Small business, big rewards – why customer loyalty programs matter

 Small business, big rewards – why customer loyalty programs matter

Most consumers are familiar with loyalty
programs provided by department stores and big businesses, but many don't
realise some small businesses also offer membership programs and other generous

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities and as owners, I believe we understand much better than big business the importance of customer loyalty.

Most in our businesses are family-run
businesses and we not have the enormous marketing budgets of massive business,
but we can and really should continue to find ways to thank our regular customers and
clients for their loyalty.

Every year I hand out thousands of
dollars' worth of vouchers and freebies to regular and new customers through in-store,
email and Facebook and Instagram promotions.

If someone chooses to regularly spend their
money purchasing from me and follows my business on social media, it makes sense to
me to give them something back to show my appreciation.

Something as simple as giving a customer a
voucher or small gift on their birthday or the chance to win a prize on social
media can go a long way to rewarding them for their loyalty.

Five ways to reward customers:

  • Membership program – members can receive sign-up and yearly birthday vouchers, exclusive discounts and offers and rewards each time they spend a certain amount of money.
  • Workshops and demonstrations – free how-to sessions and product and repair tutorials from industry experts let your customers to find out more about your products and services.
  • Events – give members special access to your business. A VIP shopping event enables them to take advantage of special prices, enjoy drink and food while they shop, go into the running to win prizes and collect a goodie bag of samples.
  • Social media competitions – followers receive the chance to win popular products and vouchers at certain times of the year, such as Mothers' Day and xmas.
  • One-off bonus – Sales, giveaways and competition can be used to celebrate your business' birthday or create a major announcement, such as a proceed to a new location or the introduction of the product range or service.

Every month I sign up about 250 new members
to my Adelaide home organisation store.

I believe the important thing to a good loyalty program
is simplicity.

Unlike some big store membership programs,
ours is free of charge to join and easy to use and we don't ask customers to carry yet
another plastic card in their wallets or accumulate thousands of points
for an appliance they might never use.

We encourage as numerous people as possible to
join our members program and follow us on social media because that allows us
to communicate with them about special offers, events and competitions.

Statistics show that members spend more
frequently and waste your money.

If a customer is appreciated, they're more likely to support your small business and also to tell their friends and family to look with you too, and that's victory for everyone.

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