Customer loyalty programs create customer retention and revenue while turning occasional shoppers into frequent ones. Occasionally, a loyalty program may start to fail, and if it does, it’s probably time to look at new strategies to bring customers back into your store.
Start by creating a loyalty program that’s simple and easy to follow. For example, purchase five drinks and get one free, or refer a friend who makes a purchase and get 25 percent off your purchase. The easier your loyalty program is to follow and the quicker customers see rewards, the higher the chance they will utilize the offer.
Choosing the Right Platform
A simple punch card works great and is one of the most common methods for loyalty programs. However, cards can be easy to lose, and if a customer forgets to bring the card in during a purchase, they either lose the punch on the card or must start a new card.
Because most people carry smart phones, consider taking loyalty cards up a notch by using a rewards app, such as Belly or Spring Rewards. With Belly, customers log in to the app by email or with a simple plastic card. The card is scanned during a purchase and they earn rewards based on your specific program. Spring Rewards allows customers to connect to a reward program with a credit or debit card. Each time the card is swiped during a purchase they receive reward points. The data collected during the purchase is also used to pair customers with incentives and rewards that match their past purchases.
Identify Key Customers
For a loyalty program to work, identify your best customers and determine what products they use most. The easiest way to do this is with a customer relationship management program like Method:CRM. The program keeps your customers’ information all in one place, including email addresses, phone numbers, purchase information, and appointments. You can also create graphs and spreadsheets to tell you exactly which products sell best, then adapt your loyalty program to include these products.
Establish Your Program
Decide how to reward your customers and communicate this clearly. Types of rewards often include gift cards or paper coupons; perhaps once a customer spends $100 in merchandise they receive a printed coupon for $10 to go towards a future purchase.
Train employees to promote the program to each customer at checkout. You may also consider sending out emails detailing the program or opt for direct mail with an announcement of how the program works to your most valued customers.
Measure Your Results
Use QuickBooks to compare monthly sales to see if the loyalty program is creating a boost in revenue. As with any loyalty program, some rewards will work for some customers and not others. You may even consider offering varying levels of rewards to cover a greater number of people, or letting participants choose rewards from a selection of products.
Be sure to adjust and improve your program as necessary to ensure it creates excitement with a greater number of customers and the program continues to grow.