Getting the right customer loyalty programme in place will benefit your business by improving the return on your marketing budget and generate recurring revenue and buy in to your business brand. Retaining an existing customer is a lot less expensive than going out to gain a new consumer and, once they trust you and your brand, it is a lot easier to persuade them to buy more or buy again. So, what is the best way to create a customer loyalty programme that is going to be right for your business?
Invest in a multi-functional customer service system
In order to create a loyalty programme, you need to know who your customers are and this data is gathered by using a multipurpose customer relationship management system (CRM). These days, it is common for the CRM to be implemented into a POS system because of the integration it provides. Not only does this make it easier for the consumer to pay for services and goods, but for the hospitality industry, it can also serve as a stock management system, drive email and SMS campaigns and allow online reservations while gathering key data about the customer.
The data can be used to keep in touch with the consumer and interaction is key when it comes to generating loyalty. The consumer needs to associate your brand with excellent service, a reward scheme for frequent use and have privileged access through email or SMS campaigns to new product launches or experiences. The online platform you use to showcase your business should also ensure that the brand is consistent across different interfaces so, if they log on via their smartphone or tablet, the experience and interaction must be the same and of high quality.
Develop meaningful interactions
CRM combines a number of practices, technologies and strategies to manage and analyse consumer interaction. The end goal is to improve customer service interactions and relationships in order to retain loyalty and drive up revenue. However, customers want to have a meaningful interaction in order for them to remain loyal to the brand, they want to feel valued, otherwise they will move to your competitors.
Using a CRM system will allow you to record all the past experiences that the consumer has with your brand through storing emails, messages, customized notes about the customer so you can create a more personal experience for them. One key example is a day or two before their birthday, an email and special offer for a birthday dinner, or lunch with a free glass of wine, arrives in their inbox.
Deliver added value
Once you have the data on the buying preference of your customers, the next step is to add value in a way that demonstrates you are interested in them and their lifestyle, not just up for a quick buck. Consider hosting events or having contests that your target consumer would be interested in such as naming a new recipe or cocktail drink. You can also create a brand community to share ideas, experiences, and make people feel as if they are part of an exclusive club.
Reward your customers
Once you have made that connection with your consumers, you want to retain their loyalty and make them feel special. Develop a loyalty programme where they can be rewarded for frequent purchases. If they introduce a friend to your business, ensure there is an incentive for them.
In today’s competitive marketplace, you cannot afford to ignore the benefits of a customer loyalty programme and it has never been easy with the technology available, to make this a reality and ensure your business stands out from the crowd.