How the Smoothie King Healthy Rewards Program Helps Create Loyal GuestsAuthor: Smoothie King
When consumers are treated well by a brand, they become loyal guests. Smoothie King’s loyalty program was designed to reward our devoted guests in order to keep them visiting our franchise locations, which can help boost franchisee growth. But, rewards programs must also be simple to use – for both our guests and franchisees – in order for it to be successful.
How Healthy Rewards Works
Every time a guest purchases a smoothie or retail item at any Smoothie King location, they receive a points for every dollar they spend when they use the Healthy Rewards app on their smartphones. As points add up, they can redeem them for discounted smoothies.
“The previous version of Healthy Rewards had 7 levels of redemption,” explained Jennifer Herskind, Smoothie King Chief Marketing Officer.
So, when customers hit the 1,000-point mark, they get $1 off and an additional dollar off per 1,000 points. So, when they have 2,000 points, they’ll receive $2 off and so on up to 7,000 points.
With the latest version of the app, we’ve simplified the system to a single level of redemption. When guests earn 2,500 points, there’ll be a $2 reward.
The process for earning those points is simple, too, because guests demand convenience as part of their purchasing experience: They just tap the “Earn” button on the app and scan the code at the register during each visit. Points are then added to their account.
In addition to being convenient, rewards programs should be guest-friendly, too.
We realize there are times when guests may not have their smartphone with them or might forget they have the Healthy Rewards app. Our rewards system allows guests to go into the app after they’ve made the purchase, enter a few basic details that appear on their receipt, such as subtotal and time of visit, and points will be added.
The Healthy Rewards app also allows guests to earn points on full price catering orders, search for locations, view the menu and receive exclusive offers.
The Evolution of Smoothie King Rewards
Smoothie King realized the importance of a rewards program long before smartphones and apps were developed.
Some version of the rewards program has existed for the last 20 years, starting with punch cards. Guests would buy nine smoothies, and receive the 10thsmoothie free. In 2011, we began using a mobile app. We were one of the first in our industry to transition to a smartphone app for loyalty rewards. In 2017, we updated the app, and we updated it once more in December 2018 to its current form.
From a functionality standpoint, one of the biggest improvements has been to be able to scan once to earn, redeem and pay. Guests can use a pre-loaded amount that acts more like a debit card or they can upload credit card payment information and it will charge per transaction.
There’s also a VIP tier for guests who come most frequently, and they’ll earn their rewards point at a 25-percent bonus rate.
Early in 2019, we’re looking to add online ordering functionality with the Healthy Rewards app. Guests will be able to customizes their smoothies, order ahead and pay ahead – allowing them to get their drink as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Potential Franchisee Benefits
The data we collect from app users allows Smoothie King to understand how our most loyal guests experience the brand, especially by looking at how often they visit, how much they spend and what they order. All that is developed into initiatives to help franchisees serve guests better
“As we work on initiatives for 2019 and beyond, we’re going to lean into the data we’re collecting and the insights we’re getting from these guests to learn how well we’re promoting different products and what their purchasing behavior is,” said Courtney Thees, digital content manager for Smoothie King.
At the store level, the rewards program is visible to our franchisees. Because it provides discounts or free smoothies, it keeps guests coming back to earn more points while also making one of their favorite purchases. Franchisees get to actually see how frequently guests visit.
“It’s a way to give back to those guests who come in frequently with their families, after their workouts or with their kids after school, and spend at their local business,” Courtney said.
However, when guests are in the store or at the drive-thru, it’s up to franchisees to ensure they have the best experience possible. But our franchisees can rely on the Healthy Rewards loyalty program to help get our guests to that point.