Let’s face reality, selling to your existing customer base is a lot easier than attracting new ones. In fact, the probability of selling to an existing customer is as high as 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is between 10 and 20%. In addition, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and services and spend 30% more compared to new customers. So how do you get your existing customers to do more business? One strategy is to launch a loyalty program.
It might seem like loyalty programs only suit restaurants, but in reality, any business can craft a loyalty program to reward their best customers and make it worth their while to come back and spend more money. For example, a massage therapist could offer their clients a free session with every 10th massage they get. Or maybe they get 10% off their massage for every new customer they refer. If you get creative and understand what motivates your customers, you can create a loyalty program for any type of business.
In addition to focusing on selling to your existing customers, there are various other reasons why you should consider launching a loyalty program.
Collect valuable data
Information is crucial to growing your business, you need to know who your customers are and how they behave in order to appeal to them. A customer loyalty program will allow you to collect such data. Luckily, nearly 60% of consumers are willing to share data to receive better service. In other words, you will be trading an amazing loyalty program for information about your customer. This will allow you to put a face and a name to your customer, including when they buy and how much they spend, especially if they are racking up points and redeeming rewards on a regular basis. The gathered data will allow you to create new campaigns, service offerings and products that are targeted at individual customers or groups of customers.
Enhance your customer experience
According to Forbes, 79% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a week of experiencing poor customer service. But it’s not just about customer support, it’s also about the way you show your customers that you value them for buying from your business. But how can you increase the likelihood of a good experience with your business? Answer: make customers feel like the money they spent was worth the investment. A loyalty program provides the perfect vehicle to do this.
It’s all about perceived value. If a customer can get something extra for their money, besides the product they purchased, they will experience the “wow factor”. According to persuasion expert Robert Cialdini, this positive experience also invokes a desire to return the favor, grounded in the power of reciprocity. In other words, if a customer receives positive treatment, like a loyalty program or something extra that they did not expect or buy, they will be more likely to ‘return the favor’ in the form of more visits, referrals or new purchases.
Maximize brand advocacy
Loyalty programs are meant for your best customers. These are the top 20% of all your customers, who drive 80% of your total revenue by spending more over a longer period of time. There’s that old 80/20 rule popping up again. A well designed loyalty program can deepen engagement with your brand, as well as make your customers feel appreciated. Now here is the important part, the more customers engage with your business, the more likely they are to promote your brand to others. Compared to non-advocates, they are 3 times more effective in persuading others to purchase from you.
We all know that people love to talk about good experiences and the things they love. Think of traditional word-of-mouth, as a happy customer tells two people about their experience, and those two people each tell another two people. According to Entrepreneur, word-of-mouth is triggered when a customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. Over 90% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising are 10 times more effective. Word of Mouth Marketing, then, is the most powerful form of advertising a business can have, as each happy customer can steer new business their way. It is important to make it as easy as possible for them to share their thoughts with others, whether it be on social media, your website or your mobile app.
Build your online reputation
Speaking of brand advocacy, a loyalty program is also a great strategy to build a strong online reputation. Nearly 90% of customers trust online reviews, so it’s crucial to devote resources to gathering these reviews on relevant platforms.
There are several ways to do this with your loyalty program: reward your customers for leaving a review or ask your customers to leave a review after redeeming a reward. With the first, you can trade a reward (be it extra points or special offers) in exchange for leaving a review. With the second, you are zeroing in even more on the positive experience your loyalty program brings to the customer. In this case, you wait for the perfect moment when your customer feels the most positive towards your brand and then ask them for a review. When is that perfect moment? When customer just redeemed a loyalty reward! Maybe they just just received a set of business cards with their logo design purchase. If you ask your customer for a review at this point in time, there will be a higher chance that they will take the time to provide you with one.
GrowIT Media offers this with the review campaigns feature without our app offering, where customers get prompted automatically to leave a review through a push notification. Positive reviews will help you build a positive brand image and reputation. They will also bring in new customers who picked your business over a competitor because of positive reviews.
A loyalty program can benefit your business in many different ways. It makes sure your loyal customers feel appreciated, as well as encourages them to come back to your business over and over again. With the critical information you gain, you will be able to refine your marketing strategies and tailor your loyalty program even more over time. Grow your business in 2018 with the help of a simple, yet effective loyalty program.