The great thing about being a small business owner is getting to know your customers. The folks who come into your shop frequently or contact you on a regular basis are the ones whose stories you remember and whose favorite brand of leather boots you keep in stock. The old advice about making friends with the people you do business with is absolutely true—but how do you foster that trust while keeping the relationship professional?
Customer rewards are a great way to let your loyal buyers know that you appreciate their business. It’s also a way to seek their support and feedback on how you’re doing. Just as positive reinforcement works for children and pets, it works for your customers.
Why not reward everyone?
It’s important to save rewards and perks for loyal customers; you don’t need to treat every person who stumbles across your business with the same benefits. Your repeat customers are more likely to continue shopping with you and spread the word about your business to their families and their friends. Building a network with a reward system, in other words, is a great idea for marketing your business.
If you’ve never offered your customers a benefit for doing business with you, you might be stumped as to how to do it. But we have a few easy ideas to share with you.
Perhaps the simplest idea is to have a special sale for your loyal customers. Before you host the special sale, make sure you have the contact information for each customer who is interested. Keep a notebook at the front of your business and invite customers to offer their physical addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. You then have a few ways to contact them with information.
Types of sales that you might have include the following:
- Holiday sales
If you were thinking about closing up shop for a holiday, why not host a special, members-only sale instead?
- Preview of Merchandise sales
Customers love to be the first to see new items or experience new services. Your loyal customers should have the pick of the litter.
- Bring a friend sale
Ask your best clients to bring one of their favorite friends or a family member to receive a special discount.
Another idea that works well for either a goods or service based business is to have a card exclusively for your best customers. There are a few different things you can do with the card.
- Discount Schedule
Whether you decide to offer a discount each time a customer flashes the card or just at certain times or after a number of visits, your fan base will love discounts.
- Free Item or Service
You could also offer a free item or service, usually after a certain dollar amount or a number of visits is reached.
Remember, your best customers will continue to visit your business and tell your community about its benefits if you show them a little love. Good business means recognizing opportunity—and the chance to bond with your loyal clients certainly counts.
This article was originally published by Outright.com
Myrna Vaca is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Lyoness America, where she is responsible for marketing, communication and business development efforts. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase. Check out Lyoness on Twitter.
Published: December 12, 2013