Exploring Exciting Online Ordering Trends In 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital ordering, staying ahead of the curve is imperative for restaurants and retailers alike. As we venture further into 2024, several trends are reshaping the way customers interact with businesses digitally. From AI-driven personalization to the rise of virtual kitchens, the opportunities for technology to influence traditional restaurant and retail business models are boundless. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most exciting digital trends for 2024.

1. AI-Powered Personalization

In 2024, personalization is king. Customers expect tailored recommendations and experiences when ordering online. AI algorithms analyze past orders, preferences, and behavior to offer personalized suggestions, creating a seamless and delightful ordering process.

2. Virtual Kitchens and Ghost Restaurants

The concept of virtual kitchens and ghost restaurants has gained significant traction in 2024. These establishments operate solely for delivery and pickup, leveraging technology to streamline operations and reach a broader customer base.

3. Social Commerce Integration

Social media platforms have become powerful channels for driving online orders in 2024. Businesses are leveraging social commerce features to showcase their products and services, engage with customers, and facilitate seamless ordering experiences directly within social media apps.

4. Subscription-Based Ordering Models

Subscription-based ordering models are gaining popularity in 2024, offering customers convenience and savings through recurring orders of their favorite products or meals.

In conclusion, the online ordering landscape in 2024 is ripe with opportunities for businesses to innovate and thrive. By embracing trends such as AI-powered personalization, virtual kitchens, contactless ordering, social commerce integration, and subscription-based models, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade: The Art Of Responding To Negative Reviews In Restaurants And Retail

Responding effectively to a negative review can salvage a customer relationship and even enhance your brand’s reputation. Here are some handy  tips on how to do so tailored for restaurants and retail businesses:

1. Personalized Apology and Solution

When responding to a negative review, acknowledge the specific concerns raised by the customer and offer a personalized apology. Show empathy and understanding while proposing a solution to address their issues. For example, a restaurant might respond to a complaint about a long wait time with a complimentary dessert valid for the customer’s next visit. It’s not advisable to give a copy-paste apology, as often seen by many businesses, because it lacks sincerity and fails to address the specific concerns or issues that led to the apology in the first place. A generic apology may even come across as insincere and impersonal, diminishing the trust and goodwill of customers.

2. Take the Conversation Offline

Provide your contact information and encourage  the disgruntled customer to continue the conversation with you privately to resolve the issue. demonstrates your commitment to resolving the issue and shows other potential customers that you take feedback seriously. A retail store could reply to a negative review about a defective product by inviting the customer to contact privately to discuss a replacement or refund.

3. Highlight Positive Changes

If applicable, use the negative review as an opportunity to showcase improvements or changes your business has made as a result of customer feedback. Showing a public commitment to change  not only addresses the specific concerns raised but also demonstrates your interest to continuously improve the service or product you deliver. For instance, a restaurant might thank a customer for their feedback about slow service and mention that they’ve implemented new training protocols to improve efficiency.

4. Showcase Customer Appreciation

Express gratitude to the customer for taking the time to provide feedback, regardless of whether it was positive or negative. Emphasize that their input is valuable and plays a crucial role in helping your business grow and improve. Showing gratitude fosters a sense of appreciation and can even spark loyalty among customers. An example could be a retail store thanking a customer for their feedback about a limited product selection and mentioning plans to expand their offerings based on customer input.

5. Maintain Professionalism and Courtesy

Regardless of the tone or content of the negative review, always respond with professionalism and courtesy. Avoid getting defensive or engaging in arguments with the customer. Remember that your response is public and can influence how others perceive your business. A restaurant could respond to a negative review about food quality by thanking the customer for their feedback and expressing regret that their experience didn’t meet expectations, without placing blame or making excuses.

One real-life example of a restaurant handling a negative review effectively is “The Shed at Dulwich”, a fake restaurant in London created by Oobah Butler as a social experiment. When the restaurant became the top-rated eatery on TripAdvisor, despite not existing, Butler responded to negative reviews with humor and wit, acknowledging the absurdity of the situation while maintaining a friendly tone. This garnered attention and admiration from readers worldwide.

In summary, responding thoughtfully and constructively to negative reviews can turn a potentially damaging situation into an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships and enhance your brand’s reputation. By following these unique tips and learning from real-life examples, restaurants and retail businesses can navigate negative feedback with grace and professionalism, ultimately winning over customers and driving long-term success.

Spreading Love And Boosting Sales: A Guide For Your Business During Valentine’s and Singles Day

Love is in the air and businesses are gearing up for Valentine’s Day. For restaurants and retailers looking to make the most of these celebrations, Como’s suite of features provides an excellent opportunity to engage customers and boost sales during this time. In this article, we’ll explore creative ways to use scratch cards, email marketing, push notifications, app customization, and special promotions.

1. Create Innovative Scratch Cards

Como’s scratch card feature adds an element of surprise and excitement to your loyalty program. For Valentine’s Day, consider creating scratch cards that customers can “scratch” on your app to reveal special discounts or exclusive offers. For instance, a restaurant could offer a percentage discount on a romantic dinner or a free dessert with a meal purchase. Retailers can also use scratch cards to unveil unique promo codes for online shopping.

2. Design An Email Marketing Blitz

Utilize Como’s email builder to craft visually appealing and personalized emails for Valentine’s Day – as well as its other iterations, Galentine’s Day and Single’s Day. For Galentine’s Day, a restaurant could send out a special promotion for group reservations, offering a complimentary appetizer for parties of four or more. For Singles Day, businesses can focus on self-love promotions, encouraging solo customers to treat themselves to a special meal or retail therapy.

3. Send Push Notifications for Timely Reminders

Leverage push notifications strategically to keep your audience engaged and remind customers about upcoming Valentine’s Day related events, special promotions, or limited-time offers. For example, a restaurant could send a push notification promoting an early bird discount for Valentine’s Day reservations. Retailers can notify customers of flash sales during this time, thus creating a sense of urgency and excitement.

4. Customize Your App

Show your customers that you’re in the Valentine’s Day spirit by customizing your app background and logo. Businesses can add romantic hues and heart motifs or celebrate Galentine’s or Single’s Day with bold designs. This subtle customization reinforces a brand’s connection with the holiday period and enhances the user experience.

5. Create BOGO Deals for Smart Savings

Everyone loves a good deal, especially during these festive occasions. Businesses can implement Buy One Get One (BOGO) promotions to attract cost-conscious customers. For example, a restaurant can offer a BOGO deal on dessert or a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of a main course. Retailers can apply a BOGO deal to specific product categories, encouraging customers to buy select gifts for loved ones.

6. Elevate the Celebration with Bundles

Create enticing bundles or packages to maximize customer spending. Restaurants can offer Valentine’s packages combining champagne with luxury items like caviar or chocolate-covered strawberries. Retailers can curate gift bundles for different budgets, providing a convenient and appealing option for customers looking to purchase gifts for their loved ones.

In all, restaurants and retailers can leverage Como’s product suite to turn Valentine’s Day into an opportunity to engage with customers, drive sales, and leave a lasting brand impression.

Building Customer Loyalty: The Power Of Rewards In Boosting Returns And Spend

Rewards create a positive association between a customer and a brand. They go beyond simple transactions, fostering a sense of appreciation and value. For companies, this gratitude translates into increased customer retention, word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, higher revenue. We refer to this as shared value – and it’s a key philosophy driving force behind successful loyalty programs.

How can your company use Como to generate shared value?

1. Social Media Gift Landing Page

Leveraging  social media platforms is essential in the age of constant connectivity. Our Social Media Gift tool allows businesses to seamlessly distribute rewards on social media through a dedicated page on the Como Hub. These rewards encourage customers to return and generate positive communication on social media regarding the business – it’s a win win.

2. Friend Referral Programs

Our friend referral feature harnesses the power of warm referrals and takes customer loyalty to the next level. By incentivizing customers to refer friends, businesses not only expand their customer base but also build a community around their brand. This community-driven approach is a catalyst for driving sustained value for both customer and business.

3. Automated Marketing Campaigns

Send a thank you reward to your customers when they purchase a specific product, spend a certain amount, or visit a certain number of times. Como’s automated marketing campaigns can be triggered by any of these actions and many more. The element of a surprise reward is a subtle thank you to your customers for supporting your business. In turn, it fosters a sense of community beyond the transaction encouraging loyalty.

Building A Strong Brand Presence With Como’s Communication Tools

One of the key elements of successful brand building is effective communication. Como’s diverse communication tools offer businesses the opportunity to connect with their customers in a meaningful way. Here are 3 features of Como’s communication suite that will turbocharge your brand.

1. Enhance Brand Awareness Through Email Cadences

Email communication is a cornerstone of any strategy to build brand awareness and promote customer engagement. The Como Hub features an email CRM giving you the ability to create eye-catching email campaigns whose content can range from informative newsletters about your company to offering readers exclusive offers that encourage them to visit your store.

2. SMS: Targeted Brand Building for Promotions and Announcements

SMS marketing is a powerful tool when used thoughtfully. Unlike email, SMS messages offer an immediate connection with your audience allowing businesses to communicate promotions or announcements directly to customers. SMS campaigns create a sense of urgency, thus encouraging customers to take action and engage with the brand.

3. Casual and Effective Brand Promotion via Push Notifications

Push notifications provide a convenient and cost-effective way for casual brand promotion. Como’s push notification capabilities enable businesses to send timely updates, news, and offers directly to their customer’s cell phone for free. These notifications serve as gentle reminders of the brand’s presence, keeping customers informed about new products, services, or events.


In all, Como offers 3 key communication tools that allow businesses to reach their customers whenever and wherever they are.

September Spotlight: Exploring The Key Features Of Successful Loyalty Programs

Amidst the ever-competitive landscape of modern business, where customer loyalty holds the key to triumph, loyalty programs have emerged as the hidden treasure to secure success. According to Invesp customer loyalty trends, 83% of consumers are more likely to continue doing business with brands that offer a loyalty program. It’s no wonder that loyalty programs have taken center stage as a powerful tool to attract and retain customers. But what sets apart the successful ones from the rest?

Join us as we explore the thrilling statistics and unveil the must-have features that have propelled loyalty programs to success in various industries. From personalized rewards resulting in a whopping 74% increase in engagement to gamification elements delivering a staggering 47% surge in customer participation, these captivating strategies are creating an unparalleled bond with customers and forging loyal communities of brand advocates.

1. Unlocking Customer Engagement: The Magic of Personalized Offers and Experiences

Personalization is the cornerstone of an engaging loyalty program. By harnessing the power of AI and data analytics, brands can decipher customer preferences, behaviors, and purchase history. This wealth of information allows for crafting hyper-targeted offers and experiences. Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 80% of digital business projects will require AI-based data insights to enhance customer experience.

Customizing rewards, offers, and interactions according to individual preferences and behaviors enables brands to engage customers effectively, encouraging ongoing participation and ultimately driving business growth. They resonate with customers on a deeper level, fostering a sense of exclusivity and appreciation, which in turn compels them to stay committed and loyal to the brand.

Amazon Prime members receive various personalized benefits, including free and fast shipping, access to streaming services, and specific deals and discounts. Amazon’s advanced recommendation engine analyzes customer browsing and purchase history to provide personalized product recommendations, creating a more relevant and engaging shopping experience for each member.

2. Ascending the Ranks: The Power of Tiered Membership Levels

Tiered membership levels create a sense of achievement and progression for customers. As they move from one tier to the next, customers experience a growing connection to the brand. This gradual engagement not only retains existing customers but also entices them to continue their journey, thereby resulting in increased repeat business and reduced customer churn.

Exclusive benefits and personalized experiences, such as birthday discounts, free shipping, or exclusive access to new products, strengthen customers’ emotional connection to the brand. The Harvard Business Review emphasizes that customers in loyalty programs with tiered benefits have an emotional connection that is 42% stronger than those in non-tiered programs. This emotional bond translates into enduring loyalty and advocacy.

Starbucks has a popular tiered loyalty program that offers different levels of benefits to its members. The Green level is the entry-level tier, where customers can earn stars (points) for their purchases and get benefits like a free birthday drink, refills on brewed coffee or tea, and personalized offers. Once customers reach the Gold level after earning a certain number of stars, Gold members receive all the benefits of the Green level, plus additional perks like free drinks or food items after accumulating more stars, and early access to new products.

3. Blending Worlds: The Seamless Multi-Channel Experience

In today’s interconnected world, where customers engage with brands through multiple channels, the importance of a seamless experience cannot be overstated. A successful loyalty program should seamlessly integrate across various touchpoints, including in-store, online, mobile app, and customer support channels. When customers encounter uniform branding and messaging, they develop a stronger sense of brand identity.
Moreover, a seamless multi-channel experience offers customers the convenience and flexibility to engage with a loyalty program through their preferred channels. A report by Deloitte reveals that customers who engage with a brand across multiple channels have a 30% higher lifetime value. An omnichannel approach ensures that customers remain actively engaged, contributing to long-term loyalty.
Nike’s focus on creating a seamless multi-channel experience has been a significant factor in the success of its loyalty program. By bridging the gap between online and offline channels, Nike has deepened customer engagement, fostering a sense of community and driving long-term loyalty among its members. The program’s success showcases how a cohesive and integrated multi-channel approach can significantly enhance the overall customer experience and strengthen brand affinity.

4. Leveling up the Fun: The Thrill of Gamification Elements

According to Badgeville’s research, companies that integrate gamification into their loyalty initiatives witness a substantial 47% rise in customer engagement. By presenting challenges, awarding points, badges, and showcasing leaderboards, brands foster a spirit of competition and accomplishment, alluring customers to engage more frequently and enthusiastically.
Gamification elements produce memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers, setting these interactions apart from others in their memories. When customers associate positive emotions with a brand’s loyalty program, they are more likely to recall and engage with it in the future. A study by Nielsen Norman Group highlights that memorable experiences lead to a higher likelihood of customer loyalty and advocacy.

McDonald’s is known for integrating gamification into their mobile app, creating a fun and engaging digital environment that keeps customers coming back for more delightful experiences and enticing rewards. They introduced a thrilling “Spin the Wheel” gamification experience in their mobile app and with each spin, participants can win a variety of prizes, from free menu items and discounts to exclusive merchandise and special offers.

5. Uniting Hearts and Minds: The Impact of Social Media Engagement

Social media and community engagement are pivotal components of a successful loyalty program, offering brands the opportunity to create vibrant online spaces where customers can connect, interact, and share their experiences. It provides a means to foster a sense of belonging and strengthen the emotional connection between customers and the brand.

Engaged customers often create user-generated content, such as reviews, testimonials, and creative posts, which can be leveraged for marketing purposes. According to a study by Bazaarvoice, user-generated content is 20% more influential than any other type of media when it comes to making a purchase decision. Brands can showcase this content to celebrate customers and amplify their loyalty, encouraging others to join the community.

Costco actively engages its members on social media, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, to communicate the benefits and rewards of the Membership Rewards program. They showcase popular products, highlight seasonal items, and share member testimonials to create excitement and drive engagement. They also run social media campaigns that encourage members to share their Costco shopping experiences and finds using hashtags like #CostcoFinds or #MyCostcoHaul.

Back-To-School Loyalty: Strategies To Engage And Reward Student Customers

As the back-to-school season approaches, businesses have a golden opportunity to tap into the student market and leverage their loyalty to drive growth and success. With students and their families actively preparing for the upcoming academic year, creating targeted strategies to engage and reward your younger customers can lead to long-lasting brand loyalty and increased sales.

In this article, we will explore four effective back-to-school loyalty strategies that you can implement to capture the attention of student customers, stand out in the competitive landscape, 
and foster lasting relationships that extend far beyond the back-to-school season.

1. Unlocking Back-to-School Savings: Student-Exclusive Discounts and Offers

As students prepare for the new year, they are often on a tight budget, seeking ways to save on essential items like school supplies, textbooks, electronics, and clothing. Offering exclusive deals and discounts tailored specifically for them addresses their unique needs and financial constraints, making the brand more appealing and relevant to this demographic.

Offer exclusive lunch specials during the weekdays, providing students with affordable and satisfying options during their break time. Offer complimentary upgrades to larger sizes or premium beverages with the purchase of certain menu items. By presenting a valid student ID, they can unlock special pricing or promotions, providing a sense of exclusivity and belonging to the brand.

Chipotle offers a “Students Buy One, Get One Free” promotion on certain days of the week. Students with a valid ID can avail of this offer and enjoy a complimentary burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos with the purchase of another. Similarly, Taco Bell offers a student discount program, providing a percentage off the total order for students who show their student ID at participating locations. 

Communicating these exclusive offers through various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and on-campus events, ensures that students are aware of the benefits and incentives awaiting them. This clear and targeted communication fosters a positive brand perception among students, positioning the brand as one that understands and supports their needs.

2. Igniting Back-to-School Buzz: Social Media Spectacle and Captivating Contests

With an ever-growing presence on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter, students actively engage with content that resonates with their interests and preferences. Businesses can capitalize on these platforms by creating captivating back-to-school campaigns that not only grab students’ attention but also encourage them to participate and share their experiences with the brand.

These campaigns may involve challenges, quizzes, polls, or other fun activities that relate to the back-to-school season. For example, you could run a photo contest where customers post pictures of themselves in school-themed attire while dining at your restaurant. Offer enticing prizes such as gift cards, free meals, or exclusive back-to-school merchandise to entice participation.

Starbucks launched a photo contest celebrating the back-to-school season. Students were encouraged to take creative photos of their favorite Starbucks beverages or food items along with their school supplies or in a school setting. Entries were submitted by using a specific contest hashtag and tagging Starbucks’ official account. Winners received Starbucks gift cards and a feature on Starbucks’ social media pages.

McDonald’s hosted a quiz contest geared towards students, featuring trivia questions related to school subjects, pop culture, and fun facts. The quiz was conducted through Instagram Stories or a dedicated landing page, and participants had to answer a series of questions within a limited time. Those who correctly answered all the questions were entered into a prize draw for McDonald’s gift cards

3. Passing the Perks Forward: Irresistible Referral Incentives and Benefits

Referral campaigns are powerful marketing strategies designed to leverage the influence of satisfied customers and their networks. According to Texas Tech University, satisfied customers are more likely to become advocates, with 83% of customers willing to refer others after a positive experience. By harnessing the enthusiasm of their satisfied customers, businesses can capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing, which is often more trustworthy and effective than traditional advertising.

Utilizing Como’s expertise, you can easily establish a friend referral campaign to offer enticing benefits to your current members. Your existing members can effortlessly share the invite link with friends via email, SMS, or social media. When their friends open the link, they’ll be guided to a sign-up page, either on the web or within the app, where they can register using the provided referral code.

Within our Campaign Center section, you have the flexibility to set up reward rules for both the advocate (current member) and the referred friend. For instance, the advocate might receive their reward only after the referred friend makes their initial purchase. To incentivize members to invite their friends, consider providing rewards for each successful referral. These rewards may include discounts on future purchases, complimentary menu items, loyalty points, exclusive merchandise, or special event access.


Implementing these four back-to-school loyalty strategies can help businesses effectively engage and reward student customers, setting the stage for lasting brand loyalty and continued success. By understanding the unique needs and preferences of students and tailoring marketing efforts accordingly, businesses can build strong relationships with the student market, resulting in increased customer retention, brand advocacy, and growth.

Revamping Your Loyalty Program: A Refreshing Makeover For August And Beyond


In a landscape of ever-evolving customer preferences and constantly changing market dynamics, maintaining a thriving loyalty program requires ongoing adaptation and improvement. As the summer season winds down and customers gear up for a new chapter, there’s no better opportunity to refresh and enhance your loyalty program to capture their attention and loyalty.  

Get ready to turn up the heat on your customer retention efforts as we embark on a journey to transform your loyalty program into a magnetic force that keeps customers coming back for more. Let’s dive into the realm of loyalty program makeovers and unlock the five secrets to cultivating lasting customer relationships! 

1. Unraveling the Success of your Existing Program’s Performance

Assessing program performance is a crucial step when revamping loyalty programs as it provides valuable insights into the effectiveness and impact of the existing program. It ensures that the new loyalty program remains relevant and aligns with current trends and customer behaviors.  

According to a study by Forrester Research, only 35% of companies actively assess the effectiveness of their loyalty programs. Businesses that actively review their loyalty program’s impact are better equipped to identify areas for improvement, enhance customer engagement, and drive higher customer satisfaction.  

Como’s advanced BI tool allows you to effortlessly prepare dynamic reports that provide valuable insights on the performance of your loyalty program, including which rewards are most popular and frequently redeemed by customers, helping businesses understand what incentives are most appealing and help with the makeover process of your new loyalty program. 

2. Setting the Sail with Clear Objectives and Goals

Clearly defined objectives help focus efforts and resources on what truly matters. Without well-defined goals, the program may lack direction, leading to scattered initiatives that don’t contribute to the program’s overall success. 

Moreover, objectives provide measurable outcomes that serve as benchmarks for evaluating the success of the revamped loyalty program. Having quantifiable goals allows you to track progress and determine whether the changes have achieved the desired results. 

Effective communication of the changes made to your staff is crucial for fostering a collaborative and cohesive team effort. This transparent approach empowers your team to confidently engage with customers, encouraging new sign-ups, and showcasing their understanding of the revamped loyalty program. As your team collectively embraces the changes, they become brand ambassadors who proudly represent the revamped loyalty program to both existing and potential customers. 

Sephora set clear objectives for its loyalty program makeover, which included increasing customer engagement, driving repeat purchases, and enhancing the overall customer experience. They aim to reward loyal customers with personalized perks, exclusive products, and early access to sales, while also attracting new customers through a tiered rewards system. 

3. Leveling up Satisfaction with Captivating Rewards and Benefits

As customer preferences and expectations evolve, staying relevant and enticing becomes a key factor in retaining loyalty and fostering brand advocacy. Updated and attractive rewards that resonate with your target audience creates excitement, leading to increased engagement with the loyalty program.  

By introducing new rewards and benefits, you gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviors, enabling you to further optimize your loyalty program with greater effectiveness. This enables you to easily segment customers and offer rewards that are more meaningful and enticing to each group and set your brand apart from the competition. 

Consider adding gamification elements, such as Spin the Wheel and Scratch and Win, to make it more exciting for your customers to redeem rewards and gifts. Research by Deloitte revealed that 62% of consumers believe that gamified loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand. These interactive features will add an exciting twist to the customer experience, enticing customers to engage and participate actively.  

Starbucks revamped its loyalty program by adding gamification elements where customers can earn stars for every purchase, and they have the opportunity to play interactive games or challenges to earn bonus stars. These gamified activities created a sense of excitement and engagement among their customers, encouraging them to participate more actively. 

4. Streamlining the Program Structure for an Enhanced Experience

A user-friendly loyalty program reduces friction in the customer journey, making it easier for members to participate and earn rewards. When customers encounter fewer barriers or complexities, they are more likely to stay actively engaged with the program, earning and redeeming rewards with ease. This effortless experience fosters a positive perception of the brand and encourages members to continue their patronage. 

Dunkin’ Donuts streamlined the program structure by simply allowing customers earn points for every purchase, and after reaching a certain number of points, they can redeem them for free beverages. The straightforward earning and redemption process made it more user-friendly and accessible to customers. 

5. Igniting Excitement with Clear Communication of the Changes

Communicating the changes ensures that customers are aware of the updated rewards, benefits, and any modifications to the program structure. This awareness encourages them to explore and utilize the new features, leading to increased engagement. It also portrays the brand as customer-centric and as a result, they will perceive the changes positively when they understand the benefits and value behind the updates. 

To ensure effective communication of the loyalty program makeover, brands can send personalized emails to their members, highlighting the benefits of the revamped program. Exciting announcements and engaging interactions can also be made on social media platforms, creating buzz and keeping customers involved in the loyalty program makeover. 

Target effectively communicated the changes of their updated loyalty program to their customers by using a combination of personalized emails, app notifications, and social media announcements. This ensured that their customers are well informed of the program changes and continue shopping at Target to maximize the rewards and benefits of being loyalty members.  

To Conclude

Embarking on a loyalty program revamp can breathe new life into your business’s customer retention strategy and create lasting connections with your valued customers. As we step into August and beyond, the opportunity to refresh and enhance your loyalty program awaits, presenting a chance to exceed customer expectations and strengthen brand loyalty. 


Sun-kissed loyalty: 3 ways to turn summer into a fun and rewarding adventure for your customers

As the sun shines brighter and the days grow longer, the summer season presents a golden opportunity for businesses to embark on a thrilling loyalty adventure with their cherished customers. With the warm breeze of enthusiasm sweeping through the air, it’s the perfect time to infuse your brand with a dash of excitement and creativity.

In this blog article, we’ll explore three exciting ways to transform the mundane into the extraordinary, ensuring your customers are not just content but eager participants in the unforgettable journey of loyalty and fun this summer. So, let’s dive into the radiant world of sun-kissed loyalty and make this season one to remember!

1. Dive into Fun with Exciting Summer-Themed Challenges

Summer challenges that are fun and engaging have the potential to go viral on social media platforms. You can host photo contests, caption competitions, quizzes, or even challenge customers to create fun videos related to your brand and the summer season. As they engage with your brand through various activities, they spend more time interacting with your products or services, leading to increased engagement and interest in your offerings. 

Satisfied customers who enjoy the summer challenges are likely to share their experiences with friends and family. Positive word-of-mouth marketing can have a significant impact on attracting new customers and further solidifying loyalty among existing ones. Leverage social media platforms, email marketing, your website, and any other relevant channels to spread the word and encourage participation. 

Starbucks has been known for its annual “Summer Game” challenge, where customers can participate in various tasks to earn bonus stars in the Starbucks Rewards program. The tasks usually include making specific purchases, trying new menu items, or participating in themed quizzes. The benefits of this challenge include increased foot traffic to their stores, higher sales, and enhanced customer engagement as participants actively seek out Starbucks products to complete tasks and earn rewards. 

Nike often hosts summer-themed challenges focused on promoting outdoor activities and fitness during the season. They encourage customers to participate in various physical challenges, such as running, biking, or participating in outdoor workouts, using their Nike+ app or other platforms. Nike provides participants with exclusive content related to the challenges, such as training plans, workout videos, or tips from professional athletes. This content enriches the overall experience and helps participants stay engaged throughout the challenges. 

2. Captivate Hearts with Sunny Rewards and Irresistible Offers

Spice up your loyalty program by offering exclusive summer-themed rewards and perks to your customers. When they receive exclusive or themed rewards during specific seasons, it creates a sense of excitement and appreciation, fostering a positive emotional connection with the brand. 

For example, offer your members double or bonus loyalty points for every purchase made during the summer months. This incentivizes customers to choose your brand over competitors and accumulates points faster, leading to more significant rewards down the line. Consider providing exclusive summer-themed merchandise like branded tumblers, sunglasses, or other summer related items as complimentary rewards for loyalty program members who achieve specific spending or points milestones. 

Restaurants can introduce exclusive summer menu items, such as refreshing beverages, seasonal desserts, or limited-time specialty dishes. These unique offerings can be made available exclusively to loyalty program members, encouraging them to try new items during the summer season and making them feel valued by being among the first to experience the latest offerings. Since they are available only during the summer months, customers are more likely to act quickly to take advantage of the seasonal offers, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions. 

During the summer, Baskin-Robbins often runs special promotions and deals, such as discounts on certain ice cream treats or offers for loyalty program members. These promotions attract customers and encourage them to indulge in their favorite ice cream treats more frequently. Baskin-Robbins introduces special seasonal ice cream flavors during the summer. These flavors often incorporate fresh fruits and other summer ingredients, making them perfect for satisfying customers’ cravings for refreshing treats. 

Bath & Body Works introduces summer-themed scents and limited-edition collections during the season. They often offer special discounts or free gifts with purchases to encourage customers to indulge in their summer-inspired products. 

3. Spice up the Season with Collaborations and Partnerships

By joining forces with other businesses or influencers for the summer, brands can reach new audiences, create exciting experiences, and strengthen their overall presence in the market. Here are some ideas to consider: 

  1. Partner with local summer events or festivals to set up food stalls or offer exclusive menus. This collaboration can attract a broader audience and expose your restaurant to potential new customers while rewarding loyal ones with a special experience. 
  1. Partner with guest chefs or culinary experts to your restaurant for special events or limited-time menu collaborations. This adds an element of novelty and excitement, attracting loyal customers who wouldn’t want to miss out on the unique dining experience. 
  1. Invite food bloggers to your restaurant to try out your new summer menu items. Allow them to sample and review the dishes, capturing enticing photographs that they can share on their blogs and social media platforms. Positive reviews from trusted bloggers can drive traffic to your restaurant and pique the interest of potential customers. 

For instance, the premium ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs partnered with the Museum of Ice Cream to create a unique and immersive ice cream experience during the summer. The collaboration included interactive exhibits and limited-edition ice cream flavors inspired by the museum’s playful atmosphere. 

Final Words

By incorporating these strategies into your summer marketing and loyalty initiatives, you can elevate the customer experience from ordinary to extraordinary. Turning summer into a fun loyalty adventure for your customers will not only strengthen their bond with your brand but also leave a lasting impression that continues long after the season has ended. So, get ready to take your customers on a summer journey they’ll never forget, and watch as their loyalty and enthusiasm soar to new heights! 

How To Respond To Customer Feedback: The Do’s And The Don’ts

Every interaction with your customers presents an opportunity to strengthen your relationships and enhance your brand’s reputation. When customers leave feedback, it provides valuable insights into customer perceptions, preferences, and pain points, serving as a compass for improvement and growth.

Not only does feedback contribute to enhancing customer satisfaction, but it also empowers you to make well-informed business decisions, cater to evolving customer needs, and foster unwavering brand loyalty. According to Bain & Company, companies that prioritize customer feedback and take actionable steps to make the necessary changes enjoy a 1.4x higher customer retention rate.

In this dynamic guide, we will explore the key ingredients of effective customer feedback response and unveil how it can be transformed into a catalyst for success. From expressing gratitude to offering personalized solutions, we’ll equip you with the strategies to enhance customer satisfaction, foster brand loyalty, and make informed business decisions.

✅ Express gratitude for their input

It’s important to show and convey gratitude for the customer’s time and effort in providing their feedback. Let your customers know that their input plays a vital role in shaping your products, services, and overall customer experience. This helps the customer understand that their voice is valued and encourages them to continue providing feedback in the future.

Make sure your appreciation comes across as genuine and heartfelt. Use language that expresses your sincere gratitude for their feedback. For example, phrases like “Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts” or “We truly appreciate your valuable feedback” can help you express your sincere appreciation. You can also reward your customers as a token of appreciation for giving feedback, with discounts, coupons, or extra points that will help them redeem menu items from your store.

Today’s prospective diners turn to social media or online review platforms like Yelp and Zomato to gauge the credibility of restaurants before making a choice, so make sure you are present and active on these websites. As an example, Domino’s Pizza has built a strong and loyal customer base by engaging with customers on social media and using feedback to drive continuous improvements.

❌ Turn a Blind Eye to Feedback

Ignoring customer feedback can damage a brand’s reputation, especially if it’s unaddressed negative feedback. A study revealed that in the United States, an estimated $41 billion is lost by companies annually due to poor customer service and negative word-of-mouth resulting from feedback that has not been dealt with.

By paying attention to their feedback, you can identify areas for improvement, make necessary changes to enhance your products and services, and stay competitive to meet the evolving needs of your customers. Regardless of whether you believe a comment is unfair or false, take the time to carefully construct a response that demonstrates your commitment to engaging with customers and shows that you value their feedback.

As an example, Bistro Delight, a popular restaurant, disregarded customer feedback regarding slow service and subpar food quality. As a result, negative reviews spread, customer visits declined, and their reputation suffered.

✅ Empathetically Address their Concerns

Apologize sincerely for any inconvenience caused to them and assure customers that you will rectify the situation promptly. Request clarification if needed to provide accurate and targeted responses.

Offering a solution or explanation that directly addresses the customer’s concern demonstrates empathy and accountability. Depending on the situation, this could involve providing step-by-step instructions, suggesting alternatives, or offering a refund or replacement. It is important to be transparent, and honest, and provide as much information as needed to address their concern effectively.

Post-purchase, maintain a connection through regular follow-ups to enhance the customer experience. This approach ensures they feel valued and encourages repeat business.

❌ Spice Up the Blame Game

Blaming the customer creates an atmosphere of conflict, making it difficult to reach a mutually beneficial solution. It is crucial to maintain composure and professionalism, regardless of the customer’s behavior or attitude. While their feedback may not always be accurate or reflect the majority opinion, dismissing their concerns can discourage them from providing valuable feedback in the future.

When they see that your business is genuinely apologetic and eager to make things right, they may be willing to continue doing business with you instead of leaving a bad review or approaching your competitors.

Chipotle Mexican Grill faced a food safety crisis in 2015 and initially responded by blaming customers for getting sick, leading to a decline in sales and a damaged reputation. This incident underscores the significance of addressing feedback with transparency and accountability to preserve a company’s image and customer loyalty.

✅ Delight them with Personalized Responses

Providing generic responses to customer feedback can make customers feel like they’re not being heard or that their concerns are not being taken seriously. Simply addressing the customers by name and saying thank you in different ways for every review can lead to increased customer satisfaction and make them feel more connected to your business.

When customers receive tailored responses, it demonstrates that your business is taking the time to provide personalized and thoughtful replies, you can show customers that their feedback is valuable, earn their trust, and create a positive impression of your business. For example, Sephora is well-known for its detailed and helpful responses to customer feedback, offering personalized advice and recommendations based on their individual needs and preferences.

❌ Sour the Experience with a Negative Tone

When responding to a dissatisfied customer’s feedback, using a positive tone can help alleviate their negative emotions and create a more positive atmosphere for resolving their concerns. It showcases your brand’s commitment to providing excellent customer service by exhibiting professionalism, respect, and a customer-centric approach.

Dunkin’ Donuts understands the importance of responding in a positive manner to negative feedback by employing warm and friendly language. They strive to create a welcoming and approachable atmosphere, diffusing any tension and ensuring that customers feel valued and respected. This has led to loyal brand advocates for the brand, who share their positive experiences with others, both online and offline.

✅ Serve Up with Timely Responses

According to a study by Oracle Hospitality, 66% of consumers expect a response to their online review or complaint within 24 hours. This indicates that customers have high expectations for prompt responses from businesses when providing feedback or expressing concerns.

Monitoring your social media channels and review platforms regularly is crucial to identify any comments or reviews posted by customers. Enable notifications or alerts for incoming feedback to ensure timely responses and mitigate the impact of negative comments before they gain significant attention.

The Cheesecake Factory, a renowned restaurant chain, understands the significance of prompt responses to customer feedback. They have dedicated teams monitoring their social media accounts and review platforms, ensuring that customer reviews and complaints are addressed within 24 hours. This commitment to timely engagement demonstrates their dedication to customer satisfaction and helps maintain a positive online reputation.

❌ Make promises you can’t keep

While it can be tempting to tell the customer what they’d like to hear, it’s necessary to inform them when things may not turn out the way they want. Making unrealistic promises can set false expectations for customers and if those promises are consistently broken, it can negatively affect your relationship in the long run.

Customers trust reviews as personal recommendations and how you respond to these reviews plays an equally important role in forming the first impression of your business. Instead of giving false hope, focus on finding alternative solutions or compromises that still meet your customers’ needs without misleading them.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad, their dedicated technical support team, is renowned for its approach to customer feedback. When faced with a situation where a customer’s desired outcome may not be feasible, Geek Squad representatives provide transparent explanations and offer alternative solutions or compromises to address the customer’s needs effectively. This commitment to realistic expectations and finding viable solutions has earned Best Buy a reputation for reliable customer service in the electronics retail industry.

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