When someone says, “Customer Loyalty Program” to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? (Cue the crickets . . .)
Many customer loyalty programs become an expenditure that can cut into profit margins without really creating increased loyalty. But there are successful customer loyalty programs that DO increase customer loyalty and WON’T hurt your pocketbook. And I actually found a few of them in a piece titled, “Loyalty Programs and Perks That Work.” And remarkably, they’re rather simple.
The catch? Solve the two biggest problems for small business owners by making sure the reward granted is actually worth it to the consumer (to create loyalty) and that it’s one that won’t break your bank (to be cost effective). So what would that reward be, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple. Give your customers more of what they want – your product or service. This increases customer loyalty by providing the incentive for them to come to you and not your competition and the best part – it’s a very cost effective method for small business owners. Take this one, for example:
“A pizzeria might offer customers a frequent-buyers’ card that gets stamped every time they buy a pizza, for example, and reward them with a free pie after 12 purchases.”
Simple enough, right? Just about everyone likes pizza. Just about everyone orders pizza from time to time. So as a consumer, you may think, “Why not get something back for something that you’re doing on a regular basis anyway.” And voila’, there’s your customer incentive – to order from your pizzeria as opposed to the competition’s because they’re actually going to get a free pizza out of it eventually. And here’s your cost effectiveness – giving away one pizza pie after 12 are ordered and paid for won’t be breaking your bank. Simple, yet effective.
Here’s another one from the same article that actually yielded $200 worth of business for $5 in expense:
“Scott Pontikes, owner of the Scotty P’s Hamburgers restaurant chain in and around Dallas, Texas, sent a text message to 64 customers who had designated his Preston Forest store as their favorite Scotty P’s location. Those customers were offered a free hamburger if they purchased another one between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day. Eleven responded, invariably arriving with a friend in tow.”
Talk about cost effective. A $200 return on $5 worth of expense isn’t bad at all. If it’s done daily, that’s several thousand additional dollars of income per month and it only cost your business approximately $150 a month to earn those extra thousands. Not bad at all, right? Think about that for a moment . . . spending approximately $150 to earn an approximate $6,000 return in a 30 day calendar month. Again, simple yet cost effective.
I think the message here is a simple yet effective one as well. To increase customer loyalty without breaking your bank, entice your customers to buy more of what they want – your product or service. After all, that’s what they came to you for in the first place, right? This simple tactic ultimately performs two very important tasks:
- It greatly increases your profit margins with very little associated expense.
- It provides a clear and worthwhile incentive to your customer to loyally choose YOU above your competition.
It’s a win-win situation for all involved. As a small business owner, it won’t break your bank or dip into your profit margins and it provides your customers with the incentive to remain loyal to you and come back for more of what they love – your product or service.
For more tips on creating effective customer loyalty programs, read the article at Business on Main.
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