Loyalty program success in the car wash industry can certainly have its challenges. Many business owners don’t even know where to start. However, as a business that has thrived in the loyalty business for nearly 30 years, we have some easy tips to help you be successful without having to sacrifice all of your time, money, or resources. Keep reading or watch the video to find out more.
Want a quick run down?
Watch this 2 minute video to learn how to gain loyalty program success in your business. Keep reading below for more detailed information.
No, we’re not saying to start working out. Here’s a theory though; as a car wash operator, it’s important you understand loyalty programs are just like a workout video. You can purchase the video, put it in, turn it on, but if you don't get off the couch and use the tool you have to help you, no results will come of it. Trust me, no one ever lost weight or got healthier by simply watching their workout video, or staring at healthy recipes. You have to put the plans into action. If you truly want loyalty program success, this is step number one!
The number one thing we always want our operators to understand, is if you are given the tools, make sure you use them. What is the point of purchasing a system that has a loyalty program if you never use it? WashCard has a large variety of loyalty programs which operators can choose from. However, you don’t have to use them all at once. A lot of loyalty programs don’t necessarily work for your customer base.
As we like to say, start slow and ramp up from there. You can always begin with one or two loyalty programs you know your member base will enjoy (such as free birthday washes, or time of day discounts) and continue to build as you become more accustomed to promoting your programs. The point of it all though, take advantage of the tools you have available.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Promote your programs! Loyalty program success won't come if no one knows you have them. If your customers aren’t aware they can get a 10% discount from 2-5pm on Wednesdays (which is another feature of our loyalty software by the way), can you really expect them to take advantage of it?
Promoting your loyalty programs can be done in a number of different ways. WashCard provides tons of marketing tools to our customers to help them gain more visibility to their programs. One of the important things is to always keep things on brand. I know there are some of you out there who definitely need help in this department because creating marketing pieces that work just isn’t your thing. But hey, that’s ok. That’s why we’re here to help you!
And next, go online! The internet can be such a powerful tool for you to use. Social media has gone leaps and bounds for businesses to reach their target markets. Don’t be afraid to Google how to do this, or simply ask for some help from your friendly marketing professional here at WashCard. Again, that’s what we’re here for
Review Your Programs
It’s always an important step to review how your programs are working. If in 6 months no one has used your loyalty program, maybe it's time to look at taking a different avenue to promote it, or change it, or start something else all together. As an operator, knowing your business and your customer is key to getting them the right loyalty options. Understand your data of your customers. Knowing the times they wash, what services they use, and how often they visit are great insights to help you find the best loyalty program for your business that not only makes you more money, but keeps loyal members coming back.
It’s even more important you have the tools to be able to look at this data. If you’re a current WashCard customer, congratulations, you’re already halfway there! If not, make sure as you’re looking for new products for your business, that you have ways to see what exactly your customers are doing. Follow up with those reports. Make sure you truly see what your customers are doing to keep them coming back.
Caribou recently changed their perks program for several reasons. One, it was really hard to obtain any actual perks. No matter how many times you stopped there for a drink, it’s only every once and a great while you’d get a free upgrade, or free medium coffee. Two, there was really no rhyme or reason to it. Since they’ve changed their programs, you can now see how close you are to your next perk, and what kind of perk it is. That is what customers look for when they sign up for a loyalty program.
The big takeaway that Caribou did in this time was listen to their customers. They wanted to gain loyalty program success but in order to do so, they had to look at the data, hear the customer cries, and make changes based off of those pieces of information.
Bonus Tip: Make it Easy
As the example above with Caribou showed, it’s important your loyalty program can be easily understood by your customers. Keep it simple. You will win more customers over with ease-of-use than you will with making their loyalty benefits hard to use.