Rewarding loyalty in a competitive industry : Lawrenson Group Hospitality
When you’re in the hospitality industry, you have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. Customers have so many options – countless bars, restaurants and cafes – that they’re not necessarily likely to return to a business, even if they enjoy the experience.
For Lawrenson Group, which runs 19 bars, restaurants and gastro pubs in Auckland and Hamilton, Goody helps build customer loyalty by rewarding them for every dollar they spend. They’ve found it a valuable tool for database building, promotions, customer contact, and business analysis.
As Marketing and Events Manager Ian Sewell explains, it’s an important part of the loyalty puzzle: “You get loyal customers by providing a great service, and great products at competitive prices. But Goody is certainly a piece of the puzzle. By rewarding people for enjoying the experience, they will come back to us over our competitors.”
Increasing retention through achievable rewards
Lawrenson Group uses Goody at all their outlets. Customers sign up on one of their in-store tablet apps, and can then use their card at any Lawrenson-branded restaurant or bar.
Lawrenson Group offers customers one point for every dollar they spend. Customers accrue points on every visit, and receive vouchers when they reach a certain point threshold. They also have the option to put their points towards their bill at any time.
Ian Sewell says that making the rewards achievable makes the whole system much more appealing to customers. Because they can see the points adding up quickly, and they receive automated reminders, they’re much more likely to return and redeem them.
Lawrenson Group also sends rewards at other times – for example, customers receive a $20 voucher when they sign up, and a $50 voucher on their birthday.
Ian says that the response to these rewards is very positive: “For something as simple as giving everyone a $50 birthday voucher, the redemption rate on them is huge. It’s massive compared to any other offer. People are grateful for it.”
The voucher scheme is a positive in other ways too – people come in to redeem them with family or friends, and usually end up spending far more than the original $50. They also tend to lead to more sign-ups as other members of the party find out where the reward came from.
Data analysis and targeted marketing
Rewarding customers isn’t the only reason Lawrenson Group likes using the software. It’s also a useful tool for data analysis and targeted promotions.
Ian explains: “It’s massively important for us on several fronts. It’s great for customer retention, great for customer engagement. It’s great for my job in terms of analytics because I can see where the customers are going, I can see if they’re migrating between venues, I can see what their spending patterns are.”
Ian uses the back-office reporting functions in the Goody software to generate monthly reports including net promoter scoring, customer spend, overall sales, and sign-ups. This information is used to motivate staff at the various outlets – for example, if one bar or restaurant has had a high number of sign-ups for the month, others can look at what they’re doing differently.
Analytics also help Ian and the marketing team tailor their marketing to their customers. They narrow down a list of customers by spending patterns or events attended, and send targeted offers. Customers who frequent the gastro pub outlets might receive beer-tasting offers and invites to pub events, while customers who prefer fine dining might receive degustation offers.
The group also partners with suppliers to provide offers and giveaways. They can offer a free sample of a product through the system, track redemption and spend, and then feed that information back to the supplier to use for future promotions.
Keeping it simple
For Lawrenson Group, ease of use is another important feature of Goody. Because they have staff spread over 19 venues, they need any system to be simple and intuitive to use.
Goody more than meets this requirement, as Ian Sewell explains: “It’s so easy, because it’s scan and go. They’ve eliminated the opportunity for user error on our end.”
The system is run through multiple tablets kept at the counter of each venue. This makes it easy for staff to sign up new customers and manage points, without disrupting other transactions.
Customers receive a key tag to scan, but can also scan a barcode through their smartphone app, or simply provide their email address. This makes it easier for the customers too – there’s no need for a wallet full of plastic cards, and no risk of losing points if they misplace their card.
According to Ian, easy communication with customers is another bonus feature. Customer emails regarding Goody go directly to him, rather than an outside helpdesk. This means he can respond to customer queries, investigate problems, find and add lost points, and generally give his customers personalised service through the system. Whereas if they were using a loyalty system such as Flybuys all that would be lost and directed to a separate business.
After using the Goody system for a few years now, he is nothing but positive about the benefits for the business.
“I’d certainly recommend it to any business – the benefits far outweigh anything else.”
Benefits to Lawrenson Group:
- 16,000 customer database
- 100,000 repeat customer visits
- 56% redemption rate on promotional emails
- 10,000 rewards redeemed
- Customised tablet app, email communications, and cards to meet requirements
- Incentives for customers based on dollars spent
- Monthly reports including NPS, average spend, and new sign-ups
- Boost to marketing through targeted eDM's