More people through your businesses doors is a win, right?
Yet there’s a certain kind of customer you can attract that’s like hitting the jackpot: the high lifetime value customer. Often, these high LTV customers will be your VIPs.
Studies show that 66% of sales come from just 25% of customers; meaning those VIP customers are the lifeblood of your business, generating over half your revenue.
Which means acquiring, and retaining high-value customers has a ripple effect on the growth of your business.
What’s a more valuable customer, anyway?
What are the qualities of a high-value customer?
They’re someone who comes back time and time again. They offer repeat business – which means consistent revenue.
They tell people about you + bring their friends. Loyal customers are often generous with their love for their favorite dining spots – and statistics show it to be true: people are 4 times more likely to trust a referral from someone they know.
They get a kick out of being a part of the community. Filling the human need for connection and belonging, VIPs and great return customers appreciate not only being known by the staff, but knowing the staff. They genuinely participate in your restaurant’s community – and, like we mentioned above, bring people they love along for the ride.
They’re generous with their feedback. Yup – they genuinely want to see your business succeed so will more openly and honestly provide feedback when they have a less than stellar experience.
They might be sounding like a bit of a unicorn-customer right now; someone that exists in theory but are sure hard to find out there in the wild.
But, truth is they’re most often in two places…one that’s closer than you may think.
Strategies for attracting (and keeping) your best guests.
Finding and acquiring better guests is half the equation; nurturing and cultivating long standing loyal relationships is where these ‘best guests’ can significantly contribute to your business generate meaningful ROI.
Here’s how to do it.
Acquiring meaningful new customers.
Try these tactics to filter in great customers interested in creating a long-standing relationship with your restaurant(s).
Tell your story…often.
Consumers today are seeking brands and businesses to buy from that they align with; that parallel their values and help them feel like they’re a part of something bigger or more meaningful. By telling your brand story and sharing your values as part of your digital marketing campaigns, potential customers start to gain an understanding of what you’re about and feel an affinity for your business; a necessary step in building trust.
Gather more reviews.
Social proof is powerful. Not as powerful as referrals by a trusted source – but the more (and more positive) reviews you can gather, the more proof prospective customers have about your restaurant delivering on what you say you will.
Leveraging a already positive rating on an in-store experience and turning it into a positive review that hits your Google page, like you can through the Thanx platform, means optimizing an opportunity to convert an already-happy regular guest into a magnet for other curious diners.
That’s the power of social proof: prospective customers get to see themselves in the people already visiting (and supporting) your stores; another way they can identify and experience a sense of belonging and community before even entering your doors.
Participate in the community.
Similar to customers wanting to know your story and feel connected to your values, seeing you and your business out in the community offers them the same opportunity to connect to what your business is up to outside of serving up great food.
Your team members are also powerful marketing tools for your restaurant; by having them out in the community, people get a first hand experience of your in-store experience. When strangers to your business get to meet your team in public through a shared love of community, chances are the values alignment (and great impression they’re left with from your staff!) will have them coming through the doors.
Create a loyalty program that matters to them.
Customers only seeking a discount will churn through your business faster than you can keep track of. But creating a loyalty program that’s hyper-personalized and responsive to their buying behaviour through data you collect, you can not only reward, but acknowledge them along their journey as a customer. And recognition goes a long, long way in the world of retaining a customer base.
Turning current customers into VIPs
So once they’re in your doors and coming back on the regular, give them a few extra reasons to come back and tip into VIP status.
Boost your loyalty program sign ups.
Seeing regular guests is great. And, getting them to sign up for a loyalty program where their data can help you create an engaging relationship is an opportunity not to be missed.
Incentivize current customers and even employees, offering access to meaningful prizes, gifts or experiences in return for helping to grow the program. Data rules, and the ability to gather more insights on more great customers means being able to leverage your loyalty program to nurture those relationships for the long haul.
Run campaigns that keep them coming back.
Turning a high frequency or high spend guest into a VIP takes some thought…and the support of data and customer attributes that help you understand not only what they’ve spent, but how you can leverage human psychology to get them flipping into VIP status (think tapping into FOMO).
There’s incremental-revenue-magic in more customers visiting your restaurants.
But there’s significant, long term ROI available when your business is fuelled by the best possible customers you can ask for. A platform like Thanx paired with a solid marketing plan can attract and retain a community of loyal VIPs that not only support your business in the longrun, but help you grow.