3 Massively Underrated Ways to Drive More Customer Loyalty
Getting new customers through your doors sometimes feels like the most important thing to focus on for retailers. What most are now realizing is that the real value comes from keeping customers around over the long-term to create a more loyal customer base.
Truly loyal customers will always come back to you after they’ve tried out competitors. These are the sort of customers you want to nurture with special attention. The good news is, with the right tools at your disposal this is easily achievable.
1. Start With What Your Customers Actually Want
There’s a lot of theory about best practice when it comes to putting together a loyalty program. But very few plans work the same in different situations. For this reason, you have to look at how your customers behave in your stores to determine what sort of program will best suit them.
Let’s say you own a coffee shop and you notice the same person comes in weekly with her laptop. She typically buys a diet soda and a light snack before sitting down to work for a couple of hours. Your company has a loyalty program, but it’s completely irrelevant to her. That’s because it only rewards customers who regularly buy coffee.
As you get to know this customer, you learn she is dieting for health reasons and therefore doesn’t buy drinks that contain any calories. She likes your coffee shop, but she doesn’t join your loyalty program because it excludes her. This is where you must get creative and tweak your loyalty program to reward customers for what they actually buy. By offering this person a free diet soda on every fifth purchase, you could change her status from a regular weekly customer to a loyal one that visits even more frequently.
You don’t just want to give your customer a loyalty card. You want to make sure that it is one of the premier cards in his or her wallet.
2. Make Loyalty More Convenient By Letting Your Customers Pay Upfront
People like convenience, but they don’t always like paying in advance for it. Creating an effective pre-paid program requires some careful planning. The advantages offered to customers should be clear and easy to understand. Offering a valuable discount for paying in advance is a simple solution.
Assume that you own a health spa that offers deep tissue massage. A travel-weary business executive comes in for his first massage and mentions that he thinks regular appointments would help him relax but he’s too busy to schedule them. You have to break through this objection by making it simple and offering an incentive.
Let him know that if he pre-pays for five sessions now, his sixth one is free. Then go the extra mile by scheduling all of his appointments now and sending him a reminder email or text a few days before each session. He walks away happy and you have a new customer for at least the next six months.
3. Offer Exclusive Members-Only Benefits
Make sure your most loyal customers know that they are one of the select few receiving this special offer.
Most people enjoy feeling as if they are part of something exclusive. That is why offering members-only discounts to your best customers is a surefire way to increase their loyalty. For a nominal monthly or annual fee, provide these customers with discounts not available to anyone else. A perfect example of this type of program is Barnes & Nobles’ membership. Members receive bonus coupons, exclusive in-store discounts, and free express shipping.
Shoppers want to ensure they are getting their money’s worth, so it’s important to offer visual proof of how much they are saving over non-members.
4. Final Thoughts
Customer loyalty is one of the fundamental keys to long term business success. The Loyalty Box provides an easy way for merchants to set up a loyalty program that can include cards with points, cash or other value. Customer data can be collected and purchases can be tracked, which makes it possible to effectively use behavior-based marketing that targets customers with personalized communications.