A couple weeks into the availability of a Loyalty/Rewards program, and with some very solid feedback from some of you, we would love to share some ideas and suggestions based on what we have seen and heard.
Tip #1: Set Attainable Goals. Launching any program that requires your customers to be engaged should compel you to position them to succeed. Your customers enroll in your new Loyalty program, get excited about it, begin to participate, and then quickly realize they won't ever earn the rewards, they will quickly become disillusioned and the desired effect of increased Loyalty will actually result in exactly the opposite.
Tip #2: Match Your Loyalty Programs to Internal Business Goals. Use your new Loyalty capabilities to drive traffic to areas of need within your business. For example, the restaurant at your club has introduced a fantastic new menu for this season and you're excited to debut it and increase revenue. Launch a program that earns your patrons punches for levels of dollars spent -- "For every $5 spent in the restaurant, receive a star, and when you reach $100 total spent you will be rewarded with $20 on your next dine-in experience." Some courses are also using the Loyalty program to drive traffic to their driving ranges, pro shops for merchandise sales, and of course to increase rounds of golf played. Get outside of the typical golf operator box if you want with these programs because you have complete autonomy in what you set up.
Tip #3: If You Don't Want to Give Away Golf, But Want to Build Around Rounds Played, Find Another Reason to Keep Them Coming Back. Just because you build a Loyalty program based around a certain number of rounds of golf played does NOT mean you have to reward your golfers with a round of golf to build their loyalty to your club. If a golfer is choosing where he/she would like to play on any particular day and the opportunity is there to earn some reward, any reward, by playing your course, the likelihood they will choose to play your course increases. A program could be as simple as this: "Play 5 rounds of golf in the month of June, and with every round played after that until the end of July receive a complimentary hot dog and soda." This drives frequent play for the month of June, and then when given the choice of where to continue to play over the course of the next month, the golfer is motivated to come back to your course, AND you still get to charge him for golf, only giving away about $1 for the hot dog and fountain soda.
Tip #4: Promote Your Program. Now that you have it, talk about it. Put it in your monthly emails you send, post all about it on Facebook, have some fun and make a video about it and share it all over the internet, send push notifications out about it, and most importantly, make it a mandate that your staff talks with every customer about it. It's not any good if you keep it to yourself!
FINALLY, it doesn't have to be perfect. Don't be afraid to follow these tips and launch something just to get it out there and get your customers participating. For so many of you who are at the beginning of your seasons, your clients are building their patterns for the year right now, take advantage of this and get them engaged and Loyal now.
As always, reach out to our team for help if you need it. You can call my office direct at 858.437.9262 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org