Types of Food Truck Loyalty Rewards
After you’ve decided the structure of your customer loyalty program, you will need to choose how you will reward members.
Most rewards you offer to customers for their dedicated business will take away from potential profit, whether you give something away for free, offer a discount, or dock part of a client’s bill. However, some have benefits over others, and if you build your program carefully, making sure you stay in the active on these transactions, you can develop one that works well for you and your clientele.
A typical reward is a discount or coupon. Products or services can also be rewards and similarly require the business to give something, or part of something, away. Discounting products can gain you first-time customers but rarely leads to long-term customer loyalty. Often, people who use coupons are after a deal and are dedicated to a real deal, not your business.
Issuing regular discounts to clients who are used to purchasing your menu items at full price can hurt your food truck business. It can cause loyalists to believe that your product is valued at a lower price than they normally pay. This can lead program members to think they should never pay full price and condition them to wait to visit your food truck until another deal rolls around.
Coupons influence the first, or next, purchase only. You need to reward your customers’ purchases rather than give them bonuses so that they make purchases. Your rewards system needs to benefit a client’s next several purchases at the minimum, without devaluing your product, so that they continue patronizing your food truck over a longer period.
Dollar rewards, while they do mean a business is giving something of monetary value away, are a better option than discounts. These systems work by tracking customer spending or visits. Points are accumulated per dollar spent or purchase made. Once a customer has a certain number of points, they can redeem them for a set dollar amount off their next purchase, or save them up and use them on a future purchase.
Since each transaction at a food truck is a relatively small amount, it is best to track dollars spent rather than visits. You can structure your system any way you’d like, just make sure it won’t lead to losses and that you’ll be able to sustain it even if the program becomes very popular. For example, if customers earn 3 points for every $1 spent and cash in 150 points for $5, they are receiving $5 back for every $50 spent.
However, you decide to develop your point/dollar system, make sure the exchange rate is favorable for your customers but doesn’t hurt your business. Find the right balance for your food truck.
A successful rewards program will let your existing customers know they are appreciated.
Some sales they have generated for your business by the time they receive any rewards should make up for what you end up giving them. These customers are loyal because they enjoy what you have to offer and aren’t seeking a cheaper meal outright. They are looking for an even better experience. Implement a rewards program that makes them feel valued, and you’ll be well on your way to providing one.