Empty restaurant photo

14 Coronavirus Survival Strategies for Restaurants

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has already had a dramatic impact on restaurants. As of the end of the day on Monday, restaurant purchase transactions had slumped more than 42% across the Thanx network. In these difficult times, restaurants must take proactive measures to not only keep establishments safe, in accordance with CDC guidelines for businesses but also

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True Food Kitchen Launches Customer Loyalty program with Thanx

True Food Kitchen’s Secret Recipe for Personalization

True Food Kitchen is a healthy, chef-driven, seasonal food restaurant with 23 locations in 10 states. True Food Kitchen focuses on serving healthy, seasonal, sustainable, and organic food with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. True Food Kitchen also stands out because they will personalize every order per the guest’s preferences. By personalizing every

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5 customer loyalty essentials

5 Essentials for Building a Loyal Customer Base

In this post, we share five essentials to building a loyal customer base. Having a customer engagement platform in place that enables you to know who your customers are, capture important customer data and send personalized campaigns is crucial to developing a successful loyalty program.

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Surprise and Delight Loyalty from Thanx; photo of a spearmint gift with gold ribbon on a light pink backdrop, top aerial viewpoint

Surprise and Delight Loyalty Brings Flexibility to Rewarding Customers

Today we’re excited to announce a new addition to the Thanx suite of customer engagement and marketing automation tools. This time around we have a huge surprise (pun intended). Our latest enterprise-level program, called Surprise and Delight, helps you create stronger relationships with your customers by offering delightful, unexpected rewards. The Surprise and Delight feature

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lame customer loyalty program

5 Signs You Have a Lame Customer Loyalty Program

With an estimated 3.8 billion consumers enrolled in loyalty programs, there’s a lot of “loyalty love” going around. Merchants and consumers alike are embracing customer loyalty programs because when done well they can grow your business, reward and retain your best customers and generate incremental revenue and positive ROI for your business. While many are

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The Ultimate Guide to Customer Engagement

3 Ways to Re-Engage Your Customers

When a customer breaks up with you, it’s the worst. One minute they’re happy, repeat customers and then they disappear. But, you have the power to do something about it. You can use re-engagement to bring them back and often get them spending and visiting more frequently. Bringing customers back is worth your time. Research

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Building Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty It used to be that walking into a retail establishment and being given some form of a discount, special offer, or free sample was a unique and appreciated moment. Merchants saw this as a legitimate method for building customer loyalty. Now, as customers, we expect a reward in return for our consistent

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How to Win New Customers with Your Loyalty Program

Problem Solved: Referral Programs, Made Effortless with Thanxgiving By Margaret Link Thanxgiving changes the game for mobile referral programs Have you tried launching a referral program before? Was it successful? How do you know? Most referral programs lack any type of data visibility, so you can’t be confident that you’re generating any ROI. Even when you get

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customer loyalty program mistakes

How to Avoid the 3 Most Expensive Customer Loyalty Program Mistakes

Businesses love their regulars — and with good reason: research shows that 25% of customers generate almost 70% of revenue! Even with money on the line, business owners still make these 3 critical loyalty program mistakes when it comes to creating a loyalty program that actually retains customers. Avoid Common Loyalty Program Mistakes Investing in customer loyalty isn’t just the

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Revenue Weighted Net Promoter Score

Today’s guest blog covers a topic we love at Thanx — Net Promoter Score! Mickey from QuestionPro breaks down the math behind identifying your high-value customers and addressing their feedback. Net Promoter Score is only one piece of the customer data puzzle. Here’s why companies should be linking NPS results to customer transaction data —

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Choosing a Loyalty Program: Why Customer Loyalty Matters for C-Stores

As convenience stores become more data-driven, the challenge of understanding and influencing customer behavior has been the toughest to crack: from the pump, to the carwash, to the convenience store, it becomes imperative to weave a common thread between many discrete transactions that happen within the same property. For this reason, most loyalty programs fail when it comes to driving real value for c-stores.

Thanx closes the data loop for convenience stores, seamlessly linking cross-property transactions and making it easy for c-store operators to track and influence customer behavior. Read on for a few key takeaways from one of our convenience store merchants on why they selected Thanx as their loyalty provider.

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Interview with Thanx at National Restaurant Association

With NRA 2017 ending today, we wanted to provide a glimpse into some of the conversations that our staff is having in the booth with restaurateurs. The beauty of Thanx is that it works for all types of restaurants, from QSR to Fine Dining. Unlike other loyalty programs, it doesn’t require additional hardware or require staff involvement. Customers simply pay as usual and the magic happens in the background.

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Restaurant Loyalty

Guide to Choosing a Customer Loyalty Platform for Your Restaurant

Loyalty programs can operate as the central nervous system for your brand — collecting data, automating marketing, and gauging customer satisfaction. With so many different types of loyalty programs out there, how do you decide which platform is right for your brand? Consider these four points as you narrow down your restaurant’s loyalty technology search. …

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How C-Stores Can Fight Competition

True to the category name, everything about C-Stores is designed for convenience. They are easy to access, easy to navigate, and are typically open around the clock. But savvy owners and marketers are realizing that relying on location and convenience alone isn’t enough when you’re looking to drive revenue.

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4 Ways Convenience Stores Are Failing at Customer Loyalty

When it comes to customer loyalty, a few business verticals are known for their heroic efforts — airlines, grocery stores, and even coffee shops (with Starbucks as the shining example). However, convenience stores haven’t done a good job of building customer loyalty, even though they could benefit immensely from customer retention.

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Loyalty programs and tokenization

How Consumers Actually Use Customer Loyalty Programs

New Survata survey data reveals how consumers interact with brands’ loyalty programs — the answers might surprise you. We broke down the most interesting stats to help merchants avoid the pitfalls of traditional loyalty programs and instead, create a program their guests actually want to use.
Most loyalty programs fail. Here’s why:

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The past, present, and future of loyalty marketing

The state of loyalty marketing today Loyalty marketing seems to be having a resurgence and it’s all being driven by an increased focus on customer lifetime value and data-driven business decisions. As a result, we’re seeing overhauls of long-standing loyalty programs to be geared more toward high-LTV customers (e.g. Starbucks and American Airlines) and we’re

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Checklist: Is your customer loyalty program working?

You’re a retention marketing superstar — which is why you’ve invested part of your marketing budget towards keeping your loyal customers happy with rewards, personalized communication, and VIP treatment. But it doesn’t stop there — not even close. Here are three ways great businesses keep their finger on the pulse of their customer loyalty program.

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How a loyalty program can double as viral marketing campaign

On the surface, Thanx is an effortless experience for both merchants and their customers. However, behind that magic is a whole lot of math. We work tirelessly to scientifically prove that our incentive programs are generating real ROI for all Thanx merchants. Read on to see how we optimized our industry-first viral marketing campaign, maximizing social sharing and invite conversion and, most importantly, revenue.

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Dewey’s Pizza: Building a Rewards Program with Thanx

Thanx CEO, Zach Goldstein, and Dewey’s Pizza Managing Partner, David Igel, discussed how winning loyalty progams differ from the status quo. In order to retain and engage customers long-term, a loyalty program must add value — not additional steps and confusion — to the customer experience. Here’s how Dewey’s developed a restaurant marketing strategy bold enough to fuel growth, while staying consistent with their focus on hospitality and experience.

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Car Wash Customer Engagement with Jimmy Starnes, Wash Me Fast

Figuring out how to improve customer engagement can make or break a multi-location car wash’s future. With more engaged customers, car washes see more frequent visits, higher average spend, and significantly improved lifetime value — i.e. everything required for long-term success
In this video interview, Wash Me Fast Chief Strategic Officer Jimmy Starnes explains exactly how he uses new technology to drive higher levels of customer engagement. Watch to learn specific ways that car washes can use tools like 2-way feedback and winback marketing to increase sales and maximize profit.

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Where Customer Loyalty Stands Today

Whether it’s a restaurant buying better meat to improve quality, or a car washpurchasing top-of-the-line equipment to improve satisfaction — every business decision is motivated by making customers more loyal. However,

  • If you polled 100 business owners and asked, “Do you care about loyalty?”, only 95%+ would agree, “Yes.” We should see 100% consensus.
  • If you asked these same business owners, “Do you care about retention marketing?”, maybe 60% would agree “Yes.” Should be 100% consensus.
  • If you further narrowed the question to, “Do you care about loyalty programs?”, you might see 30% in agreement. And yes, consensus here should also be 100%.

There’s only one conclusion we can draw from the above — “customer loyalty” suffers from an identity crisis.

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New Year’s Resolution — Let’s Fix Acquisition Marketing

Frequent readers of the Thanx Blog will know inside and out the benefits of customer retention marketing versus customer acquisition marketing. Essentially, paying money to attract new customers does not make sense unless you can earn repeat visits.

However, merchants continue to be misled about how the economics of acquisition affects their business. Case in point — a recent analysis of customer acquisition from ex Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, and a single reply from an ex-Groupon customer. Let’s take a look, as we unpack our second new year’s resolution about how to solve marketing in 2016 and beyond.

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fine dining

Fine Dining Strategies for the New Year

Make no mistake — fine dining restaurants’ success comes down to building proprietary data and developing personalized marketing campaigns to drive consistent repeat business.
Of course, the execution of such a straight forward goal requires implementing several best practices relevant specifically for fine dining marketers. In no particular order, here are this year’s three most important new year’s resolutions for fine dining marketers.

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Improving Customer Satisfaction — Maura Feingold

Figuring out how to improve customer satisfaction can make or break the future for restaurants and retailers. With more satisfied customers, brands see more referrals, more frequent visits, higher average check sizes — everything required for long-term success.

In this video interview, Wednesday Seven owner Maura Feingold explains exactly how she uses feedback to delight customers and ensure a top-notch experience at every visit. Watch to learn specific ways that leading brands like Tomatina have transformed feedback and VIP marketing into sales-creating assets.

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Restaurants Win With Net Promoter: Bain Study

For a restaurant executive, success generally comes down to one capital “T” Truth — provide excellent customer service and customers will continue to return. Generally, the last mile after top-quality food and atmosphere remains the same — add a personal touch to guests’ experience, often by visiting them at the table as they dine.

Unfortunately, executives managing multiple locations simply cannot be in more than one place at the same time. That’s the challenge tackled in a podcast from Rob Markey, partner at Bain & Company, Co-author of “The Ultimate Question 2.0,” and host of the Net Promoter System Podcast

Click here to find out how restaurant chains are discovering the special sauce of Net Promoter feedback. You can see a summary of the conversation below.

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Loyalty programs and tokenization

Tokenization – Your Credit Card’s Best Friend

When Apple Pay came out last year, one technology stood out from the rest during Eddy Cue’s presentation on Apple Pay’s security: tokenization. In one fell swoop, Apple had a solution to solve the challenge of getting consumers to register their credit cards with Apple Pay.

Today, with the rise of card-linked offers technology, the use of tokens has started popping up in more and more consumer apps and experiences. Let’s take a look at exactly what these developments mean and how this technology protects consumers and their credit cards.

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Customer loyalty for car washes

Top Car Wash Tips To Get Customers’ Engines Revving

Making mobile marketing work at a car wash is now within reach. Here are the top marketing car wash tips to improve customer relations and drive sales results.

For any car wash business operator, one of the biggest frustrations is how building personal relationships with a handful of customers seems imminently possible, but buildilng similar connections with all customers seems near impossible.

The reality is that customer relationships are complicated. It’s not like the old days, when heading to the car wash was somewhat of a fun outing with the kids or a laugh with friends. Nowadays, car wash owners are vying for the attention of their customers in a much different world — a mobile world. And though it might seem like an intimidating world of technology out there, with customers spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on their phones, a better strategy is to embrance new tech for the amazing opportunity it can be. Let’s look at how to make the car wash experience fun and engaging again, but through the medium that has everyone glued — mobile!

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Customer Relationship Marketing Fuels Shenaniganz Growth

Shenaniganz, a Dallas-based family entertainment center with bowling, laser tag, miniature golf, go-karts, and other attractions, was accustomed to seeing huge spikes in customer traffic during vacation breaks and holidays. The company’s marketing team suspected that these spikes occurred because most customers only visited on special occasions, and thus sought a solution for garnering more regular visits and visitors.

Rather than working off of speculation alone, Shenaniganz commissioned an in-depth analysis of customer behavior. Their results were remarkable: 52% of customers had only visited one time and over 86% of customers had not returned in 4 months. Armed with this staggering insight, Shenaniganz implemented a data-driven customer relationship marketing and rewards program with the goal of increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

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Starbucks Name? A Brand Loyalty Program at Its Finest!

Starbucks name? We all think we’re unique when we tell our friends or post that picture to Instagram of an entirely fabricated name. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Fed up with the Barista’s constant, “And how do you spell that?,” you’ve adopted a new, more witty title.

But, sorry to tell you, you’re not alone and, maybe, you’re not as funny and as you think. You’ve actually been participating in Starbucks own brand loyalty program. Essentially, you’re working for them, and for free!

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5 Keys to Building Awesome Apps

Ever wondered what it takes to build an app that tons of people download AND use? Welcome to a not-so-exclusive club. Statista predicts that app downloads will hit ~270 billion in 2017.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers behind consumers’ use of apps to figure out exactly what’s working, what’s not, and what to do if you want to build an app your customers will love.

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Loyalty programs and tokenization

VIP Marketing Solutions Increase Sales 40%

As we’ve covered before, there’s no better predictor of a multi-location, brick-and-mortar business’s long-term success than its best customers. “VIPs” spend more money, they refer more new customers, and they are the best brand advocates – hands down.
Due to VIPs’ importance, every businesses should have a VIP marketing strategy in place. Let’s take a look at the marketing solutions that are best suited to drive sales from VIPs and retain their business (while also being mindful that marketers want to reduce hassle as much as possible).

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Customer Retention Strategies

How To Get Better Email Marketing Results

Email marketing serves one purpose: customer retention – essentially, existing customers subscribe to receive email updates and subsequently should visit more often. Prior to the mobile explosion, email served as a solid way to reach customers.

Now, with mobile overtaking email as customers’ preferred method of digital contact, personalization, relevance, and timeliness have become mandatory tactics for effective communication. As a result, email marketing on its own cannot change customer behavior. Fortunately, by complementing email with other data sources, email marketing has the potential to be even more effective than it was before.

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Rewards program

Does My Customer Rewards Program Actually Work?

At the simplest level, customer rewards and promotions attempt to change customer purchasing behavior. Brands experiment with seeminlgy every type of promotion, whether monetary (e.g. discounts or BOGO offers) or non-monetary (e.g. exclusive access or brand-relevant experiences) to drive customers to spend more or spend more often.

“Experiment,” of course, being the operative verb. If nothing else, marketing success comes from iteration. In order to iterate, however, marketers have to know what’s actually working – and there’s only one way to do that: close the loop. Here’s what “close the loop” means and why it’s so important for loyalty and rewards programs.

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The Whole Foods Loyalty Program: 4 Key Takeaways

Whole Foods made a splash announcing a loyalty pilot in Princeton, New Jersey earlier this quarter. Should the Whole Foods loyalty program prove successful, the company plans to take it to Philadelphia in the near term and then nationwide by late 2015. As with any big move from a large brand, retention marketers should take note – particularly when that big brand strays from how it traditionally has done business. Let’s have a look at the four most important takeaways:

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Loyalty programs and tokenization

Proprietary Data for Brick-And-Mortar Businesses

The most successful retention marketing fosters mutually beneficial relationships between merchants and their best customers. To create such a high-performing program, merchants need more than generic customer insights; they need proprietary data that maps how customers experience their particular brand. Seek out those innovative providers who can deliver actionable information in order to earn a higher ROI on your loyalty investment.

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How Brick-and-Mortar Stores Can Win

With the rapid rise of online commerce, retailers have asked themselves how brick-and-mortar stores can win. To be clear, brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere. Smart marketers know that in this case “how” isn’t a question; it’s an opportunity to establish a competitive advantage.

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Loyalty programs and tokenization

How To Evaluate Customer Loyalty Software

There are a ton of customer loyalty software options out there; choosing correctly can seem overwhelming. Stakes are high, as loyalty programs come with switching costs. In addition to the software itself, brands also need to manage customer churn. Here’s how to ensure success during your evaluations.

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