The most successful loyalty programs out there have a heavy focus on customer engagement. They keep customers constantly coming back for more. And as a result, these restaurants prosper from a consistent customer base.

Need a little help getting your customers more involved in your loyalty program? We’re here to help. Here’s five ways your restaurant can increase customer engagement in its loyalty program.

Introduce a community focus. A community focus involves making your loyalty program more than just a cool way to earn rewards. It gives members the impression that they’re a part of something bigger. Really, it’s Brand Marketing 101. People love to feel like they’re a part of something. And becoming a rewards member is a very tangible way to achieve that.

How does this work in practice? It all starts before customers even join your loyalty program in the first place. I’m talking about the presentation. How it appears from the outside looking in. That means showing off what it’s like to be part of your program’s experience. Show off photos of your customers dining together and having a good time. Talk about the social elements you’ve integrated into your program.

Virtual Awards. Consider integrating an achievement system where customers obtain “badges” or “awards” based on different tasks they’ve fulfilled. These virtual awards signify a type of social clout that customers can use to compare with their friends. For example, a customer might earn a “Martini Fan” badge if they order a martini on National Martini Day. These aren’t a replacement for real rewards, but they can be effective motivators.

Games. A couple weeks ago, I published an article on designing a loyalty program that stands out. In it, I detailed the rise of gamification in rewards programs, citing Bond research that indicated game mechanics actually double the enjoyment in these programs. Games bring people together, whether they’re competitive or personal challenges. They can be used to keep your customers not just interested in engaging, but actively invested.

Exclusive Perks. Nothing gets people’s attention like the word exclusive. Regardless of how easy it is to get access to something deemed exclusive (like your restaurant’s loyalty program), it’s still something we’re drawn to. When something’s exclusive, it feels more important, and therefore, we’re more likely to make use of it. In this case, exclusive loyalty perks. The more exclusive perks you can hook your customers up with (e.g. free refills, event access, premium reservations, etc.), the more likely it is they’ll continue to give you their frequent patronage.

Visualize Reward Progress. As customers begin to work toward earning whatever delicious rewards you’ve tantalized them with, it’s important to offer them an element of encouragement. A key way to go about doing so is by visualizing their progress. Whether it’s in the form of a bar that’s filling up, or a text notification reminding them that they’re only one purchase away from achieving their reward, this keeps them involved in the process.

Engage Your Loyalty Program With CoGoBuzz

Creating a highly-engaging customer loyalty program just got a lot easier.

With CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art marketing service, we’ll empower your restaurant with a fully-digital, text-based loyalty program. Not only is it affordable, it’s easy-to-use, effective, and loaded with tons of powerful features designed to keep your customers constantly engaged. CoGoBuzz simplifies customer engagement down to a text message. Run contests, polls, and automated messages!

Our service takes your loyalty program to the next level with advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions. When customers walk through the door of your restaurant, they’re just a single login away from gaining access to your in-store HotSpot. From there, they’ll gain access to your new, custom landing page, where they can be incentivized to join your loyalty program, check out your menu, and more.

Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

What does your restaurant do to keep loyalty members engaged? Let us know in the comments!