7 Steps to Running a Successful Loyalty Programme

Loyalty programmes incentivise regular and repeat business across the hospitality industry and are a key marketing tactic. When implemented well, a loyalty scheme will encourage customers to choose your brand over others, increasing spend and giving the feeling of value and exclusivity.

Not sure where to start? Consider each of these points which can help guide you towards creating a successful loyalty scheme, incentivising future business and returning customers:

  1. Design your loyalty programme

When creating your programme, it is important to understand your customers’ preferences. An enormous 77% of British adults are members of at least one loyalty scheme, making this a popular method of increasing dedication to brands. In fact, 72% believe loyalty programmes are a great way for brands and businesses to reward customers, while 59% believe every brand should have one.

  1. Meet customers’ expectations

The most common reason customers join a scheme is to receive discounts and exclusive offers, with 87% of people saying this is the reason they part with their data. This is followed by 55% who look for discounts and rewards from other companies, and 52% who sign up to loyalty programmes for free products, services or experiences. Do market research to understand your customers’ preferences and use this to determine the rewards you give.

  1. Have a fast sign-up process

Don’t make a customer loyalty scheme time-consuming to sign up to. Asking for large amounts of personal information can deter customers, particularly in an age where consumers are increasingly cautious about giving their data away. Prioritise the information you need people to provide when they sign up to your loyalty programme, limiting this to make it hassle-free and quick to register.

  1. Make it easily accessible

However great your loyalty programme may be, if it’s difficult to access or redeem, customers will quickly be deterred. Whether it is through an easy-to-find page on your website, a mobile app, a physical loyalty card or entering an email address at the counter, make it as hassle-free as possible for customers.

  1. Promote it at your hospitality venue

Whether you’re a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, or hotel, staff should speak passionately and informatively about your loyalty programme. Make sure those promoting it can answer all questions customers may have and make it desirable, clearly explaining the benefits. 

  1. Think about reward expiry dates

There is nothing more frustrating than sending a customer an offer, only for them to visit and realise it expired within 24 hours. Be transparent with the duration of rewards or incentives and make them last a reasonable amount of time. By doing this, you are able to avoid damaging your brand reputation and disappointing loyal customers.

  1. Create a community

The perfect loyalty programme will be desirable to join and will also get people talking. Many businesses in the hospitality industry treat their regular customers with early releases or exclusive offers, available only to members of their schemes. By creating a community, customers are typically more engaged and interactive with the brand. An impressive 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand with a quality loyalty programme.