What Makes a VIP Loyal?
Our regulars, we love them! They dine often, tip generously and tell their friends about us. If only we could clone them and have all our guests become regulars.
We all know that our regulars spend more and spend more often, and there are hard numbers to back that up.
Loyal customers spend an average of 67% more at our restaurants than new ones do, and studies have shown that it costs 6-7 times more to get a new customer, than it does to service an old one.
What makes our VIPs so loyal, and how can we cultivate more of them?
Relationships > Rewards
Loyal customers used to be happy getting a card punched and earning a free coffee, but these days consumers are looking for relationships from their favorite places, not just rewards. Everyone is curating their perfect world on their smartphones, and expect individual attention in the real world too. A personalized experience from a place they love will keep them engaged, coming back and turn them into loyal VIPs.
- Being loyal is a result of feeling like your restaurant knows you, and can offer relevant and personalized information. VIPs feel like their opinion matters, and that they’re involved. Listening if they offer suggestions about menu items or asking what they thought of a new dish goes a long way to establishing a relationship. Servers that remember special occasions, favorite drinks and food allergies, keep VIPs happy.
VIPs = Brand Advocates
Once you’ve turned guests into VIPs, they become your biggest advocates and are invaluable in their ability to spread the word about your business in their social circles.
- Interacting with VIPs on social media helps cultivate the relationship and makes people feel special. Are they posting a photo on Instagram of their favorite meal? Comment that you’re glad they enjoyed it. Did a couple just get engaged at the table in the corner? Snap their photo and share it on your restaurant’s Instagram account. Something as simple as liking a photo, or retweeting a tweet makes a personal connection and goes a long way.
Small Treats = Big Rewards
Make your VIPs feel more special by rewarding them with small treats between courses, a drink, or by passing on exclusive information. As much as they may like a free treat, a feeling of exclusivity can be just as valuable. Mention a new pastry chef who just started, or tell them about an upcoming event that hasn’t been advertised yet.