Everything you Need to Know About Loyalty Cards and Customer Retention Strategies
While every business is on the lookout for new customers, there is an immeasurable benefit to having the loyalty of those who have bought with you before.
Keeping your clients happy is an important part of the key to success. It can mean repeat orders, increased revenue and also gives you the competitive edge – and who doesn’t want that?
The good news is that client retention doesn’t have to come at great expense, it’s all about showing that you care and building your relationship and connections.
Thinking about how to keep customers should be factored into all of your activities and there are some really simple but effective ways of doing this - from creating your own loyalty card scheme to including a discount voucher with every order.
Working on your customer loyalty can also help with your marketing, as customers are more than likely to share a good (or bad!) experience so you can benefit from third party endorsement.
Creating customer retention strategies should be an integral part of your business plan. Don’t concentrate so hard on finding new customers that you neglect those that you already have.
How do you implement loyalty programmes?
The first step to creating brand loyalty is letting your customers know how much you care and how much you appreciate their business.
Loyalty cards or stamp cards are a great cost-effective way of ensuring that you get returning custom, simply by acknowledging every order they place with you.
Every time they buy, they get a stamp, and after so many stamps they get some sort of discount. Think of how other brands do this, such as Costa Coffee. When your card is filled, you’ve earned yourself a free drink!
Your end reward could be a discount or it could be a thank you gift – ultimately you need to think what will fit best with your business as long as it helps you reach your goal to improve client retention.
You could create your own VIP service which allows them to sign up for alerts and information about new products and be first to get hold of them – again making them feel appreciated will absolutely make them more kindly disposed towards your brand.
Is it worth having loyalty cards?
Having loyalty cards can encourage your customers to return, so yes, in our eyes, they’re definitely worth having. From Starbucks to Boots, Tesco to Pets at Home, creating a loyalty scheme is a great and easy way to incentivise your customers to return.
They could build up points towards discounts or get something free at a certain level - it’s a tried and tested formula by many brands that definitely works.
You may be asking yourself ‘what is a loyalty card?’ if you’ve never actually come across them. In short, they are a very simple but highly effective marketing device which encourages customers to return, receiving some kind of reward as a result.
You may want to consider sending out your own loyalty stamp cards as part of your customer retention strategy which you can personalise with your brand details on. That brings with it extra benefits – it means that you will always be front of mind with your customers. It’s therefore a wise decision to print loyalty cards and send them out to those who have bought from you.
You may decide you just want to offer clients a virtual card rather go down the road of loyalty card printing – but why not do both? Creating personalised loyalty cards are so cost effective it’s worth the investment.
So many well-known brands utilise their own custom loyalty cards. For example, Starbucks has a staggering 60 million members worldwide to its loyalty programme and is considered the most successful in retail – driving around 51% of its business. While most companies can’t hope to reach these amazing results, it certainly showcases how giving something back to your customers can pay dividends.
Another example is booking app, Hotels.com. Part of the Expedia group, every night you book through them gives you a point and when you’ve booked ten nights, you are given a free stay that you can use against future purchases. It’s that point of difference which may make people choose them rather than one of the many other booking engines out there – and gives customers a good reason to return.
Here at WTTB we have our very own Rockstar loyalty scheme where you can get discounts and deals – so make sure you’re making this work for you!
Make your customer feel important
In a world where everyone has a platform to express their opinion and virtually every purchase comes with the ask for a review, getting customer feedback is important.
Asking your customers their views on a product, and what other items they’d like to see will make them feel valued and know that you really care what they think. The saying “flattery will get you everywhere” works in this instance, because who doesn’t want to feel their point of view is important?
If you are thinking of introducing a new product, then why not do your own market research by inviting some of your regular customers to try it out? Giving them a free sample will undoubtedly go down a storm and again, make them feel valued and cherished – hopefully so much so that they’ll want to purchase from you.
How do you promote loyalty cards?
It’s important that existing – and potential – customers know there are added benefits when buying from you. Flag up on your website or on your Etsy store about your loyalty scheme and the rewards for those who buy with you.
Building customer satisfaction
The UK Institute of Customer Service published a Customer Satisfaction Index earlier this year which shockingly revealed that poor customer service is costing UK businesses more than £11 BILLION a month.
The ICS said that consumer trust “has become a priceless commodity during economic instability” – in other words if you offer a friendly and empathetic service you’re on to a winner. Estimates show that it costs five times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones, so it’s vital for any business to create that loyalty.
And the results speak for themselves – firms with higher than average customer service ratings earn around 114% more per employee.
It’s not surprising that Etsy sellers live in mortal dread of a bad review, believing that will ruin their rating and their business and will put off future buyers.
While a pleasant attitude, a quick response and dealing with any perceived problem or difficulty is at the core of avoiding this situation, again its worth looking at proactive ways of building your reputation.
Customer loyalty is essential to any business and doesn’t need to cost the earth, just show your kindness and appreciation and you’re well on your way!
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