A loyal customer is worth more than money. A loyal customer can be an asset. Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to build relationships with your customers, as well as increase sales in stores.
What makes a loyalty program successful? Does it matter if the customer signs up for your loyalty card? How about those who don't? What's the best way to get customers to sign up for your loyalty program? I have set up many different loyalty programs over my time in retail. Some of them have been fantastic, while others fell short.
But how do you set up a successful loyalty program? This blog will help you create a good program for your business.
Give customers a reason to sign up
There are many reasons why customers would sign up for a loyalty program. Maybe they want the benefits that come with being a member or they just want to save money by getting free products and services. Whatever the reason, you need to find a way to make it worth their while.
In order to do this, you will need to build in some kind of incentive into your program that will entice people to join. If you're sending coupons out regularly, then there needs to be something exciting in them so they want more than just a coupon. If you're giving discounts on certain items or services, then there needs to be something special about those discounts that makes them want more than just a discount.
Make it easy for customers to sign up
The first step in setting up a loyalty program is to make it easy for customers to sign up. You want to make sure that you can collect their email addresses, so that you can send them newsletters and special offers. You also want to make sure that they can create an account, so that they can track their purchases and see how much they've spent in your store.
It's important not to make the signup process too complicated or intimidating. The more hoops you ask them to jump through, the less likely they are to follow through with signing up. And if someone does sign up, it's important that you send them an email immediately after they're done, thanking them for taking the time to register.
Use your loyalty program to build connections with your customers
A loyalty program is a great way to keep customers coming back. And the best way to build a loyal base of repeat customers is to use your loyalty program as a way to build connections with them.
When you offer a reward for buying something, people will expect that you'll have more rewards on the way. They'll also expect that they won't get those rewards until they've been loyal customers for a while.
But what if there was another way around all that? What if it was possible to get people signed up right away so that you could get their business without needing them as long as you had something worth giving them?
That's where a loyalty program comes in handy — it allows you to do just that. If someone signs up for your loyalty program, they're giving you permission to contact them again when there's something else worth offering them — and maybe even getting them into one of your other programs too, or at least making an introduction between your business and theirs.
Communicate benefits and features clearly
When you're setting up a loyalty program, it's important to communicate clearly what it will give you. If you're not clear with your customers, they may not understand what they are getting, or they may think that they don't want to participate in the program, even if they do.
Make sure all of your customers know about the program before they join it. You could do this by putting information in your newsletter or on the front page of your website. You can also send emails or text messages about it to those people who aren't already signed up for your email list.
For example, if you're selling physical products like clothing or accessories, it's easy enough just showing pictures of what you have in stock and letting the customer know what they're getting when they buy something. But if you're selling digital products like ebooks or software downloads, this can be much harder because there's no real product that people can see or touch first hand.
The solution here is to use images of the actual items that are being offered so that people can get an idea of what kind of quality they'll be getting before purchasing anything at all. This makes them more likely to purchase from your store because they understand what kind of product is being sold.
Choose rewards that motivate your customers
When you're thinking about choosing rewards, think about what motivates your customers. If they're motivated by money, then offering discounts or loyalty points might be more effective than cash. If they're more motivated by the experience of shopping at your store and getting something nice, then offering a discount or gift card might be more effective than cash.
If you want to do both—offer discounts and rewards—then it's important to choose the right rewards for each customer. If they're not interested in anything but discounts, then it's probably not going to work very well.
If a reward is too small or too difficult to earn, it won't be motivating enough to keep your customers coming back. And if it's too easy to earn, people will stop participating in the program.
Instead of offering a single reward for every purchase, try offering multiple different rewards throughout the year. For example, instead of just giving out a $5 gift card for every $50 spent at your store, offer a $20 gift card for every $100 spent at your store every quarter. This way, customers will have more incentive to continue shopping at your store and earn even more rewards!
Make sure your rewards are valuable to your customers
The most successful loyalty programs are the ones that offer something valuable to customers. That's why it's important to make sure you're offering rewards worth using.
If you're offering a free sample of something and the customer doesn't like it, they'll never use the reward again.
And if you're offering a coupon for a free item and the customer doesn't want to use it, they'll just give it back to you.
Make sure the rewards are worth using and try to offer them in multiple ways so that they can be used by different types of customers.
For example, if you have a loyalty program where people earn points by shopping at your store or signing up for email updates, make sure there are different ways for people who want to redeem their points.
You could have something like 'get 10 points for every dollar spent' or 'get five points per dollar spent'.
Ask for feedback on your loyalty program
We've all been in situations when we're asked to rate a new product or service. The question is usually phrased like this: "Please rate your experience with the new service/product on a scale of 1-10."
I always ask the customer what they think about the loyalty program and why they're giving it such a high or low score. If they don't give me an answer, I ask them again. Once they've expressed their feelings, I'm ready to move forward.
Many times, customers will say something like, "I was satisfied with how easy it was," or "The program seemed like a good idea." If this is the case, then you can move forward with your loyalty program based on those answers alone.
To summarize, a loyalty program can be great for helping to expand your business and keeping customers happy. The benefits include: more loyalty from repeat customers, new customers drawn to your store for special offers, higher levels of customer engagement, more sales, and a feeling of goodwill in your community toward your business. So if you haven't set up a program yet, whether for your eCommerce store or brick-and-mortar retail location, now is the time!