Customer loyalty programs work big time for big companies but small business owners are often deterred from developing one because of worries about how much it would cost or how difficult it would be to organize and manage. As a matter of fact, the very same principles that keep customers coming back to big companies can be utilized to develop a small business scale loyalty program without a lot of cost and drama.
Make customers feel like ‘members’
Creating a ‘club’ that provides special incentives to members is one of the best ways to retain customers. This approach works because it is based on the primal human need to ‘belong’ to something – especially where belonging also makes us feel we are being treated as special.
Who gets to be a member? A customer loyalty program based on membership should convey a feeling of privilege for those selected so it can’t be open to all and sundry. Customers may qualify for membership either by purchasing their entrée or by dint of their past support and loyalty.
General Nutrition Centers, a specialty retailer of vitamins and supplements, offers a Gold Card membership program that provides discounts on products, personalized mailings and email on health related topics, product news and exclusive offers. GNC found that they could even use their program to actively iron out lows in their sales pattern by offering a special discount on sales made on Tuesday, traditionally their slowest sales day. Read More→