HardwareLiberation Group

Liberation Group Builds Loyalty and Sales with Zonal

Loyalty is king when it comes to running a successful hospitality business, with it costing five times more to acquire new customers than keep existing ones.

However, it’s no longer just about indiscriminate offers but understanding customers, their habits and desires and tailoring offers to their needs.

That’s why leading Channel Islands pub, restaurant and drinks supplier, the Liberation Group, turned to Zonal for a more high tech loyalty programme solution.

And since the company introduced Loyalty from Zonal across its 24 pubs, it has more than doubled the number of customers participating in its loyalty programme from 12,000 to 28,000. That means one in four of the 120,000 adults on the Channel Islands are now participating in Liberation’s new loyalty programme.

Francis Falvey, the Liberation Group’s Business Support Manager, says: It has been an enormous benefit for us and generated huge growth in customer numbers. In fact, more than half our trading business is now achieved through our loyalty scheme.

We have become much more productive as a result and saved an absolute fortune. Investing in Zonal’s Loyalty solution has paid for itself already and we will save twice the investment cost each year from now on.

Research by Zonal and CGA supports this approach with over 68% of consumers revealing they like to get offers tailored to their individual preferences. And they want loyalty schemes that reward them for their visits and keep them coming back.

Liberation’s former loyalty system had been used for eight years and was updated once a quarter with promotional vouchers being printed up and mailed out to participants.

We were being held back by our old manual system which had gone as far as it could. Our loyalty scheme has really come into its own with the move to the Zonal solution.

Zonal has provided the technology we really needed to push things forward. We worked very closely with them on how we wanted things to work and I’d like to think we provided some inspiration and insight into developing a system which benefits other operations in the years to come.

We also wanted to improve our business management and reporting: we already collected the information but needed to improve the way things were reported.

The Zonal Loyalty solution was trialled for six months before being rolled out to all outlets. The Liberation Group, which operates pubs in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, also uses Zonal’s handheld ordering solution, iServe in some outlets and is updating tills with new i700 terminals being installed as part of a two-year programme.

It is the latest stage of a 20-year business relationship between the two companies. Francis first dealt with Zonal when working for brewer Greene King’s Magic Pub Company in the 1990s before moving to the Channel Islands.

He explains: I have been around Zonal a long time and wherever I have worked it has the right individuals and the right business ethos along with exceptional products. That is the major difference with other suppliers and that is why there isn’t really a choice when it comes to IT solutions. Zonal knows when to listen and that is why you get this kind of relationship over many years.

We have kept up to date with what Zonal has been creating and been instrumental in getting the technology to work in harmony with our business.

He also appreciates that despite Zonal’s own rapid growth, the CEO, Stuart McLean is always available to discuss any issues.

I can pick up the phone to Stuart and talk to him. How many companies can you do that with? He is just as interested if you are a one man operation or a big pub chain. I am pleased to see that attitude prevails despite the company’s recent expansion. In fact, the company is just as caring as ever. Zonal is an integral part of our IT services, we don’t view them as a supplier.

Zonal believes that customer loyalty is something well worth striving for so it has developed an innovative technological solution to help operators win the loyalty game, build a better relationship with customers and prosper from retained business.

Fully integrated with EPoS, its revolutionary Loyalty module gives hospitality outlets a powerful insight into customer data enabling them to operate tailored customers programmes around preferences, frequency of visits and products purchased. Loyalty programmes can be created to incorporated schemes such as collecting points, accumulate cash back or receive bonus items or discounts.

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