Join us as we explore the idea of customer loyalty, how it can be leveraged to better satisfy your current customers and get them to come back for more.
I’m a total brand junkie. It’s a real problem in my life; especially considering there are currently 868 unread messages in my Gmail account (thank goodness for unlimited storage). Every time I’m at a company website to seek information or purchase something, I always opt in to their email list so I can get the latest deals. After a period of a year, this explains why the inbox is overflowing.
Despite this tragic addiction to corporate emails, some good has come from it – I can share some of the better tactics for you to incorporate into your customer loyalty strategy. Keep in mind that it’s vital to get your overall plan together before diving deep into actual execution tactics. (You can take a quick refresher from yesterday’s post here.) Remember, building customer loyalty is a marathon, not a sprint.
The biggest takeaway is to reward your customer for being loyal. Just like with any relationship, if you don’t provide the love and attention your customer craves, they’ll be out the door in a heartbeat. So make sure that you tell your customers how much you appreciate their business, and be gratuitous about it. Say things like, “As such a valued customer…” or “Because we appreciate your business so much…” and you’ll start off on a positive note.
Check out some of the more compelling ideas I’ve seen:
- Provide offers only to certain customers. People like to feel that they’re held in higher regard than others – it makes them feel good about themselves. So give out an offer, discount, free gift, etc. to only your most valuable customers. And make sure you tell the recipient that they’re in a select group.
- Reach out to customers personally. After I got my internet set up in my apartment, a manager from the provider gave me a call the same day to ask how the installation process went. Was everything to my liking? Anything they could do to improve? Whether it’s a phone call or an email, try to show your customers you genuinely care about their satisfaction and feedback.
- Wish your customers a happy birthday. My favorite wing bar in town gives me a free meal on my birthday upon signing up for their rewards club. If you can obtain your customers’ date of birth, use it for something positive – they won’t mind giving you more information in the future.
- Give sneak previews. The beloved beer mentioned in Monday’s post was set to launch a new flavor to celebrate a big anniversary. They invited me to the brewery a month before it was released to give it a try. I didn’t go, but I felt really special and picked up a case the first chance I could.
- Offer a points program. Just like with the major airlines, reward your customers for repeat purchases. (Try using the MyRewards feature of our Winter 09 release.) Allow them to stock up points to redeem cash or free merchandise.
- Don’t forget the value of a hand-written note. In a world filled with email, instant messages and texts, people really like to see something that takes a little more time to create. Consider sending a holiday card or personal letter to your valued customers’ mailbox. I’d much rather receive something like that in the mail than the electric bill.
Quite frankly, the possibilities are endless – there are tons of ideas that will bring a smile to your customers’ faces and make them feel better about opening their wallets. The best idea for your customer loyalty strategy is to use the best, and most appropriate, idea for your business. If there’s something quirky about your brand, run with it. If you’re famous for a certain aspect of your business, play it to your advantage. Again, just make sure that you have the foundation in place beforehand.
So there you have it! Hopefully these ideas will provide a springboard for your own campaign.asdf
And now my Gmail account has hit 869 unread messages. Let’s see what the Gap has for me today…
– Matt Winn, Marketing Associate
What tactics have you seen that were extra special and creative? What do you think about the ideas listed above? Do you have any experience running a customer loyalty effort? Any other thoughts? Let us know below!