Did you know your staff can help nurture customer relationships to create loyalty that sticks?
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward star customers for their repeat business, but you need your staff to push for signups and champion the program on your behalf. You can decide which loyalty program to use, set it up, and keep track of its impact on sales, but all that work doesn’t mean much if you don’t have staff to encourage your customers to participate.
Train Your Staff to Focus on Building Relationships
The good news is that you can train your staff to focus on building loyalty amongst your existing customers. With a restaurant loyalty program in place and staff who know how to promote it to your customers, you’ll be creating a dream environment for repeat business. Here’s how.
Communicate the “Why and How” of your loyalty program at your next staff meeting
Your employees aren’t mind readers: they need to know why your loyalty program is important to your restaurant so they can advocate for it.
Hold a staff meeting that’s specifically about how your loyalty program works and how it benefits customers. Don’t bury the subject of loyalty underneath other agenda items for the day: hold a separate meeting to emphasize the importance of creating customer loyalty and how staff can encourage program participation.
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To get the most out of your meeting, include points from this list:
- Meaningful stats. You don’t want to bombard your staff with numbers they’re likely to forget, but one or two key facts can help reinforce the impact of a loyalty program on your business.
For example: a loyalty program can increase sales by 30%. Make sure you train your staff how this can translate to bigger tips so they know how the numbers benefit them.
- The key benefits of signing up. Give your staff the language and scripts to ask customers to register for the program and to explain its benefits.
If you want to go the extra mile, think of common objections a customer might express and arm your staff with on-brand ways to handle the resistance without compromising overall customer experience.
- A demonstration of the platform. Show your staff how customers will be able to use your loyalty program to collect points, so they can pass the knowledge on to those who register.
- Staff incentives. How will you reward staff who get the most registrations? Loyalty programs are all about gamifying your customer experience, so take a page out of the same book and encourage your staff to get as many sign ups as possible by offering rewards in return.
Train your staff how to ask for customer signups
When you’re teaching staff how to ask for customer registration in your loyalty program, make sure you’re teaching them how to have a conversation rather than just giving them talking points. It’s one thing to follow a script as a transaction is being made, but how can you teach staff to infuse your loyalty program into the customer experience as a whole?
Your staff should know the ins and outs of your loyalty program’s point system so they can let customers know how many points they would have earned on a visit had they been part of the program. For example, if your customers earn double points for visiting two days in a row, your staff should be able to point out the option to customers so they return.
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Reward your staff for member signups
You can reward your staff for member registrations in a few ways: loyalty rewards, recognition for promo/reward ideas, contests, or more traditional incentives like free food or paid time off.
An advantage to rewarding your staff with rewards is, of course, ensuring they’re also participating in the loyalty program. There’s no better way to get your staff familiar with your loyalty program than to have them take part, and communicating the benefits to customers will come naturally if they’re enjoying the benefits themselves.
For staff who are really keen, the opportunity to customize your loyalty program may also be a great way to increase registrations. After all, no one knows your customers better than the staff who serve them every day—if your staff are noticing patterns in points redemption versus collection, they may have new ideas to contribute to its overall success.
Through communication, training, and incentives, you can create an environment that fuels customer loyalty. When you can trust that your staff are sharing the benefits of customer loyalty on your behalf, you can rest assured that your investment in a loyalty program is in good hands.
Tiffany Regaudie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro, where she writes about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. She’s passionate about traveling the world and getting to know communities through great food.
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