Today, with overwhelming consumer choices, it’s hard to get people to buy your product or service, but what’s even harder, is to get people to buy something from you twice. Hence, many businesses offer customer loyalty programs. Loyalty programs can be anything, from points accumulation systems, to exclusive benefits, discounts, and services. A customer loyalty program for a small business, who’s main customer base would be from a fixed location or demographic, gives the customers an extra reason to use your product or service, instead of trying out something else – simply because they’ve now got a reason to come to you. This is also great for retaining existing customers and ensuring they continue to use your product or service.
Should your business offer a loyalty program?
The first, and often the hardest part of adopting customer loyalty programs, is that they must add real value, to both the business, and the customers. No one wants to sign up for a program that they don’t instantly see the value in; and no business should burn money just to satisfy consumers, it must be a mutually beneficial relationship. It should also be simple and straightforward, as loyalty programs work best when there is a clear understanding of the scheme.
How to get customers to sign up
If you’re running a small business like a boutique store, gym, or a local diner, it’s important to know how to promote your customer loyalty program. Don’t start talking to everyone about your loyalty scheme. Wait a few days, and see if there are any revisiting customers, and talk to them, ask them why they come and what they like. Chances are that you’ll get a clearer idea of what people are looking for, and what they like about you. Listen to lots of feedback and then shape your loyalty plan to best suit those people. Once you have your loyalty program figured out and all the parts are in place, ask your person of contact with the customer to promote the program. Be sure to train your staff to answer any questions from these customers. Once the program is in motion, give it time, loyalty is about patience, it may take over a year to see customers returning for purchases. If you find things are going slow, try a bonus gift to sign up. It can be a one-time free meal, or a one-week free gym membership, or even a 10% one-time discount. This gives your customers an instant reason to sign up.
The power of social media and digital marketing
Use social media to your advantage by building a following on a platform that best suits your business. If it’s a restaurant, Instagram is probably your best bet, because people share pictures of their food, and they tag your restaurant in their posts. If it’s a consultancy or something professional oriented, LinkedIn makes the most sense. You can also experiment with other strategies to promote loyalty programs, along with advertising on these platforms, to grow your customer base. Consider getting some expert help from a leading digital marketing agency, as this is their area of expertise. If you operate from Mumbai, then one of the best digital marketing companies is in Mumbai. The top 10 digital marketing agencies in India firms have a great work record of delivering results when it comes to digital marketing, and their expertise can seriously help your business.
Finally, once your customer loyalty program is properly set up, the loyal customers will see the benefits that their loyalty gets them, this will also make the non-member customers WANT to sign up. Loyalty programs can add great value to your small business. Good communication, proficiently using social media, listening to your customers, and giving them something that benefits both of you, can help get your customers what they want, and more importantly get your business to where you want it to be.