In today’s cut-throat markets, businesses obsess over attracting new customers, and that’s a good thing. However, not all businesses seem to be aware of the vital importance of customer retention.
Study after study has proven that returning customers purchase more frequently, spend more, cost less, and will even actively promote your brand. Today’s tech-savvy customers demand intuitive, convenient, and personalized experiences. Technology is allowing businesses to deliver on all those needs. Digital apps elevate the customer experience with hassle-free, on-the-go experiences. Digitized platforms, on the other hand, provide businesses with easily-implementable smart solutions that are scalable and cost-efficient.
Building Loyalty Programs for SMEs
Keep it Simple, Make it Instant…
It is critical that every interaction — from point collection to reward and back again — requires as little effort from the customer as possible. Points-based loyalty programs, for instance, are popular particularly because they are easily understood. Similarly, digital stamps, today’s digital alternative to punch cards, are proving to be particularly effective for small businesses.
At the same time, customers want instant gratification. One way to offer rewards instantly is by integrating loyalty points into mobile wallets, allowing consumers to claim rewards directly at point-of-sale. Subscription-based loyalty programs too can also indulge consumers’ wish for immediate gratification, as these programs entitle subscribers to rewards immediately.
And Create Engaging and Unique, Emotional Experiences
Loyalty programs are proliferating and the burden is on brands to stand out. Keeping your customers engaged is paramount.
Referral-based loyalty programs are one way to keep members involved. What’s more, according to Harvard Business Review, referred customers are 18% more likely to be loyal to your brand. Referral programs also add a gamification element to your program — referring a customer is akin to a milestone. Gamification, in general, is a great way to grab customers’ attention. By combining it with innovative technology, such as AR, brands can create immersive experiences that lead to more intimate connections.
Also, try offering members unexpected rewards. You’d be pleasantly surprised to see how far a simple gesture can go toward building loyalty.
Digitize All the Things…
Going digital is no longer a luxury, it is a race against the competition. Here’s what you need to know.
Solid foundations for your digital program start with a holistic digital strategy designed to fit your brand’s specific needs and requirements. You must also ensure that your technology solution must be reliable, efficient, and easily scalable; it should leverage the latest technologies to achieve a painless implementation process all while delivering a frictionless experience to your customers.
But Stay Human
Without a heart and soul, your loyalty program will never achieve its full potential. Take mission-driven loyalty programs as an example, which offer customers the opportunity to support a cause or mission. These programs are especially effective at building a loyal following of highly engaged, like-minded customers.
Lastly, it could also be wise to give your loyalty program members a chance to express their kindness too by allowing them to pass along their loyalty earnings, either through gift cards or by transferring points directly. This kind of exchange creates an overall positive emotional experience that your band will be tied to.