4 Reasons Your Loyalty Programme Isn’t Working

By MaxiClub on June 29, 2017
Most business owners and managers in the service and restaurant industries understand the value of having a loyalty programme.

These programmes enable you to build deeper relationships with existing customers, increase purchase frequencies and retain existing patrons. Millennial customers, for example, have been proven to be far less loyal to brands who don’t offer them a loyalty incentive programme – and they’re the market of the future.

But knowing these facts and successfully implementing a programme are two very different things. Recent studies by Oracle Hospitality have shown that over 60% of brands who saw an increase in loyalty programme membership are still struggling to make their programmes work.

Here are some mistakes you might be making.

1. Boring rewards

If you want a loyalty programme to be successful, you need to be willing to offer exciting, worthwhile and variable rewards. Statistically, the 2 most attractive rewards for customers are:

  1. Discounts on every purchase.
  2. Free products.

Our advice would be to sit down and calculate exactly how much you can afford to spend or give away, based on a customer’s lifetime value. Find the balance between what is going to be enticing for your customers and what will ultimately be the most profitable for you.


2. You’re still “stuck in the Stone Age”

Yes Gen X-ers, it’s time to get digital. One of the most convenient ways for people to become part of your programme is through mobile loyalty. Mobile apps are becoming necessary for restaurants to capture a generation of millennials – the fastest growing and most valuable consumer segment for restaurants. Over 56% of millennials choose apps as a preferred medium for restaurant loyalty programmes. And what’s more, 50% of Gen X-ers agree with them.

Mobile apps are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for restaurants in a world where people don’t want to keep track of a physical loyalty card that can get lost or damaged. Apps allow customers to easily keep track and redeem their rewards, and can also be used as an effective communication channel to keep your brand top of mind.

3. You set it and forget it

So you’ve done your homework and launched the best possible mobile loyalty programme for your business. Job done? Unfortunately, not quite. One of the biggest mistakes clients make when launching a loyalty programme is not promoting it. As much as rewards programmes seem like they should sell themselves, you constantly need to promote your programme to customers.

Make sure you have visible in-store advertising, share it on social media platforms, and train your staff on selling the programme to every customer. The aim is to convert every potential customer into a loyal one who keeps coming back. If your system has great rewards, this should be far easier.


4. You’re lacking engagement

Positive communication between you and your customer is critical to ensure the success of a programme and repeat business. You’ve managed to get customers to sign up for your rewards programme and they are accumulating points with every visit. It’s extremely important to remind customers to redeem their rewards and keep participating in the loyalty programme. A large percentage of customers will download your restaurant app with the intention of using it and either forget to use it, or forget to check their rewards.

You could also send reminder messages regarding points due to expire to create a sense of urgency for inactive members to visit your store again to redeem them.

Want to find out more? Get in touch today.

Maxiclub is an industry leader and provider of loyalty solutions in the South African restaurant industry. Get in touch with us to discuss harnessing the power of your own customer loyalty.


Recipe for Engagement: Essential Ingredients for a Restaurant Loyalty Programme. An Oracle Hospitality Global Consumer Survey. 2017. Oracle Hospitality. www.oracle.com.

Bond Brand Loyalty. 2014 Loyalty Report: US Edition. www.info.bondbrandloyalty.com.

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