During this year’s National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show 2022, there was significant talk of loyalty programs, including their various financial models, benefits and strategies. It’s a hot topic for good reason. PR Newswire reports that 75% of consumers will favor a brand if there is a loyalty program that rewards members. And Fundera found that customers who engage in a brand’s loyalty program will spend 12% to 18% more each year.
So how can C-stores maximize their use of loyalty apps to increase sales?
One option is to empower employees to use the app and reap rewards just as your customers do. Some brands frown on the idea, fearing that employees may abuse the privilege by providing discounts or perks to customers who do not participate in the loyalty program, thus prompting the employees’ member ‘benefits’ to skyrocket. Others, however, reason that employees who use the app become its greatest advocates and assist customers who may have trouble or questions while using the app.
Ready to give employee app engagement a try? Here are five easy steps for building your team of app ambassadors:
Encourage employees to sign up! The first step is to encourage as many of your employees as possible to sign up and start using the app.
Train employees how to use the app. After they sign up, your employees need to learn details beyond how to join the program, earn and redeem rewards. They should understand promotions, push notifications, text and email messages; and how to seek help or support if an issue with the app arises.
Develop your app strategy. Once you cultivate a team of app ambassadors, find ways to maximize their influence. For example, provide them with pitch scripts or tie immediate incentives to the sign-up process, such as offering customers a free gift (e.g., a soft drink or hot pretzel) on the spot when they join.
Motivate employees with their own incentives. You may also choose to reward employees for signing up customers. Consider setting sign-up goals and competitions, recognizing those who reach or surpass the goal. Be sure to acknowledge how important they are to your strategy and your C-store’s success.
Boost your Guest Wi-Fi to support more app activity. Apps run best on Wi-Fi. While encouraging employees and customers to use your app more frequently, be sure that your C-store has ample broadband to handle the busy times. Insufficient bandwidth will cause an app to slow or even freeze. But customers won’t blame the bandwidth, they’ll blame the app for a disappointing experience. Having high speed, high performing Guest Wi-Fi solves those challenges.
While you’re recruiting staff to join the app, don’t forget to sign-up and use it yourself—and to encourage your managers to do the same. The more app ambassadors you have, the more confident you’ll be in delivering the type of experience loyal customer’s demand. What’s more, that type of highly engaged customer service can increase loyalty further—Hubspot reports that 93% of customers will most likely return if their previous experience was excellent.
Learn more about show a digitally enhanced C-store can improve the customer experience, increase loyalty and sales.