7 Loyalty Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
The biggest challenge of running a small business is acquiring customers and retaining them to continue enjoying the success streak. Keeping the customers around is essential for the growth of an organisation as it is easier and cheaper to sell your products and services to existing clients than finding new ones. Many studies have shown that returning customers tend to spend more than new customers. Also, global statistics prove that most of the revenue of small businesses is generated from repeat buyers.
The reason behind this is that the probability of selling to an existing customer is much higher than persuading a new buyer for the same purchase. Naturally, customer loyalty is viewed as a pre-requisite for running a business profitably. This is the reason why many investors when looking for a business for sale in Australia evaluate the goodwill and customer loyalty of the brand to gauge its viability in the market. In fact, retention plays a significant role in strengthening the bottom-line of the entity. Thus loyalty marketing takes precedence, and its strategy needs to be planned like any other vital business function.
Here are the top seven loyalty marketing ideas which can help in getting repeat business for small and medium-sized organisations.
1. Loyalty Programs With Rewards
Customer loyalty programs are a standard marketing tactic employed by every entity to earn the trust and devotion of their buyers and turn them into brand evangelists or ambassadors. Even the most prominent brands like Woolworths, Qantas and Myer One confirm to this marketing rule and offer loyalty cards or mobile apps to keep track of their rewards system. The customer loyalty program influences the buyers to come back to the same brand in search of the rewards rather than going to a competitor.
The incentives can take up any form, such as a discount on the next purchase, buy-one-get-one after first five purchases, free gifts, or anything of importance from the customer’s viewpoint. Additionally, the satisfied and happy customers assist in bringing referral clients through word of mouth publicity.
2. Birthday and Anniversary Offers
A brilliant way to retain your customers is to leverage their emotional quotient by offering them special perks on their birthdays and anniversaries. According to a study conducted by Bain and Co., a mere increase of 5% in customer retention can amplify the profitability by 75%. For this, you need to create a customer relationship management system wherein you will have to create a database of customers and their personal information.
This data can also be utilised for email marketing to announce the launch of new products or sending any critical piece of information. The special day offers work in favour of the brand as people enjoy celebrating these days and feel loved and pampered to receive rewards which cement their relationship with the brand.
3. In-Store Offers
Getting people back into your store is not an easy task. To make this happen, you need to provide them with in-store freebies or gifts which come with a limited timeline. For example, they get a 50% discount on their next purchase if they shop again within 15 days. It aids in making the customer come back quickly to avail the discount and make one more purchase that benefits your business.
It is an excellent way to introduce them to a new product line or range as sending mailers alone cannot prove successful in bringing them to the stores. You can also partner with nearby stores in your vicinity or shopping precinct to offer cross-store discounts or shared promotions which benefit both the businesses and bring each other’s customers to the shops. Thus you can increase your client base through mutual marketing plans.
4. Target Your Communication Accurately
Although email marketing is essential in maintaining communication with customers, it should not become a platform for unloading spam on them. The mailers should not be sent in bulk to all the people in the mailing list. You must ensure that you are not sending any repetitive emails to your customers, or sending information about a product which they have already bought. You can easily upset an existing customer with generic emails.
There is software which can help in creating automated messages for customers that are targeted. This can prove helpful in growing your small business. Another way to take advantage of targeted communication is by contacting them through live chat support or telephonic conversations.
5. Ask For Customer Feedback
Customer feedback forms or surveys are the best way to understand the feelings of your buyers and what they expect from the brand in terms of service and offerings. The criticism also helps to find the anomalies in the process as well as understand their aspirations.
Thus it gives you a peek into the mindset of your target audience and their preferences which helps in informed decision making for business strategies. It is quite easy to get them to complete a survey by including a link in the mailer or adding a QR code in the bill. You can entice them to provide the feedback in return of a coupon or a giveaway.
6. Prompt And Friendly Customer Care Team
Whether it is an in-store customer care representative or support staff member communicating with the clients through a mobile phone or live chat, the demeanour must be polite and courteous. The customer must feel welcomed when talking to the executives. The professionals must patiently listen to the customers in case of a query or a grievance and get their problem resolved as quickly as possible.
In the case of delivery of a wrong or damaged product, the business must provide prompt pick-up and delivery of the new product free of cost. If there is a delay in the service, then the customers must be accommodated with perks for their patience and more such relationship management techniques should be utilised to keep them happy.
7. VIP Status for Special Customers
Make your special customers feel privileged by bestowing a VIP status to them which means making them a member of an exclusive club so that they become your loyalists for life. It should not cost them anything to become a part of this club and not affect the profit of the business either. The club members can have access to new product previews, enjoy no obligation trials, avail limited offers, benefit from the quick checkout process, get free samples, free upgrades, and much more.
Continuous communication, rewards and improvement through assessment of the feedback is the key to getting repeat buyers on a consistent basis. The sure-fire way to success is to offer value for money and make the customer feel treasured and avoid giving them any chances of moving to the competitors.