Loyalty is about people. A loyalty program must be more than a card and a database. To be successful, it must focus on the people on both sides of the box office counter: your guests and your team. Frontline team members are vital as they are, quite literally, the face of your program and organization. Without their ongoing engagement, even the most carefully-devised loyalty program will struggle to succeed. Here are five tips to stoke your frontline team's passion and commitment.
1. Convert your frontline team into advocates
Your program is doomed to no more than mediocrity if your frontline team don't understand and champion it to your guests. When creating your program, proactively share the vision and objectives with your frontline team. Solicit their ideas because they will have unique and relevant insights from serving guests.
Ensure that your launch strategy includes activities to train and motivate the team, and reward and recognize your star advocates on an ongoing basis to illustrate standards and expectations.
2. Integrate your program into your service operating model
Consciously consider how you will use your loyalty program to enhance member satisfaction with your business. How will it improve guest experience and journey? What pain points will it help overcome? How will your frontline team turn your aspirations into a consistently-delivered reality?
Define the type of person who is most capable of delivering this and work it into your recruitment strategy. Prepare policies and procedures to include in induction and ongoing training.
3. Entrench your program's 'magic sentence'
All retail loyalty programs need a compelling value proposition that can be summarized in one 'magic sentence' to convert guests at point of sale. This is because service time is critical, and long-winded pitches slow down queues and confuse guests.
Devise your magic sentence and continually reinforce its importance to your team. While ad-libbing team members may have the best of intentions, in my experience when they go rogue the value proposition gets poorly communicated.
4. Ask for membership at every transaction
It is essential that frontline team members ask guests if they are members during every transaction for a number of reasons.
Firstly, guests reasonably hold businesses responsible for not prompting them when they forget to identify themselves as members. Secondly, members will only see value in a program if they access its benefits (this is particularly true for paid programs). Finally, it provides an opportunity to upgrade guests who are not yet members. Consider POS prompts and mystery shopper programs to maximize compliance.
5. Brief in offers and promotions
Few things erode member satisfaction more than receiving an offer or promotion by email only to have frontline team members who are not aware of it or, worse, dispute the member's eligibility.
Ensure that a succinct campaign brief is prepared for every offer and promotion, with sufficient time for your front line team to review it and undertake any set-up.
The key word is 'succinct' as your team is undoubtedly time poor with much to do to deliver an outstanding guest experience. POS prompts are also highly useful to remind frontline team members of offers. Finally, frontline staff should always proactively offer benefits to members and not wait for members to ask first. If you are not prepared to proactively offer a discount or freebie to members, it is better to discontinue them altogether.