Making Dough with Diane: December 2013

Earning loyalty: Here are six things loyalty programs can do for your business
Diane Chiasson
December 04, 2013
By
In this age of online deals, coupons and specials that flood our inboxes on a daily basis, it can be a challenge to get customers to remain loyal to your pizza operation or attract new business.

Signing up for a daily deal offer can be costly and does not necessarily mean that the coupon buyers will return to your store without another deal. In fact, 80/20 rule of business says that 80 per cent of your sales comes from 20 per cent of your customers, so your pizza operation should be focusing on building relationships with your core repeat clients through incentives and rewards.

A loyalty rewards program is an ideal way to reward your customers and also an attractive selling tool for new customers. Remember to ensure that the benefits are easily attainable and uncomplicated to use.

Here are a few ways to create loyalty programs that will help retain customers and keep them coming back for more.

1. Retain customers
A customer loyalty program will help you retain customers, which is the key to growing your business. Statistics show that more than 25 per cent of customers say they are much more likely to shop at a business where they have a loyalty rewards card. Use a points system to sell slow-moving products. A points system also will attract customers to your pizzeria on off-peak days and encourage increased traffic and spending.

2. Get more traffic to your website
Encourage customers to visit your website to sign up for your loyalty program.

Allow your customers to track their points on your website, as well as download coupons, get rewards and read about your weekly specials and promotions. By making your website an interactive place where your customers can monitor their rewards, you will boost traffic to your website and enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) at the same time. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and that your rewards are easily attainable.

3. Learn about your loyal customers
A loyalty program also will help you keep track of who your customers are and what they like. You will be able to track the frequency of your customers’ visits, how much they spend and what they are buying. Armed with this type of information, your pizzeria will be able to put together a much more targeted marketing plan and also establish a better relationship with your customers.

4. Increase communication
By increasing communication with your most loyal customers, you can drive repeat visits. Set up your loyalty program so that each and every time a customer visits your store, e-mail is automatically sent to thank them for their visit. If a loyal customer has not visited your pizza operation in more than two weeks, an e-mail will automatically get sent out with a coupon for a free slice or 10 per cent discount. Constant communication will help keep your business in the minds of your customers and keep them coming back.

5. Increase word-of-mouth activity
The best advertising for any business is strong word of mouth. Your loyal customers are sure to refer your pizzeria to their family and friends. Give your loyal customers an incentive to make referrals by offering them bonus points when they refer a friend to your pizza operation.

6. Make loyal members feel like VIPs
Make your loyal customers feel extra special by offering them exclusive invitations to special events held at your business like the opportunity to taste new menu items, pizza-making lessons from your chef, special recipes or the chance to enter various contests. By making your customers feel like VIPs, you are also getting them to believe in and become involved in your brand.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .

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