If you’re spending money attracting new customers but find your current clients aren’t coming back, then you might have a customer loyalty issue. Having a customer loyalty programme allows you to drive business back to your store and enrich your customers' experience.
Businesses that have growth but focus on attracting customers, rather than rewarding their current ones, often suffer from:
- Low customer retention rates.
- Poor customer satisfaction scores.
- A disjointed customer experience.
- Misguided decision making based on lack of knowledge about their customers.
Things to consider before selecting a customer loyalty programme:
1) Do you know your customers?
It seems like a silly thing to ask, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make. If you don’t know who your customers are, then you won’t know how to appropriately market to them, send them offers or perform basic business functions. This means, you need to understand their demographics and buying behaviours. If you’re in retail, you should be looking at: the foot traffic outside, customers that go into nearby stores and the way your customers are purchasing and engaging with you.
The best way to understand your customers is simply to talk to them. Figure out how they heard about you, why they came into the store and whether this was for something unique your competitors can’t offer.
2) Can you identify your repeat customers?
You should know these guys by name. If you can identify your repeat customers, then you won't know where s significant amount of your revenue is coming from.
3) Understand the numbers:
As the old saying goes “if you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage it”. A key part of customer retention is ensuring you have the systems in place to be able to effectively track and manage how frequently your customers are returning to you. A big part of growing your business is ensuring things like your customer conversion rates (how many customers are passing through your doors compared to sales) are high. You want to be able to constantly assess your conversion rates and monitor what percentage of those are returning customers.
4) Keep things simple:
One of the most common loyalty programmes businesses use is a simple points system. Frequent customers simply earn points which translate into a reward. That can be in the form of a discount, a freebie or a gift you would like them to redeem in-store.
Brick and mortar selling has changed
The approach to selling has fundamentally changed since the days of selling through brick and mortar stores. Customers now have a wider choice to base their purchase decisions on, such as price, shopping experience, trust signals, and reviews. Businesses that stand out from the crowd, do so by finding what works for their customers and extending that experience past the physical store.
It also means that customer loyalty doesn’t start when a customer returns, it starts at the very beginning.
Being able to communicate with customers when they first walk in the door - and personalise their experience long after they’ve left - ensures higher customer retention.
Creating a customer loyalty programme that works:
The key thing to remember about driving back your loyal customers, is that customer loyalty isn’t created, it’s earned. For years, brands have tried tactics to better engage their customers and ensure they keep coming back. So where do you start and what should you focus on?
Three things to focus on with customer loyalty programmes:
1) The customer
What does it mean to be customer focused? It means; offering your customers a consistently great and relevant experience. From when a customer first discovers your brand, to every time they interact with you, their experience should be customised, simple and easy.
Take a prominent online store like Amazon for example.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” - Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com
Email is still the best way to talk to your customers after they’ve left your store. To this day, there hasn’t been a better way to stay in touch. A direct Marketing Association’s 2013 study, showed that 90% of consumers (with access to email) subscribe to email from trusted brands.
But don’t just start blasting off emails, assuming they will perform. Creating emails is an art form and you want to make sure you’ve got the right system and people helping you through it. At Goody, we help hundreds of merchants send unique offers to their clients; we provide the platform and tools needed to acquire email addresses and send personalised offers.
3) Customer service
As we mentioned earlier, creating loyal customers starts with ensuring you deliver a world-class customer experience…and that means at all times!