By: Don Prentice April 14, 2017
I noticed 3 statistics about business loyalty programs that caught my attention. They are not surprising statistics, but they are a reminder of how valuable your most loyal customers are to your business.
With everything that is needed to keep a business prosperous, it's important to give our loyal customers the attention they need. We rely on return customers to survive. We know that it costs 5 times more to get a new customer than increase the value of a current customer. The above statistics show that today's consumers engage in Loyalty Programs and the goal of a loyalty program is clearly to get more return visits.
I want to share an experience that I had with a local pizza restaurant chain just this week. I visited the franchisee pizza restaurant for lunch for the first time.
By the way, this particular store is one of the friendliest stores I have ever walked into. When I entered the store, I was greeted with three big smiles from the manager (maybe owner) and two counter employees welcoming me to their store. All three were anxious to help me with the menu and were ready to answer any questions I had for them. They were successful at making me feel comfortable. So comfortable, I decided to enjoy my personal pizza in-store instead of taking it to go which I originally planned.
A perfect experience. Right? Not really for the restaurant. Here's what happened next...
I was so happy with the food and the hospitality, I asked the very nice register employee if her store had a reward program I could join. She replied "I'm not sure". Then she yelled across the counter to her manager, "Do we have a reward program?". He yelled back, "Go to our website".
Let's stop and think about this for a second. A customer (me) is asking to be loyal and come back to their business and I am ignored. This was a huge missed opportunity for the restaurant.
The real point here is DON'T FORGET THAT YOU RELY ON RETURN BUSINESS AND PROMOTING YOUR LOYALTY OR LIST PROGRAM IS IMPORTANT IN YOUR STORE - NOT JUST YOUR WEBSITE.
Here are the Top 4 Things you can do to maximize your loyalty list and provide your customers a great experience.
1. Don't ask for a bunch of detail to be filled out to join. Your customers are there to enjoy their meal, not fill out a long form. Consider asking them for a phone number to get your special offers. They will receive a text that allows them to join your program when their ready. They are also now on your mobile list which allows you to send them exclusive specials.
2. Make it easy to join your mobile list. Placing a simple In-Store Kiosk next to your register or hostess stand invites them to join your list without your staff having to take time to promote your loyalty club. A Kiosk is like a magnet and it only takes a few seconds for your customers to join.
3. Send your offers to their phone wallet. It's easy to send your loyal customers mobile offers that will automatically be organized right on their phone. They can easily find your offer. No more lost offers in emails or paper coupons that are left behind.
4. Target your offers. One of the biggest benefits of mobile offers is that you can target the offer at the exact time that you want them to receive it. For instance, if you want to promote happy hour to your list members for this coming Thursday evening, you can schedule the offer to hit their phone at 3:30 that afternoon. 97% of your list members will view your text message - within 10 minutes. Can't do that with an email.
My point is this. You and your staff could provide a great customer experience but if you fail to help your customer become a loyal customer, you're already losing future sales and may not even realize it!
It's still true that "The Money Is In Your List", but what really matters is "What you do with it".