Loyal~n~Save, the premium customer loyalty rewards program that offers the most technologically advanced digital marketing solutions available today, had a highly informative month of blogging. Our December articles tackled customer retention marketing secrets, tricks for enrolling new loyalty members, tips to achieve customer loyalty, and digital marketing strategies that work. In case you missed a post, we've compiled summaries of each article for you to get up to speed.
5 SECRETS FOR CUSTOMER RETENTION
The secret to retaining customers lies in keeping them happy, while standing out from the competition. In this article, we covered the fundamentals of how to gain customer loyalty despite the worldwide economic crisis that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Summarized for your quick reference, here are the five secrets:
- Share Your Company Values--At no other time in human history has building relationships been more important, which is especially true for all retail industries. Over the course of 2020, approximately 60% of small businesses were forced to close and those that remained open were severely limited. When business owners make their company values known to customers, they increase customer loyalty. These days, consumers invest in brands just as much as they buy products.
- Provide Excellent Customer Service--Providing excellent customer service today does not resemble what excellent customer service used to look like this time last year. As a retailer, you must revise your customer service policies, protocols, and strategies to reflect the current times. Every aspect of your customer service operations, from the user-friendly interface of your ecommerce store to the curbside pickup service to the cadence your employees use to take orders over the phone, must reflect today's "locked-down" reality.
- Collect Survey Data--One of the best ways to build a connected relationship with your customers is to give them opportunities to be heard. When you take customer feedback into consideration and use constructive criticism to improve your operations, customer retention increases. This is where customer surveys come in. By conducting customer surveys, you can collect important data that can be used to develop even better services and experiences at your store. Connect the feedback you collect to your products, services, and employees, especially if the critique is negative. There's a lot you can do to improve your business based on the customer surveys you conduct.
- Establish An Expert-Level Brand--Be more than a retailer and business owner. You can build a platform for your brand online, establish a presence on social media, and regularly upload expert-level content to an active blog on your website. In other words, when you become an expert in your field and a voice within your industry, you will give consumers more reasons to invest in your brand. By establishing that your brand comes backed with expert information, you will promote customer retention. As a business owner, do what you can to demonstrate that you can support all of your customers' needs and educate them in every area of your industry.
- Offer A Loyalty Program--Loyalty rewards programs massively improve customer retention if they're executed correctly. Digital customer loyalty rewards programs that include a mobile app are a great way to stay in touch and communicate with customers anytime, anywhere. There are many benefits for retailers when their customers participate in a loyalty program, which include valuable consumer insights, increased revenue, customer referrals, and more positive online reviews.
For in-depth information about how to implement each of these five secrets, be sure to read the full article.
TRICKS TO GET CUSTOMERS TO SIGN UP FOR YOUR LOYALTY PROGRAM
In our second December article, we tackled the tricks that retailers can use to interest shoppers into signing up for their stores' loyalty rewards programs. While our advice went into detailed depth, the broad strokes were as follows:
- Creatively Reward Customers For Signing Up--Present your shoppers with a creative sign-up reward and make sure the enrollment process is fast. Creative rewards include experiential rewards, like a free salon beauty consultation (salon industry), a free beverage voucher (from a local retailer you've partnered with), or any experience you can offer that's relevant to your store or the greater retail industry your business belongs to. The more personal to your brand, business, and industry you can make the sign-up reward, the better.
- Joining Must Be Simple, Easy, and Digital--Enrollment should require the barest bones of information, i.e. the customer's first name, email address, and maybe a cell phone number. Sign-up opportunities should include the in-store POS, the reward program's mobile app, and a pop-up on your website. With today's technology integrated into your customer loyalty rewards program, you can trust that as the newly enrolled loyalty member shops with you, valuable data will be compiled as they go. It will take time to understand from an A.I. standpoint who each of your loyalty members are and to market to them accordingly. Let the program do what it's made to do and be patient.
- Personalize Your Program with Personality--The importance of integrating the retailer's mission, purpose, and story into their brand to reinforce their unique business identity cannot be overstated. When a retailer makes their company mission statement clear to the broader consumer pool, their brand becomes personal and relatable, and the result is a higher conversion rate of browsers to buyers. You can go a step further than infusing your unique business personality into your brand by infusing your brand personality into your customer loyalty rewards program. Invent a creative name for your program and keep your program theme consistent.
- Promote the Perks & Promote, Promote, Promote!--Another highly effective tactic to get your customers to sign up for your loyalty rewards program is to focus on marketing the program's perks in order to attract interested shoppers. Highlight your strongest program perk and couple that with the sign up incentive you created. Understand that developing trust and fostering relationships with your customers via your rewards program takes time. Signing customers up really is just the beginning. An important factor of increasing customer spending and CLV is time itself.
- Train Your Employees to Pitch the Program--Most customers will enroll into your loyalty program at the cash register counter with the help of your sales staff. Your store employees and managers must be well-trained and equipped with "scripts" they can use to tell shoppers about the program and invite them to sign up. When you train your staff on the fast, straightforward steps of signing up customers at the POS and also train them on assisting customers to download your loyalty app into their mobile phone, you will greatly increase the success rate of enrollment.
If you would like a step-by-step guide to follow, then take some time to read the whole article so that you understand how to implement each trick for getting customers to sign up for your loyalty program.
5 TIPS TO ACHIEVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY
As a retailer, you want your customers to patronize your brand for reasons that are bigger and better than the latest sale you're having. Real loyalty is rooted in a positive relationship, which should be the foundation of what your store has to offer its customers. In this article, we took a close look at five relationship-building and relationship-driven strategies you can implement at your business to secure loyalty from your shoppers:
- Emotional Attachment--Finding ways to form emotional attachments in the business realm should be a top priority for any retailer who's interested in fostering authentic customer loyalty. When your customers begin to feel emotional attachment towards your business, store, or brand, then shopping with you more frequently will come naturally. This kind of loyalty will form based on what you, as the retailer, do. The positive experiences you offer your customers should far outweigh the negative, but that doesn't mean a customer complaint is destined to ruin the relationship.
- Memorable Experiences--Creating memorable experiences for your customers is the best and fastest way to help them begin to feel emotional attachment towards your brand. Building emotional attachment will be gradual and unfold overtime, but you can start by setting up shopping experiences that are guaranteed to be both positive and memorable. Offer amazing, memorable, and thoughtful customer experiences by delivering "surprise and delight". The purpose isn't to shower them with expensive gifts, but rather to show them you appreciate their business. Think outside the box and trust that a light touch can go a long way.
- Relationship Bank--When you, as the retailer, do something positive for a customer such as giving them access to exclusive video content as a gift, it is similar to making a monetary deposit into a bank account. You are paying into the emotional bank account that figuratively exists between you and your customer. Contrastingly, when a negative exchange occurs, it's synonymous to making a withdrawal that depletes the emotional bank account. The goal really should be for you to make as many deposits into your customers' emotional bank accounts as possible, and it doesn't have to cost you a dime.
- Trust Building--Before consumers commit to frequently shopping with you, they need to be able to trust you, which means that they need to trust that your brand messages are accurate, that you're doing what you're saying, and that you're selling the quality that you say you are. The foundation of trust building and what you can provide your shoppers with today to start earning their trust include improving security, staying active on social media, under-promising and over-delivering, and providing excellent customer service. Building trust is hardly fast and easy, but it is possible, and it's more than necessary if you want to achieve mutually beneficial customer loyalty.
- Value Redefined--Customers value more than mere savings. They value alternatives such as technology, convenience, reminders & notifications, and insider information. This is where you, as the retailer, can use these alternatives to redefine value and offer your customers so much more than what your competitors can come up with. It's easier than you think, too, but only if you offer this kind of redefined value as a customer loyalty rewards program.
Be sure to check out the article in its entirety if you want to learn the specifics of the five tips we went over.
MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Marketing strategies for loyalty programs may come in different shapes and sizes, but all of them involve four main promotional pipelines. Namely, these are in-store promos, social media platforms, email campaigns, and mobile app integration. In this article, we covered how to utilize all four pipelines while keeping your customer loyalty rewards program simple, accessible, and enjoyable for your customers. Here are those four strategies summarized:
- In-Store Promos--There are three main ways to promote your rewards program at your location so that your in-store shoppers are informed. These are, use promo signage, train your employees, and include a call-to-action, such as a website link or QR code that leads to sign-up instructions, on every customer receipt.
- Social Media--Ideally, you want to include a fast, easy, and direct way for visitors to click and sign-up for your rewards program from your social media profile page. You can also use your posts to promote your business's customer loyalty rewards program.
- Email Campaigns--The foundation of successful email marketing is having a strong email list with hundreds if not thousands of subscribers who actively act on the information they're presented with when they open every email. When you implement a customer loyalty rewards program, your rewards campaign emails will see open rates and engagement rates that are measurably higher than standard email marketing endeavors.
- Mobile App Integration--When you integrate your rewards program with a mobile app, you expand the channels of communication with your loyal customers. Retailers can send push notifications through the app, which is perhaps the most immediate method of contact that yields the highest open rate. Another channel offered with loyalty mobile apps is SMS text messages, which are equally immediate.
Integrating a mobile app into your loyalty program has further benefits, including:
- Instant incentives
- Location-based notifications of promos
- Repeat & recurring purchases options
- Integrated checkout redemption
We strongly encourage you to read the full article if you would like to get familiar with the foundation of digital marketing to promote your loyalty program.
That concludes all of the articles you may have missed throughout December. If you would like Loyal~n~Save to handle your loyalty program marketing, feel free Contact Us anytime. Start the New Year off with success so that 2021 is your best year yet! Our loyalty strategists are experienced in every Industry and can launch your customer loyalty rewards program.
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.