Five Cost-Effective Ways To Reward Loyal Customers
Customer loyalty reflects a customer’s willingness to buy from a business time and time again. It is the result of positive customer experience, satisfaction and the value of products or services they receive from the business.
There’s never a bad time to reflect back on all of the loyal customers who have helped your business succeed, so coming up with a plan to reward customers for their loyalty and thinking of ways to encourage them to come back in the years to come is extremely beneficial for your business.
Here are just a few, cost-effective ways to develop your customer loyalty.
1) Celebrate Your Customers
Everyone likes to be recognised for their contributions; your customers are no different. Simple things such as featuring a customer of the week or month can help acknowledge those customers who have helped you grow your business. You could do this by dedicating a post to them on your website, social media or in your next email.
If you operate offline, you could post a sign in your store that highlights your loyal customers. The recognition can go a long way in increasing customer retention and encouraging other customers to get more involved in your business.
2) Offer a Referral Bonus
Crafting a successful customer referral programme takes time but can have a significant impact on your return on investment. Loyal, satisfied customers are the most likely to refer their friends and family, so put these at the forefront when building a referral strategy.
When it comes to implementing your referral scheme, timing is key. It is best to wait until you have built relationships with your customers before asking them to refer a friend or family member. Find the optimum time between asking and reminding customers. This could vary from weeks to months, as pestering could deter your customer to a competitor.
The best customer referral programmes are those that benefit the referrer and the referee. Consider what you are going to offer as a reward for the referral and consider the value this will have for your customers. Customers may response well to a monetary related benefit such as a discount on future products, or a gift card.
3) Exclusive Early-Access Programmes
Offering exclusives to your loyal customers is a great, cost effective way of rewarding valuable customers and in return, helping build the relationship between them and your business.
Early-access programmes can be as simple as giving loyal customer access to a new product or service that hasn’t officially launched or allowing loyal customers to sign up to hear about the latest news about product development before anyone else.
Such simple ways of making customers feel like they are a part of something exclusive can go a long way in building trust and loyalty with your audience.
4) Ask for Customer Feedback
As loyal fans of your business, your customers are the perfect resource to provide you with informed opinions that can be helpful in determining a new product or service to release. You can do this simply by asking for their opinion on means of further improving your business. For example, a survey could gather key thoughts, while expressing your thanks for your loyal customers.
Not only will the feedback help you, but your customers will feel more valued if they know they have an input in improving the business in some way.
5) Reward Existing Customers
Rewarding existing customers can go a long way for customer appreciation- you don’t have to give a huge bonus to make a positive impact. You could create a more structured loyalty program to reward your customers on an ongoing basis.
Rewarding your current loyal customers is a great way of retaining those who you value most. Gift cards and e-gift cards are the perfect way of saying thank you in a way they’ll appreciate and remember, with the opportunity to buy something they really want from a brand loved by millions. At M&S, we see loyalty as going above and beyond to exceed your customers’ expectations, forming a relationship that engages and recognises the customer and helps them spend life well.
As you think about growing your customer base in the future, remember that keeping your current customers happy plays a huge role in growing your customer base. As with any initiative you implement, there needs to be a way to measure the success of your strategies. Rewarding your loyal customers should increase customer happiness and retention and so monitoring this process is key.
Find out more about our loyalty schemes and customer retention strategies that have helped many businesses across the UK reward their loyal customers. Contact us to find out how M&S can help you build long lasting relationships with your loyal customers today.