by Grace Barone
Customer loyalty is the foundation of any flourishing company. It's what encourages repeat business. Word-of-mouth recommendations, and favorable reviews keep customers coming back time and time again. But, building customer loyalty isn't always a piece of cake (unless you're a bakery, in which case it might be). Customer loyalty is harder to come by than ever in the fast-paced and fiercely competitive environment of today. Because consumers have so many options, businesses must work harder than ever to win and keep customer loyalty.
Why is Customer Loyalty and Retention so Important?
Beyond making sure customers are happy with the items or services your company offers, customer loyalty also involves fostering a sense of community. By satisfying the customer, your aim should be to generate brand supporters. A small business's ability to succeed depends on having devoted clients. Customers that are loyal to a business are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer business to others, and pay more for goods and services. Also, devoted consumers can act as brand ambassadors by telling others about their positive interactions with the company. This will generate beneficial word-of-mouth advertising for the company. Small businesses can create a devoted customer base that will support their long-term success and sustainability by investing in developing close bonds with their clients and providing them with unique experiences. Here are 5 reasons to put effort into creating loyal customers:
- Loyal customers are more motivated to visit a business repeatedly, generating a consistent flow of income that can support the growth and success of small businesses.
- Happy customers are more likely to tell their friends, family, and coworkers about a business, which helps draw in new clients and boost sales.
- Retaining current customers often costs less than acquiring new ones through marketing and advertising. It costs 5 times more to get new customers in your business than to keep the ones you already have.
- Loyal customers are more likely to accept higher prices for goods and services and to forego price comparison shopping. Studies show that compared to new customers, existing ones are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more money.
- Small businesses can stand out from the competition and provide a distinctive value offer by concentrating on developing solid relationships with clients. As well as having loyalty programs in place.
Now that you know this, you should see that customer loyalty can really boost your businesses success. A study conducted by Harvard Business School, found that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25 and 95%. That's a huge profit margin for a very small increase. While getting these loyal customers does take time and effort, it's really not that hard to take the steps to gain loyal customers.
You should be focusing on great customer service first and foremost. If your customers are not having a stellar experience at your business, the chances of them coming back are slim. Now that you can look up any business and find information like what products and services they offer or pricing, customers going to your competitors is just a click away.
If your business doesn't have a customer loyalty program in place you should get one started. A customer loyalty program can be an effective tool for businesses to win over more clients, improve sales, and set themselves apart from rivals. Businesses can secure relationships with their clients and achieve long-term success by investing in a well-designed loyalty program that adds value to customers and satisfies their preferences.
Customer Loyalty Programs for Small Businesses
A good customer loyalty program adds value for customers while assisting businesses in keeping and expanding their customer pool. A strong customer loyalty program should include the following essential components:
Clear and Attainable Rewards: The program's rewards should be simple for users to comprehend and attain. The program should inspire customers to sign up and receive rewards.
Personalization: Long-term customer loyalty may be increased by loyalty programs that provide tailored rewards and experiences. Understanding client preferences and behaviors through data gathering and analysis can help with this.
User-Friendly: Consumers are more inclined to participate in loyalty programs that are simple to use and don't demand a lot of effort if they are user-friendly and convenient. Easy-to-understand reward programs can boost customer engagement and participation.
Flexibility: A strong loyalty program should allow users to select the methods for earning and using rewards. To accommodate their interests and needs, customers should have a range of options.
Frequent communication: Keeping customers informed about awards, promotions, and other program updates can help keep them interested in the loyalty program.
Successful Loyalty Programs
Big brands have well thought out customer loyalty plans, its always a good idea for small businesses to research and see what has worked. Base your programs off ones that have proven success. I frequent Starbucks often and they have a great customer loyalty program in place. I honestly think their loyalty program is a main reason I go their so much. Customers earn stars for each purchase they make. The stars can be redeemed for different things based on how many stars the customer has. For example if you have 25 stars you can customize your drink with no extra charge, the stars go all the way up to 400, with the biggest reward being free Starbucks merchandise.
This is a great loyalty program because its easy to use, the rewards are clear and attainable, there is clear communication on special offers like "earn double stars if you order today" and the rewards are flexible. I often get offers that advertise rewards for items that I purchase the most.
Other companies have great loyalty programs too, Delta SkyMiles is a program where members earn miles for the flights, the miles can be redeemed for seat upgrades, free flights and more. Walgreens has a loyalty program where you can earn points and redeem them for merchandise. Even the place I get my oil changed has a simple punch card where I purchase 9 oil changes and my 10th one is free.
These programs motivate customers to return to the business and may entice new customers to visit your business as well.
Boost Customer Loyalty with a Clover POS System
Clovers POS systems make getting loyal customers simple. Clover devices have a lot of different features that will aide in customer retention. The systems are able to conduct in depth business reporting, sales tracking an inventory tracking. These reports allow you to make educated business decisions which will make your business as profitable and efficient as possible. Having an efficient business will aide in the customer experience, making the chances of customers coming back, much higher. You can also implement a cash discount program which will entice customers to return as well.
Here are some more ways a Clover POS system can help you get loyal customers at your business:
With a Clover POS system, you can now issue physical or digital loyalty cards to customers. With these cards customers can earn points or rewards for their purchases
Similar to the loyalty cards and similar to big brand loyalty programs, customers earn points for their purchase. The points can turn into discounts, rewards and free items.
If your business has a Clover POS system you have the ability to have your own gift cards. This is a great way to drive word-of-mouth advertising. If you already have a loyal customer and they purchase a gift card to give to someone, you're now brining in new customers that may turn into loyal ones.
Clovers app market offers a wide variety of apps, there are a few different apps available to download on your Clover device that are made specifically for loyalty programs. These apps make communication about special offers simple and can help track customer data which will help you create deals and offers that are backed up by data.
If you're interested in learning more about how the addition of a Clover POS system can help your business gain loyal customers, visit us at getvms.com. We will help you choose the right route to take while implementing a loyalty program that's right for your business and more!