1. Targeting Customers — Right off the bat, it’s important to know that loyalty programs are meant to change customer habits, so your business becomes a part of their weekly routine. You are not necessarily targeting the customers who are loyal to you regardless (without an incentive); you’re targeting those who will act on your offers and whose lives will be changed daily because of it. Typical loyalty programs are known for giving rewards — whether it’s “Buy 9 bottles of wine, get the 10th one free,” or “See 4 movies, get the 5th movie ticket half price,” there is some sort of compelling incentive attached. What small businesses really need to do is meet customers face to face. Having conversations, remembering names and being interested in what they have to say will do more than offering them that free cup of coffee. Personal relationships are key.
2. Get To Know Them – Customer identity and the transactions being made go hand in hand, and will give you the successful loyalty program you want. Once you begin communicating with your customers, you can ask them how much they’re buying from you in a week, what products they like most, or what they value in your company. This will help your bottom line and assist in understanding how to improve your business.
3. Give Them What They Want – Custom Loyalty Cards are utilized by many small businesses but technology can play a part, too. Taking on a digital loyalty program in addition to a paper loyalty program is valuable to both your customers and to you. With gadgets such as mobile phones and iPads so readily available, customers can come in and update their contact information, sign up for emails and special offers or find out about upcoming sales. Even putting a notepad at the register will encourage customers to inquire about what they want to see from your business. No matter what it is, you’re one step closer to giving the customer what they want.
Loyalty programs are the best customer retention strategy out there. Remember to learn about your customers and develop relationships with them. It’s not all about them being loyal to you, but you being loyal as well. Make them feel as if they are a crucial part to your company and they will make you a crucial part of their lives in return.