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Rewarding Loyal Customers

customer loyalty

Loyal customers are increasingly hard to come by. So it’s important to reward the customers who are faithful to your business—the ones who come back, despite the increased competition for their dollars.

But how should you do this? There are actually a wide variety of ways to reward your loyal customers, from simple paper-based methods to mobile apps and more. Take a look at these different options:

Rewards cards: Depending on your budget and how sophisticated you want to get, you might want to start at the basic level with paper punch cards (“Buy 10, get one free”). You can also use plastic loyalty cards that you swipe to track customer purchases and other data, which can be more useful in helping gather information for your future marketing programs than are paper cards.

Discount programs: You can reward loyal customers by offering discounts when they reach a certain spend level or if they buy a certain number of items within a specified time.

Give a gift: This is a great way to say thanks. Keep track of the dates customers make their first purchase, their birthdays and other relevant occasions and give them a gift on those “anniversary” dates. You can also offer gifts with purchase (like cosmetics companies do) when customers buy a certain dollar amount or volume of product.

Create a VIP program: Create a VIP program where customers get some type of reward relevant to your business. This could include discounts on purchases, special sale days just for them, advance notice of sales or access to special information such as a VIP email newsletter.

Hold events: Inviting customers to events is a great way to reward them. Consider opening your store or business at a special time for them to shop; holding a special dinner at your restaurant that only your “regulars” are invited to; or holding a seminar or training session for your faithful service business customers. The ideas are limited only by your business.

Mobile apps: Applications such as Belly, Spendgo and Womply streamline loyalty by enabling customers to enter or swipe their account information, using smartphones or tablets, to win prizes, get store credits or free products, or get cash-back rewards for making purchases. You can customize the rewards programs to work with your goals.

Get personal: Sending a handwritten note or calling your customers to thank them are very meaningful ways to acknowledge your loyal customers. In fact, in today’s digital and impersonal world, these old-fashioned methods just might be the most effective customer loyalty tools of all.

 

Photo courtesy: iStock/Thinkstock

 

 

 

 

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