Every business needs new customers, but don't ever forget that your easiest and most predictable source of new revenue is right under your nose: It comes from the loyal customers who already know your company. Plus, it’s up to six times more expensive to try to attract new customers than it is to keep the ones already doing business with you. - business2community.com
If you’re looking for real ways to create and keep up customer loyalty, consider implementing a few of these strategies.
The Easy Way to Go – A Loyalty Punch Card
If you’re new to loyalty programs and want a low-tech option, the simple punch card formula is a good place to start. Just design and print out a card and offer a free gift after a certain number of purchases have been made.
There are a few obvious drawbacks to this method – you can’t track consumer demographics and the program is 100 percent reliant on customers’ carrying that card around with them in their wallet. That’s if they even remember it’s there!
Start an Opt-In Program
Another easy option is to set-up a simple “sign-up for offers/rewards” program. Ask customers to share their email addresses and add them to an opt-in email, and sms list – you can do this online or at the point of sale. This form of email sign-up eases the application process and spares your customer the hassle of having them download an app or share heaps of personal information.
In exchange, you’ll promise to send them regular communications and special offers only available to loyalty members. As mentioned above, email and sms campaigns that target loyalty members can be a great source of revenue – and, of course, are trackable.
Consider a Premium Loyalty Program
If you want to reward customers who spend the most, develop a program that limits who may be eligible to qualify. Use your customer relationship management software to track higher value purchases over time and invite customers who meet certain thresholds to join.
Alternatively, simply invite high-spending consumers to sign up for your program at the point of sale. - business.com
Add a Digital Component
While not all your customers will be digitally savvy, chances are many are and it’s increasingly important that you cater to the growing mobile loyalty trend. There are many apps that small businesses can tap into for free or for a fee. If your business already uses a mobile payment platform, many of these are now integrating loyalty programs into their offerings.
Explore your options and look for services that offer social media integration – making it easy for customers to share your awesomeness with their friends and even earn points for likes, shares and online reviews.
Choose Your Incentives Carefully
Reward loyalty with some class. Freebies don’t always appeal to all and they can even de-value your services. For small businesses, customer loyalty is founded first and foremost on great service, a personal greeting, and the tried and tested quality of your products or services. So think of ways you can make your incentives and rewards as unique as your business. Experiential rewards are always popular.
For example, a hair salon could offer a monthly workshop that offers free makeover tips to loyal customers. These experiences add value to your customers’ lives, build community, help your business stand out and give customers reason to keep coming back.
Communicate Regularly With Your Members
Treat your loyalty members royally. Segment them out in your email and direct marketing efforts and communicate with them often. Share news of upcoming loyalty incentives or events and don’t forget birthdays – offer something unique to members or opt-in email subscribers during their birthday month.
Consistently Share Your Loyalty Program
In today’s business climate, it’s impossible to stress just how important customer loyalty is. These tips will help you create loyal customers who will be happy to frequent your business for many years to come.
Sticky Tip: Create Your Community
For instance, a wedding shop usually receives most of their sales during the summer months and you’re slow during this time. But during the winter they struggle. Perfect opportunity to share business back & forth to help each other during slow seasons.