A customer loyalty program should drive increased in-store traffic and repeat business. But, of course, that’s easier said than done. Building a customer loyalty program is an art that can be evolved and successfully executed if all the pulse points are addressed.
Here are just a few tips to build your loyalty program:
- Define your loyal customer. It may seem obvious, but knowing who you are selling to is going to help you achieve the loyalty program you’re trying to create. The ideal loyal customer proves that your program is on track, or would be open to improvements and evolution of the program.
- Know that a customer loyalty program goes beyond incentives and rewards. Use the program to gain specific feedback from your customers -- what they like and don’t like. Gather that data from the customers who are most likely to tell you the truth you need.
- Take full advantage of text messaging. Find a customer loyalty platform that helps you be intimate with your loyal customers. A great channel for building a customer relationship is texting. Mobile communication is convenient and can be very relevant. Talk to your customers as they are walking through your mall. Text them with specials and incentives at just the right time and place and let them feel rewarded. Your shopping mall marketing platform should allow you to know in advance customers’ interests, locations, shopping habits, product preferences, wish lists and other relevant information.
- Get geographical. As mentioned above, it’s important to text your customers where they are, at the time they are there. Send a special offer to customers as they enter a particular radius of your mall, with very specific incentives (use keywords or special marketing codes). Or reverse that and have customers text you when they see a special loyalty code on products.
- Set a limit. Create a deadline for your loyalty offer -- your customers will think it’s more valuable. They won’t want to miss the deal, since they feel they’ve earned it as a loyal customer. Also (and this is just as important): make sure the offer is valuable to the customer. Let them feel like they’ve been truly rewarded.
- Remember to say thank you. Customers want to feel appreciated, even when they’re not buying something. Texts with “thank you” messages and reminding them that you value their business could make a huge difference when it comes to customer loyalty. Use your program’s texting function to offer coupon codes and special offers, just as a thank you gesture.
- Remember birthdays and special occasions. Nothing is more personal and appreciative than a thoughtful birthday or anniversary special loyalty reward, sale or offer -- even the anniversary of the customer’s first visit.
Developing a loyal customer base is a vital foundation to any successful business. A loyalty program is a proactive way to build that base, and exercise your marketing strategies. New customers are great, but your existing, loyal, returning customers are the glue that holds your mall together. A loyalty program could keep them returning and buying.
- Increase customer visit frequency
- Improve average sale price
- Increase customer engagement
- Analyze the loyalty programs that are or aren’t working.
A customer loyalty program these days is almost exclusively digital. Take advantage of modern technology to communicate and build relationships with your most loyal customers.