Wise business owners know that keeping existing clients happy costs less than generating new leads. There is a reason that customer loyalty reward programs are present in so many large-scale corporate operations like Starbucks, Amazon, TOMS, Sephora, Ulta, and The North Face, after all.
In fact, these days, it seems like many, if not most top-rated companies offer discounts, repeat purchase motivators, customer loyalty programs, family shopping incentives, or other inducements like this in some form or fashion. The question then is, what can your small business do to keep loyal customers happy and ensure their repeat business?
While there are many effective ways to reward loyal customers, not all reward programs are equally effective. To keep your existing customers happy, knowing what works and what does not is a great place to start. We have created this guide with eight surefire ways to reward loyal customers. Keep reading to find win-win solutions that will make your loyal customers feel valued and appreciated!
1. Offer Discounts to Repeat Customers
The latest analytic tools can help retailers provide their patrons with an excellent return shopping experience. By tracking which customers regularly make purchases from your business, offering customers discounts on your products and services has always been challenging. Not only do deals like this encourage people to shop from you during slower times, but they can also help you build a more loyal customer base.
2. Provide Rewards Based on How Much Customers Spend
Rewards based on spending can help you grow your top line. These encouraging shopping rewards can be given as a surprise or offered based on a system of points earned. No matter how you reward your shoppers, establish all incentives on how much customers spend. This way, you will primarily incentivize your most prolific buyers instead of rewarding those who make multiple small purchases.
3. Encourage Referrals from Friends and Family
In today's modern world of fast-paced marketing, it is sometimes easy to forget how relevant word of mouth still is. For this reason, you will see even the largest companies offering discounts for referrals to friends and family members. Encouraging referrals of this kind can be a fantastic incentive for your customers to spend more and bring in new leads. Offering discount coupons, cash rewards, or services in exchange for referring a friend is a great place to start.
4. Request Reviews About Your Customer Service
Asking for feedback can be an effective way to reward loyal customers. Requesting reviews from repeat shoppers concerning things like your customer service, products, or shopping tools can help you improve an array of processes. Then, you can reward your customers for leaving feedback about your company.
Implementing an incentivized review strategy gives you authentic testimonial data that can help you alleviate all kinds of concerns. Plus, people naturally feel more connected to matters they have a say in. This builds brand loyalty and trust between the vendor and the consumer. Remember to always respond professionally to this feedback and show your customers that you care and are listening.
5. Reward Shoppers for Sharing Positive Information on Social Media
Social rewards can be incredibly effective. After all, as human beings, we are all naturally inclined to connect on a social level. The latest social media platforms and marketing tools allow businesses to interact with consumers in ways they never could before. This is why many car dealerships with large followings post pictures of their customers purchasing new vehicles on Facebook and then tag the individual.
The larger your business's following is on social media, the bigger your praise will impact shoppers. Rewarding your shoppers and patrons on social media opens the door to numerous win-win opportunities. Even commenting below a Facebook post or status and thanking a customer publicly can effectively incentivize social reward!
6. Maintain the Human Connection
One of the top ways to reward loyal customers is to connect with them personally instead of treating them like a number. After all, who wants to be treated like that? Making sure each customer feels welcome and appreciated is critical to building trust and loyalty.
Even in today's modern digital world, personalized interactions are deeply prioritized. In fact, almost 80% of customers report that interacting with a human being is a critical part of their customer service experience. So, for some aspects of your business, skip using automation. This allows customers to interact with your employees and build a genuine bond.
7. Work with Loyal Customers on Their Level and Occasionally Make Exceptions
Customers who have been with your company for a long time should be treated as a top priority. Sometimes, this can even mean making exceptions or even bending the rules. Your existing customer base could be a large group with widely varying needs. Sometimes, you may need to meet the needs of certain customers as individuals instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach.
Imagine that you have been a loyal customer at the same eatery for 12 years. Every Wednesday, you order the Club Sandwich with fries and a Coke. Each waitress knows your order and your name! One day, you realize that your wallet is missing and you can’t pay for your meal. So, the restaurant tactfully gives you your lunch “on the house.” Why? because you are a loyal customer who has spent hundreds of dollars at this establishment. Losing a big customer over a small dollar amount is the opposite of profitable. This is an example of loyalty genuinely getting rewarded.
8. Offer Courtesies and Conveniences
What can you do to make the lives of your loyal customers easier? How can you keep clients coming back by making their experience with your team feel effortless? When you have loyal customers, it is easier to understand what their patterns and, thus, needs are. Dedicated buyers give you unique data and allow you to identify distinctive shopping trends. Can you offer delivery services? Is there a way to streamline the login process for your customers? Would Auto billing be beneficial to any of your clients?
Take some time to consider what the needs of your customers actually are. Particularly, ponder what the needs of your most dedicated shoppers might be. Once you have this information, think of how you can benefit your company and consumer base! Then, you can unlock new and effective reward strategies with multifaceted benefits for everyone.
Why is it important to reward your customers for their loyal patronage?
There's no argument the ability to give personalized experiences to your customers is an essential component of business success. Every element of the consumer experience must be optimized in this increasingly competitive market environment.
Think of it this way; would you rather shop at a store that gives you points every time you make a purchase or shop at a store that does not encourage you to return for another visit? The answer is simple. To encourage repeat business, you have to treat your best customers like gold, making it one of the top ways to reward loyal customers!
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