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Tips on Creating a Loyal Customer
Discounting can be a contentious issue in the service industry marketing circles. Some see it as a great way of filling your seats or appointment book when times are quiet. Others think it only attracts fickle customers who’ll be off chasing deals elsewhere as soon as they’ve finished paying their tab.
However, it’s NOT a waste of money if you capture their contact information. Before we get into it, take a quick look at the following: Information ……
According to a report by Chicago based Technomic:
- Two thirds of discount diners would return to a restaurant where they used a coupon
- 83% would recommend a restaurant where they ate a discounted meal to a friend or family member (see the awesome power of referrals?)
- 48% used a coupon at a restaurant they’ve never been before
Based on all these findings, it looks as though discounting is here to stay. So what can you do to turn it from a profit drain to profit generator?
The key is thinking long-term about how you can maintain contact and encourage diners to keep returning: make them feel appreciated – let them know you appreciate their business.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when getting a new customer in your door is to capture as much contact information as you possible can. At the very minimum, you need to get their email address or cell phone number.
The main reason you want to discount is to get them in and get their contact information – PEROID! If you give them a good product, good service, and show them you appreciate their business, you are 90% there to creating a steady customer.
The final 10%
is what puts you over the top and will
expand your business beyond your wildest dreams.
Now for the “Other” 10% …..
Get their contact details – Get Their Email Address! In order to keep reeling customers back in for meals, you need to have them hooked like a fish on a line. And the line is simply a means of maintaining contact so you can keep delivering your special offers, recipe ideas, restaurant news and other messages that will encourage them to return. I highly recommend getting heir email address so you can “plug-them-in” to an email newsletter or rewards program. Also you want to encourage them to them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook, become a follower on Twitter. You need to establish a line of contact if you’re going to pull them back to book another table. Constant Contact is a Great email marketing system. It is easy to use, affordable, and effective.
Offer a ‘bounce back’ deal – To encourage that vital second booking, consider offering a follow up deal for a group booking, such as sixth person eats for free, or a free bottle of wine with their meal. This gives you another opportunity to hook them onto your food and to get their contact details for ongoing restaurant marketing activity.
Run a Loyalty Rewards program – Rather than endless discounting to random people, an in-house loyalty rewards program enables you to reward customers over the long-term. Here is some awesome information about creating a rewards program.
Create exclusive ‘members only’ offers – Offering special meals and running special events for customers in your special ‘diners club’ can be a useful tactic. People like the sense of exclusivity of belonging to a special group, and this can add an extra dimension to your loyalty card program.
Deliver a great experience – Sounds obvious, but serving delicious food with an attentive waiting service might be all you need to do to entice people back to book another table and to become a long-term profitable customer.
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