We are all familiar with the vegetable gardens at Albert Heijn, the Ikea Family Card and the Douwe Egberts cut-out stamps that have been around for almost a hundred years. Savings programmes have been around for years. And they work. After all, the Dutch are crazy about discounts and free items. Fast food chains, hotel chains and airlines have also recognised this. Strangely enough, loyalty programmes in the traditional hospitality industry are still lagging behind. Time to change that!
Indeed, studies conducted several years ago showed that 53% of consumers are waiting for a loyalty programme from their favourite restaurant. That percentage has only increased in the years since, as consumers have become more accustomed to receiving personalised offers and rewards.
What is a loyalty programme?
Consumers are therefore eager for loyalty programmes and such a programme can also be very useful for entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector. The purpose of such a programme is to bind your guests to you and to have them come back more often. This can be done by old school Sticking stamps, but a loyalty programme is not necessarily a savings programme. You can also reward your guests with extras for their loyalty in another way. For example, a free cake on their birthday.
Authentic and valuable rewards
The hospitality industry is all about authentic and valuable rewards. So no fifth drink for free for someone who always comes alone by car - because if you have to drive, you can only have two drinks. Or saving up for a Café De Flater mug that nobody really wants.
What then? Think of a free luxury sandwich for that guest who comes to lunch every Friday afternoon. Or a personalised email with a free drink on the house for an asparagus lover, when the season is back. Your guest enjoys the thought of being thought of, the reward is of real benefit to them and you are immediately top-of-mind.
Get to know your guests well
Of course, saving points also works well, as long as what your guests are saving for is authentic and valuable to them. The key to success is therefore: personalisation. That is why it is important to get to know your guest well. Create a guest profile and address guests as a personal host.
What does a loyalty programme give you?
But what does a programme like this give you as a hotel and catering business owner? Aren't you giving away too much for free? Certainly not! We list a few advantages:
A better connection with your guests
First of all, a loyalty programme naturally creates a better bond with your guests. When choosing between you and your competitors, people prefer the place where they get something extra and feel appreciated. Also in the times after that free cup of coffee.
Guests spend more
Loyal guests spend more per restaurant visit than one-time guests. This is partly due to trust and the goodwill factor. You give the guest something, he gives something in return. He also trusts that your other desserts will be just as popular as the one time he got a free dessert. So he'll probably order a dessert next time.
Loyal guests bring in new guests
A loyalty programme also brings in new guests, thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. An enthusiastic guest - and that is what he is, thanks to that delicious free drink package - will undoubtedly tell his acquaintances how well he slept in your hotel, which will bring you new guests.
How do you start a savings programme?
How do you go about it then, such a loyalty or savings programme? You can go into action yourself with saving cards or e-mails, but that way it costs your guests trouble (they must always have the card with them) and you a lot of work. Nowadays it can be much easier, with a digital loyalty platform like Piggy.
All your guests' savings programmes in one app
On such a platform, often in the form of an app, users can participate in programmes from various shops, web shops and restaurants. The big advantage for your guests is that they have all their savings programmes with them in one app. This makes them much more inclined to participate.
Usable guest data
And the advantage to you? Firstly, a low participation threshold for your guests. Secondly, you automatically collect valuable data that allows you to get to know your guests better. You can also see how well various campaigns are working, which rewards generate the most turnover and what discounts do with repeat visits to your business. In short: you measure what you do!
Send automatic mailings
In addition, the platform allows you to use multiple channels for promotion such as e-mail marketing. Think of a welcome e-mail after the first visit where you give free points as a welcome gift, a long-time-no-see e-mail to guests who haven't seen you in a long time, a birthday e-mail with a birthday gift of your own choice or ask guests to leave a review after their visit. If desired, you can even send these e-mails completely automatically based on guest data.
Start with your loyalty programme
So make it easy for yourself. Create a loyalty program that fits your business and the wishes of your guests and leave the keeping of points and building of guest profiles to Piggy! Do you want to know more about it? Find out all about this loyalty platform and start your savings programme today!
ps. even the old guard savers who don't have an app, can come to Piggy with a physical savings card. Save with one card per shop at all affiliated entrepreneurs.