be optimized for involvement while at the same time offering increasing value to the enterprise.
Why is a”one size fits all” loyalty program no longer of interest to customers?
The more information we have on a client — where they live, demographics, birthday, purchase history, etc. — the more the program can optimize for that client’s preferences. While there’ll always be a thematic element of the marketing campaigns driven through loyalty programs, the remainder of the content could be customized for each customer to keep the program interesting and of value. This, of course, retains the restaurant’s brand interesting and applicable to each client.
Building a loyalty program within an omni-channel world can be challenging. Since the omni-channel methodology encourages users to store consistently across one brand, as opposed to purchasing amongst various fragmented stations, companies can struggle with how to adapt to the version. The major, key elements of an omni-channel loyalty program is to digitize the whole experience for the user and embrace agile software solutions that use big data to make a personalized shopping experience for guests.
With an omni-channel approach, companies must tailor to each individual consumer so as to improve retention and earn long-lasting customer loyalty. Gaining valuable insight such as what drives customer’s purchase behaviour can be critical data that drives marketing and business strategies. The more eloquent of an experience a company can make for its customers, the more benefits they will have over competitors.
Where’s the hospitality sector missing chance in loyalty program constructions? What industries do this nicely?
Personally, I feel that the airline business can improve in their loyalty programs and can create more value for customers. Some airlines provide”premiere” or early boarding for favored clients, which is genius. It costs next to nothing for the airline to provide this advantage to its loyal customers and yet it’s a huge value to the clients who’ve”earned” this advantage. The restaurant industry should focus less on”free food” and more about benefits which will make the experience more suitable and/or more pleasurable for their clients.