Loyalty programs have for years been the foundation on which many companies grew their business. Loyalty programs encourage customers to remain loyal as they accrue points or other benefits that reward them for keep coming back to the business.
Loyalty Programs and More
It’s noteworthy that the Small Business Association has a detailed article on its website entitled, “7 Tips for Starting a Successful Customer Loyalty Program.” The writer recommends starting with a low-tech option, if you’re new to managing a loyalty program and discusses other options, like Premium Loyalty Programs that have limits on who may be eligible, as well as programs that integrate a digital component.
From the entrepreneur who is in Multi-Level Marketing or Direct Sales to the business that has many employees and divisions, all can benefit by introducing a loyalty program. It can be as simple for a Beauty Consultant as creating a Lipstick or Mascara Club with a buy 6 of these items within 2 years and get one free or buy three and get the fourth half-off .
While these programs continue to work for many, some companies have found that loyalty programs are no longer enough to keep customers loyal. These must be accompanied by superior customer service and exceptional customer care.
This morning I read an article which added another strategy to the mix, and that is the use of referral cards. In the article, “Referral Cards Provide Ammunition to Your Active Promoters,” the writer discussed the effectiveness of referral cards that provide exclusive benefits to others, say family members, via the customer.
“…Empowering your loyal customers to bring in their friends and family you are also facilitating conversation that strengthens your brand.” Not only is your customer benefiting, but he or she is introducing other customers to you through valuable, exclusive offers. Another benefit is that your customer will feel good that he or she is giving something of value, and the person who receives it feels more obligated to use it. A win win for everyone.
Do you have a loyalty or referral program in place for your business? If not, why not give it some serious thought and see which of these you’d like to implement first. To be effective both programs should also include an expiration date with the referral card being even more time-sensitive. Your comments are welcomed.
Remember to pick up your copy of “STOP Losing Your Best Customers: Time-Tested Tips for Customer Retention” at http://getcustomersnow.com.