How One Phrase Can Increase Participation in Your Loyalty Program

By - December 16, 2015

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Do you want more participation in your loyalty program? Train your staff to speak up.

This is a situation I refer to as the “Candy Bowl Phenomenon.” Have you ever seen a candy dish at the counter of your bank but don’t reach out to take a piece until you are invited? For a variety of reasons, most people won’t reach out and take it until the invitation is there. They know it’s free, but need an invitation to act.

The most efficient approach for signing customers up for your loyalty program is equipping your employees with action phrases. Proposing a small action will usually make people more responsive to your request and help them break through doing nothing. Just have your staff always add a simple phrase to generate more participation in your loyalty program. Here are some examples:

  • Would you like 10% off today by joining our loyalty program? It will only take a few seconds.
  • Are you a member of our loyalty program? If not, you can sign up right now and get 10% off.
  • May I get your phone number to add loyalty points? (This is my personal favorite. When done confidently with fingers on the keypad, as if providing your phone number is the norm, it returns impressive results).
  • Here are some additional tips to boost your invitation:

  • Refer to the incentive. Did you notice that each example listed above refers to the incentive for joining? It’s true. When you give someone a reason for participating your results are likely to increase.
  • “Require” it for checkout. If you’ve ever made a purchase at Staples, Ace Hardware, or dozens of other stores that specialize in tracking customer loyalty, you were probably asked for your phone number as if it was a requirement for checkout. The truth is, it’s not. But, when asked as if it is, you would be surprised at the amount of customers that freely give it. If they don’t want to give it they will simply say “no thanks” and no harm is done. Train your employees to ask the question as if it’s a natural part of the checkout and you will definitely see results. EXAMPLE: Did you find everything you needed today?… Great, what’s your phone number?”
  • Test different phrases and find out what works for you. You may even decide to merge two of the options above such as asking casually for a phone number and only providing the incentive to the few people who ask “what for?” Try different approaches and nail down the one that works for you!
  • KISS – Keep it simple (stupid). When your loyalty program has multiple pieces and is not easy to understand, employees are less likely to mention it and people are less likely to participate. This implies that if you want your loyalty program to have success, you need to make it simple and straight forward. Everything involved in your loyalty program, especially getting customers registered, should be hurdle free. If you want customers to get involved and your staff to speak up, it needs to be simple.

If you are going to put time and assets into implementing a loyalty program, don’t come short on the invitation. Training your employees to add a simple phrase is an excellent strategy to boost participation and will ensure you get results.

 

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