It’s the goal of every business to get customers to return and make purchases again and again. Yet, far too many businesses don’t have strategies in place to trigger this habit in customers.
Businesses want repeat customers, but they don’t have a customer loyalty program in place to keep them coming back for more.
If this sounds like your business, read on to get proof of why this strategy is so important and tips that will help you implement or improve your customer loyalty program.
Benefits of Customer Loyalty Programs
First, let’s look at why it’s so important to have a customer loyalty program.
There are many reasons why a business can benefit from a system that rewards repeat customers, but there is one reason that is the most important.
Getting existing customers to return to your business increases your revenue while reducing your marketing costs.
It costs five times less to get an existing customer to return to a business than to get a new customer to make their first visit. And, when existing customers return to a business, they spend more money than new customers -- up to 67% more.
Those stats prove that implementing a customer loyalty program can positively impact your bottom line. But, that’s not all it can do.
A strong customer loyalty program can also:
- Boost brand reputation
- Collect data and insight related to customers
- Grow your contact list
- Increase customer referrals
So, if you aren’t running a customer loyalty program, it’s probably time to start.
How to Start Customer Loyalty Program
To launch your customer loyalty program, go through the following steps.
- Outline your objectives. All successful marketing initiatives start by outlining what you want to accomplish. While there are many benefits you can gain from your loyalty program, it helps to be specific about the outcomes you want to create. So choose one or two primary goals, which may include:
- Getting customers to spend more money
- Getting customers to come in more often
- Getting customer to bring in referrals
- Getting customers to talk about you on social media
- Set a measurable goal and a deadline. Once you have your primary objective or objectives, make them measurable. Assign clear key performance indicators that you can observe, record, and use to determine if the program was a success. Also, set dates for reviewing your results and data.
- Set advancement guidelines. Now, you can start to set up your program. The first step is determining what the advancement guidelines will be. Advancement guidelines are the milestones that customers cross in order to receive a benefit. For example, your guideline may be that a customer gets a reward after visiting your location five times. Your advancement guidelines should relate to your goal and may be tied to:
- Number of dollars spent
- Number of visits
- Number of social media mentions
- Number of referrals
- Set award guidelines. Once you have the milestone marker that customers must reach, you can then determine the award they will receive when they get there. Consider your margins, available resources, and customer interests as you choose your rewards that may include:.
- Cash back
- Free items
- Access to special events or content
- Entry for a contest
- Set up a system for implementation. At this point, it’s time to set up systems to run your program. You will need systems for:
- Customer sign-ups: a process or platform for enabling customer to join your program
- Management: a process or platform for tracking customer progress
- Redemption: a process or platform for giving customers their rewards
The system for your implementation will vary based on the type of program you set up. Consider the resources that are available to you through your point of sale systems. And, if you don’t have what you need, consider finding a customer loyalty program partner that can set up the system you need to implement your program.
Where to Promote Your Customer Loyalty Program
Setting up your customer loyalty program is only half of the process. Once you implement a program, you need to get people to sign up for it. So once your program is set up, market and promote it through the following platforms.
- In-store Signage: Let customers in your store know about your program by displaying engaging digital screens that promote the benefits of joining.
- Overhead Messaging: Another way to catch the attention of people in your store is introducing your program through overhead messaging.
- Website: Also highlight your program online by featuring it on your website. Include banners, graphics, and reminders that prompt users to sign up.
- Social Media: Share the message with your social followers as well. Post content that shows customers what they can gain by joining your program.
- Newsletter: Reach directly out to an interested audience by sending an email alert to your contact list.
- Receipts: Put a reminder right in your customer’s shopping bag by highlighting your program details on receipts.
- Hold Messaging: Connect with customers while they wait on-hold when they call your business by sharing details through on-hold messaging.
Customer loyalty programs can only benefit your shoppers and business if you can get people to sign up and use them. So make promoting and marketing your program a large part of your strategy.
Create Customer Experiences Is Key
In such a competitive market, your business needs to find ways to continually excite and engage customers so they return again and again. Setting up a customer loyalty program is one way to do that.
But, it’s not the only way to woo customers and keeping them coming back to your business.
For more tips on how to provide exceptional customer experiences that impress and excite shoppers and clients -- get our free ebook.