Company’s that offer loyalty programmes to their customers ensure a baseline of repeat business.
According to Inc., the price of acquiring a new customer can be about 5-10 times more costly than it would be to sell to an existing customer.
The question therefore is: What are you doing to keep your existing customers coming back for more?
THE POINTS SYSTEM
Whether a discount, a gift or some kind of spoil, frequent customers earn points which translate into some kind of reward or a version of cash. Where companies fail at the point system, however, is when the reward system becomes too difficult and tedious to work out.
The national airline carrier South African Airways offers frequent flyer miles to those who use their credit cards for purchases, incentivising their customers to spend by using their card facilities.
Tip: Opting for a points-based loyalty system? Keep the conversion simple.
Most companies struggle to find a balance between attainable and desirable rewards concerning their loyalty programmes.
The tiered system allows businesses to offer small rewards as a base offering for being a part of the programme, and then encourage business from repeat customers by increasing the value of the rewards as the customer moves up the loyalty ladder.
With the tiered system, members do not forget to make use of their points and cannot lose their accumulated points between purchases.
Discovery Vitality is a wellness programme that rewards its members for getting healthier. Every step in the healthy direction improves an individual’s Vitality status and in turn the benefits are received.
Loyalty programmes are meant to break down barriers between customers and your business, and you need to seriously think about charging them a fee.
In some circumstances, customers can bypass common purchase blockers because of a one-time or annual fee, which can prove beneficial for business and customer alike.
eCommerce giant Amazon found a way to combat issues such as “sticker shock”, the after tax and shipping prices, with their loyalty programme called Prime. For US$79 annually, Prime users get free two-day shipping on millions of products with no minimum purchase, among other benefits.
Your customers could possible find more value in rewards that are non-monetary or discounted. It is easy for a company to offer up vouchers and points but the opportunity also exists to really connect with an audience, if the company can provide value to the customer in ways different to money.
Shoprite previously pioneered a sort of nameless loyalty programme which awarded instant airtime for purchases of marked products. Now they’ve done it again, with SA’s first workable mobile couponing initiative, EeziCoupons.
Shoppers can view coupons on their cellphones, purchase those products and enter their WiCode on the pin pad at the till. The total discount is then deducted and the savings revealed at the bottom of the till slips. The WiCode allows punters access to thousands of bucks worth of discounts at once. It also gives Shoprite access to absolutely scads of data about which shoppers want what.
An extremely effective loyalty programme to retain customers and grow the company would be a strategic partnership for customer rewards. These are also known as coalition programmes and can be good for customer retention and company growth.
Tip: Understanding a customer’s habits, lives and their purchase process will help determine which company is a good fit as a partner.
FNB’s reward system, eBucks, is a multi-partner rewards programme. As an eBucks member you can enjoy a variance of rewards for performing every day, mundane tasks. Up to 40% is discounted on a selection of flights, gadgets, shopping vouchers, movies and more. The value added here is that eBucks never expire so saving them could afford you something special.
A cool way to encourage repeat business and guarantee customer retention would be to turn your loyalty programme into a game. It really depends on the game but this type of reward system could solidify your brand’s hip and funky image.
Tip: It needs to be understood that the company is not conning customers out of rewards. This type of loyalty programme has the potential to backfire if customers feel like your company’s messing them around to win business. Executed properly, however, this type of programme could work for almost any type of company,
DITCH THE REWARD PROGRAMME ALTOGETHER
Considering the amount of loyalty programmes that are on offer, one innovative concept would be to scratch the concept completely.
Loyalty can be built by providing awesome benefits to first-time users, hooking them, and offering those benefits with every purchase.
Too simple? Consider one of the most innovative companies on the planet – they implement this strategy: Apple.
Even the most loyal Apple customers are not privy to special rewards or discounts. Why? Because they do not offer them to anybody.
Apple charms, captivates and fascinates customers by delighting them with a product or service the first time. Let’s face it – the product is THAT good. Therefore customer loyalty is usually long-lasting.
Tip: This minimalist approach works best for companies whose products or services are unlike any other. m