The popularity of reward and loyalty programs increased in recent years and moved from the retail sector to other industries. Casinos, hotels and other entertainment companies now offer reward programs as a way to appeal to customers who frequent those places of business. While some programs are so effective that the programs make customers come back time and time again, others are so poorly developed that customers rarely use their accounts. Learning the must haves for one of these programs can help companies create the best program to retain customers.
Easy and Effective Rewards
A good program will make it easy for customers to receive rewards. One of the more popular types of programs uses a points system. Customers earn a set number of points every time they visit a casino and play, stay in a hotel room or spend a certain amount of money. They can later redeem those points for different rewards. Other programs give customers rewards based on how frequently they visit an establishment. Customers who earn more rewards and get more out of the program are more likely to come back.
Some loyalty programs fail because the developers don’t offer any type of mobile access. With so many people using their smartphones to make travel arrangements and shop while on the go, there is a serious need for mobile reward programs. A few companies now let customers download an app and keep track of their points and rewards. They can even use a digital loyalty card rather than a physical card. Other programs feature a simple mobile website that lets users log in to see how many points they have or what special offers are available to them.
Large and Small Rewards
Offering a combination of both smaller and larger rewards might appeal to Sid Vaikunta and others in the entertainment industry. Business owners often worry that offering rewards will hurt their bottom line and cut into their profits without thinking about the number of customers who will come back in the future to gain additional rewards. Smaller rewards might include a coupon to the on-site buffet or restaurant, a discount when booking multiple nights at a hotel or free drink coupons. Larger rewards used by casinos often include free nights in the hotel, free drinks on the floor and even free money that players can only use in the casino.
The best loyalty programs are those that help members and companies stay connected. Some of the top companies now use an algorithm that helps them determine when a member hasn’t made a purchase or stopped by in a few months. They can then send out a personalized email with a reward valid only for that member included inside. Companies can also use loyalty programs as a way of obtaining email and home addresses that they can use for direct mail campaigns. This lets them keep their company names on the minds of customers.
Use Multiple Streams of Information
Stores with loyalty programs found that using multiple streams of information led to more success in terms of customer retention. When a customer pays for an item and leaves, the register prints out different sheets that go directly to that shopper. This might include a free item or a discount on a future purchase, information regarding a survey that comes with a free entry into a contest or details about an upcoming sale. Some companies also print the customer’s points balance right on the receipt for easy reference later.
Customers love saving money, but they also love getting things for free. A loyalty program rewards customers with free gifts and other items. The best programs out there today offer a way for members and companies to stay connected, have mobile access, use multiple streams, offer a variety of rewards and make earning rewards easy.