The modern day consumer is spoilt for choice. With so many different options available when booking hotels, purchasing flight tickets, or even making restaurant reservations, it really can be hard to keep a fickle consumer coming back time and time again. And we all know that the real secret to success is keeping your customers, not spreading yourself thin trying desperately to attract new business. Retention is the name of the game, people!
What's one way that the smart marketer achieves this? Loyalty programs.
Well, loyalty programs are a great way of making your customer feel rewarded for their business. Put simply, they feel appreciated. And everyone likes a few perks along the way.
That said, loyalty programs must be executed well, or they can have a negative impact on your business. No one likes to feel tricked or jilted – a free
portable CD player after spending $1000? No thank you – what is this, 1996?
So with that in mind, here are my top 5 tips for implementing a successful loyalty program:
1. Make your program meaningful – provide a reasonable return for a reasonable spend. Don't make your customer spend thousands of dollars before they see any
sort of result. They'll just get bored and wander off to check out what your competitor is up to.
2. Keep it simple – make sure your customer knows what the benefits are, and see how they can gain value from participating in the program. If they get confused or muddled they won't realize what's in it for them, and for you that means lost business.
3. Encourage friend referrals – tap into a powerful and sometimes neglected source of potential customers – your existing customers! Offer additional rewards if your customers refer new customers to the program. Chances are that if your existing members enjoy the program and what you have to offer, then their friends will too!
4. Not all customers are created equal – maybe that's phrased a little controversially, but let's face it, we have to reward the big-spenders somehow! No, I'm not
saying it's ok to ignore the occasional, more moderate customer. But, we have to keep in mind that the big-spenders are the ones that we really need to keep loyal. How do we do that? Offer them some additional perks or customized options. Identify these special customers, and develop programs that provide special benefits and services to reward them for their loyalty.
5. Know your customer – I cannot reiterate that enough. If you do not know your customer, you won't know what they want from a loyalty program. And if what your program offers is not of value to them, then they will not choose to participate.
If you want to uncover new ideas and strategies for your business, including insights on loyalty programs, marketing, social media and engagement strategy, then check out Loyalty World USA.