Ahh, your customers. Regular customers are the lifeblood of any business, and if you have those regulars, you’re pretty much set, right? But even when you already have regular customers, it still pays to retain their loyalty and work on improving your relationship with them. You can’t just sit back and savour your customers’ loyalty once you have already attained it, as competition is ever fiercer. Some other business or brand can very well take the top spot if you are not watching out and taking concrete steps to solidify the loyalty of your consumers. Having committed customers is essential to any brand, but you already know this. The bigger question is: what can you do to encourage customer retention and loyalty? Here are some key strategies you need to know.
- Provide discounts
You may already be familiar with how discounts work – and how they work well for encouraging loyalty. But it pays to emphasise it again because when you provide discounts to your customers, you are essentially hitting two birds with one stone: you are making them remember you and letting them know that they are special. You can, for example, offer your customers discounts for items they buy regularly, but you can also provide discounts for products that match their previous purchases. Giving discounts is also a great way to encourage your customers to buy even when times are slow. Think discounts for early bird diners, for instance, or 10% off for customers who walk in on Monday evenings. You can expand on their loyalty and recall when they know they can get a brilliant deal on a particular day or time.
- Offer rewards
A lot has already been said about loyalty programmes, and if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to focus on having one! But a good customer experience consultant knows that you can also offer rewards in other ways. Your rewards can be a surprise, like a gift with a particular purchase on your e-commerce site or free shipping. Punch cards are trendy as well, and who doesn’t like receiving something for free when they’ve completed a certain number of transactions? Naturally, customers will aspire to reach that ‘goal,’ and they will transact with you, again and again, to get something for their efforts.
But here’s another thing to remember: don’t make it difficult for your customers when they would like to redeem the points they have earned. There’s nothing worse than finding out that their punch card or your rewards programme has an expiration and they didn’t know it, so make sure the expiration date (if any) is clearly indicated on the card or the programme mechanics as well.
- Work on referrals
People talk to each other about their purchases, where they ate, where they took their dog to get groomed, and so on. Referrals are also crucial to retaining your customers’ loyalty. If you can come up with a ‘refer a friend’ programme, it’s one of the best ways to reward your existing customers whilst also getting new customers. You can choose to offer points whenever someone refers their friend to your business, and you can even make use of social media by sending a link to a special offer or promotion to customers who ‘like’ one of your posts.