Importance of Building Customer Loyalty
Why is customer loyalty so important?
It is much easier and cheaper to retain a current customer than acquiring a new one. Your current customers are already knowledgeable about your business and are more likely to try new products or services through your recommendations.
Customers who have a bond with your Salon and Spa will provide honest feedback through direct interactions, online reviews, or surveys to help your business improve and grow.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Before beginning this endeavor and spewing out reward programs, it is first vital to get a good hold of your target audience. The key to the success of any loyalty program lies in the detailed knowledge of customers including their demographics, current preference trends, their competitor knowledge and their motivational factors. It is also vital to know what they ‘need’ as opposed to what they ‘want’.
KNOW WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT
Every loyalty program should be a driving factor behind the accomplishment of a business goal. It is essential to preset the goals and business targets, be it in sales, customer retention, new customer acquisition or others, that need to be achieved as a result of this program and work towards drafting a goal monitoring strategy.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Rewards quickly become unrewarding when people find it hard to participate.
Does your program have tiers?
What are the benefits of each, and what does it take to achieve each level?
What are the limitations and exclusions?
Don’t leave the rules for the fine print. If people understand what they need to do in order to take part in your program, they might actually do it.
ADVERTISE THE LOYALTY PROGRAM
What good is a program that is not known to exist? Ensure that your customers are well aware of the various loyalty programs that you offer and more importantly ensure that they are in the know about the numerous benefits they stand to accrue from those programs. Human memory cannot be trusted and it is necessary to reinforce this information at right times and in right frequencies (not too little for them to forget or not too much to scare them away) to ensure their maximum participation.
In life you have to give to get. Providing customers with content that answers their questions and solves their problems will keep them coming back to your business. You want customers to think of you as a valuable and trusted resource they can go to when they need information.
INTERACT WITH YOUR CUSTOMER
Whether it’s through an email newsletter, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, use these marketing channels to interact with your customers on a more frequent basis. You can tweet your customers a “Thank you for your business” or thank them via your Facebook page for their loyalty.
PROGRAM DISCOUNTS & REWARDS
Everyone loves a deal. Establishing a customer loyalty program by running discounts and promotions through social media and website makes things interesting for your customers. Customers love to know that you care about them and rewarding them with a discount for their loyalty is something they will greatly appreciate.
CREATE IRRESISTIBLE REFERRAL REWARDS
Referrals are a great way to expand the customer pool. Since the trust and reliability factor is already established, it is much easier to strengthen the bond with the new customer thereby improving sales and retention. Not all customers will be motivated to spread the good word. It is therefore important to devise programs that will either monetize or provide intangible benefits to the referrer.
SHOW YOU CARE
The key to any successful relationship is communication. Without regular and well strategized communication via e-mail campaigns, apps, social media etc, the reward programs will not only be forgotten but it might end up making the customers feel less valued. Never underestimate the power of social media. It is an excellent way to stay in touch with customers and also to monitor competitor behavior. Regular communication will also help fine tune loyalty programs.
MONITOR & MODIFY
The key to survival is change and evolution. It is necessary to continuously monitor the success of your loyalty programs and enhance the same as and when needed, in line with changing trends and preferences of customers. An unmonitored campaign is as good as a non-existent one.