There’s a lot of discussion among business owners regarding the cost of acquiring a new customer. When compared to the cost of retention, retention is where our focus should be.
Famed business consultant Dan Kennedy is often credited with defining the 3 rules of Business Profit.
1) Increase the price of your product
2) Increase the number of visits, hence purchases of your current customers.
3) Bring in new customers.
Based on these numbers, it would appear that businesses need to work twice as much on customer retention as they do on customer acquisition. And raising prices is not usually the way to create loyalty for your business.
How do businesses inspire loyalty? Through customer service and recognition. Pay attention to those customers who already visit your business. In a brick and mortar setting, work on recognizing your customers when they shop with you. That’s something that doesn’t cost a penny. Treat them with respect, be polite, and while the customer may not always be right, sometimes choosing to handle a challenge in the customer’s favor will work wonders.
Remember important information about your customers such as birthdays or anniversaries goes a long way to inspire loyalty. This information can certainly be done old school with index cards, the method championed by Joe Girardi, The World’s Greatest Car Salesman, or it can be done digitally through a CRM, using email.
Loyalty programs have been around for a long time as well. Barnes and Noble has a strong program and many businesses use punch cards still for their buy x number and get x free. A lot of these card programs don’t even require any sort of a signup. All you do is pick up a card and get a punch. No loyalty necessary or inspired.
Loyalty programs have in recent years entered into the digital age. Every day, more apps are showing up in the various app stores to promote individual companies. Of course, in this situation, storage can become a problem.
One of the answers to this challenge of too many apps or cards is to work with a company such as SpotOn Rewards. The customer signs up one time and can use the app or card in any location. You can custom design your own coupons, specials, and events and deliver them by email or you can push the information to customer’s cell phones.
Bringing in those new customers is also much easier because one of the aspects of the technology is the strong social media integration of this newer technology. Sharing with friends is a recommended component.
For you, the business owner, one of the best aspects of the SpotOn app is your ability to track your customers. You know every time a customer checks in, you also know when a customer has not checked in for a while. Being that I am most familiar with SpotOn, I will discuss how our loyalty program works.
Your customer walks into your business that offers SpotOn. they’re invited to sign up at the terminal and get a SpotOn Card. The good news is that there is a SpotOn app that uses a QR code so that your customer can eliminate the card and just use their phone to sign in anytime they visit. The great thing about a loyalty program such
as SpotOn is the engagement you are able to create at a moment’s notice.
Your customers can be rewarded with immediate offers when you want or need them most. A perfect example is a client cancels an appointment. With SpotOn you’re able to notify your current customers on their phone or email that an appointment time has opened up. You’re able to offer an appointment immediately. Way better than just waiting for walk in traffic.
For you, the business owner, one of the best aspects of the SpotOn app is your ability to track your customers. You know every time a customer checks in, you also know when a customer has not checked in for a while. SpotOn refers to them as “lapsed customers” if they have not checked in for 30 days. Then you are able to craft an offer only to them. All of this is available through your SpotOn Terminal.
As far as bringing in new customers, the simplicity of a program such as SpotOn will make it easy for them to sign up to turn their first-time visit into an ongoing relationship. All of this is done without having to raise prices.
Pretty much all of these features and benefits come down to that most important word, engagement. With SpotOn engagement can be immediate without being too intrusive. So consider the value of loyalty for your business and consider what you are currently doing to keep your current customers coming back.
Guest Blogger: John Archer