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Customer Loyalty Challenge: How to Catch Them All

Customer Loyalty Challenge: How to Catch Them All

customer loyalty for QSR restaruants
The competition for quick service restaurants is getting tougher by the minute. Consider the threat that convenience stores now pose to QSRs. By selling freshly baked goods, quick meals, fruits, vegetables and high-end coffee in bright, clean and spacious buildings, convenience stores have increased consumer foot traffic by 15 percent over the past five years – drawing nearly 4.9 billion visitors in 2016.

The primary cause of this growth was the introduction of quick meals and even limited seating in convenience stores. This new and fierce competition highlights the need for QSRs to build up their brand equity and customer loyalty. It is important to stay ahead of the pack by finding new and innovative ways to create a personal connection with your consumers.

Repeat business is where the battle is won. In the end, 80% of future profits will come from just 20% of existing customers, with these purchasers spending 33% more than new customers.

Why Do QSRs Struggle to Achieve Customer Loyalty?

There are several answers to this question. First, consumers have a variety of options. Faced with a dizzying array of choices, consumers rely on social media and the web to form opinions and make purchase decisions. In this connected environment, they are better informed about brands, resistant to traditional marketing methods and are harder to please.

Beyond that, consumers are increasingly shunning QSRs and fast-food restaurants for what they believe to be healthier menu options. Organic food sales hit a new high of $43.3 billion in 2015 (2016 numbers soon to come).

On top of that, many consumers have the perception that QSRs are good for only one kind of visit: a chance to eat junk food. They won’t even consider a quick service restaurant as a viable dinner option.

Boosting a loyalty program with on-location gamification

Building loyalty is a continuous process of getting consumers engaged with your brand. Traditional point-based loyalty programs long enticed consumers to dine at a restaurant, but surveys reveal that the times have changed. One survey showed 54 percent of loyalty memberships are inactive, with most becoming inactive within the first year.

Simply having a loyalty program is no longer enough. The QSR industry is saturated with various loyalty programs. U.S. consumers hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, the 2015 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census shows. But by far not all of them are able to engage the customers and achieve the end-goal of actually building loyalty.

This doesn’t mean QSRs should cancel their rewards programs; they are, after all, a great tool when used wisely. QSRs need to take an innovative approach. They can start by integrating a loyalty program with on-location gamification.

A lot is at stake here: an effective loyalty program increases revenue, encourages repeat visits and attracts new consumers. But for it to work, a loyalty program needs to be engaging. Using gamification to simultaneously offer value and secure engagement is a great way to boost a loyalty program your restaurant already has.

As we discussed previously, positive customer experience with your brand is one of the major drivers of loyalty. By turning a restaurant visit into an exciting and fun experience, QSR brands can start turning visitors into loyal customers.

Gamification in action – McDonalds

Turn an uneventful visit to a QSR into a fun gamification experience. Consumers will want to repeat those experiences, knowing they’ll have a blast on top of quality food and service. The more customers enjoy themselves, the more likely they are to choose your restaurant over a myriad other options the next time they want to grab a quick bite.

Look no further than McDonald’s. The McDonald’s monopoly game has been a huge draw since 1987 when it was first introduced. To win prizes, customers needed to collect stickers and paste them onto a paper game board. To keep up with the times, McDonald’s has recently revamped their tried Monopoly promotion by adding a VR element. Players can now paste the stickers onto a virtual game board by using their mobile phones.

Going a step further with gamification efforts, McDonalds created an Angry Birds themed game that could only be played inside stores. Particular content could only be unlocked from specific McDonald’s stores, building loyalty and encouraging repeat visits.

Gamification boosts existing loyalty programs

On-location gamified experiences can give a stale loyalty program a much needed boost. By linking gamified experiences with a loyalty program, a QSR can kill two birds with one stone- reactivate inactive loyalty program members, as well as compel new members to join.

Here is how it works. Consumers can earn and collect reward points through the game that can be redeemed only by loyalty program participants. A compelling call to action to download the loyalty app will appear on user’s screen, and in order to redeem the prize, consumers will need to download the loyalty app, sign up to a program or log-in into their existing account. This can be an effective solution for compelling users to participate in QSR’s existing loyalty program.

In addition, QSRs can award extra loyalty points for consumers who participate in the gaming experience, or to provide exclusive prizes and benefits for players who are loyalty program members already.

Gamification makes a loyalty program more exciting by introducing game mechanics and making the whole process of gaining loyalty points and rewards exciting and fun. With games that engage in-store consumers, QSRs can capitalize on positive experiences to boost loyalty programs, create engagement and ,ultimately, drive sales. If you want to learn more about on-location gamification, click here to sign up to SCREEMO blog today!

Adir Zimerman

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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