Recognize And Reward Loyal Customers

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Everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions; your customers are no different.

Feature a customer of the week or month — someone who has truly helped you grow your business — on your website, social media, or in your next email.

Put a sign up in your storefront or office highlighting that customer. The recognition will go a long way towards encouraging other customers who love your business to get more involved in your success as well.

How one business, recognizes its loyal followers right on its main website and keeps them involved and engaged as brand ambassadors.Showcases the personalities and stories of its customers, making both the brand and its loyal followers partners in promoting the brand's baby carriers and products.

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One way to reward loyal customers is to give them something exclusive.

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It could be giving them access to a new product that hasn't officially launched to anyone else. Or it could be offering them some new service that's not open to the general public yet. Many tech companies, such as Google, offer consumers the opportunity to be part of a beta release of a product.

Consider setting up a similar program where loyal customers can sign up to be the first to hear about new products and services. With email marketing software like Constant Contact, you can create a separate email list for people who sign up.

Ask for customer feedback

Everyone appreciates being asked for their opinion. As fans of your business, your customers will provide you with informed opinions that could be helpful in determining a new service to release, a menu item to introduce, or a marketing tactic to try.

Send a survey to your loyal customers to ask their opinion. Be sure to make it clear that you're asking them because they are such valued followers.

You could even ask them a few questions in person or have a questionnaire ready for them to fill out the next time they visit your store. Whichever way you ask for feedback, make sure you're taking their input seriously. If they take the time to provide you with feedback, it's your responsibility to take their advice to heart.

Invite customers to a special event

Similar to giving customers first access to a new product, inviting customers to a special event can be a great way to spread some positive goodwill and get people talking about your business.

You could hold a wine and cheese event at your store, a charity event to support the local community, or a celebration event for a holiday. Encourage your customers to bring friends and family too — this could introduce a whole new audience to your business.

With an online registration tool, customers can sign up to attend in advance and also provide information about other guests that will be joining them.

Offer a referral bonus or reward for recruiting new customers

You don't have to give a huge bonus to make a positive impact and increase referrals. Try providing a small discount or some company swag to show your appreciation. Depending on how extensive your referral program is, you could create a more structured loyalty program to reward customers on an ongoing basis.

Make sure the rules and guidelines for your program are clear and that you're promoting the program both online and in-store.

Best Ways To Reward Loyal Customers

Offering free goods, discounts and special buying opportunities to regular customers shows them that you value their custom and keeps them coming through your door.

  1. Offer cumulative discounts on selected lines. Offer discounts to customers when they reach specified spending targets - for example, 10% off their next purchase if they spend 100%. Limited time offers can encourage prompt purchases, but you must make sure you publicise the scheme.

  2. Create a loyalty card scheme. If you sell a high-volume, low-value item (drinks, for example), give customers a card to be stamped with every purchase. Once they reach the target number, they qualify for a free one. If you sell a range of items, a plastic swipe card storing points that translate into discounts is a better option.

  3. Give away free items with multiple purchases. Buy one, get one free is a tried and tested method of encouraging short-term repeat sales. Don't overuse this tactic, though, or people might start to question the quality of the goods.

  4. Team up with an associated business to offer reciprocal discounts. A classic example is a sports clothing shop that offers discounted membership at the local gym for purchases above a certain value. In return, the gym offers members discount vouchers for the store and access to special promotions.

  5. Invite customers to trial developing products and services for free. Asking trusted customers to give you feedback on a new offer before you launch will give them a sense of ownership over the product which is likely to result in sales later on and good word-of-mouth recommendation.

  6. Hold a preview evening. If you're launching a new offer, invite your best customers to a preview evening where they can buy first. Make sure the event has an exclusive feel, that you provide good refreshments and your customers have time for networking.

  7. Take your best customers for a day out. Many firms entertain high-value customers at Christmas with an expensive dinner. But what about an annual day out for a handful of your top customers - a trip to the races, for example? It could become a fun fixture that customers look forward to.

  8. Offer preferential service terms. A few big customers may be responsible for a large proportion of your profits, so it's important to provide them with a special level of service. This might be anything from waiving minimum order quantities to offering an out-of-hours service.

  9. Offer additional products and services at a discount. This works particularly well if the products or services are associated - for example, safety equipment to go with machinery. If the order is particularly large, include these extras for nothing.

  10. Reward introductions and referrals. Give customers a reason to recommend you to friends by offering them discounts and free gifts in return for every new customer they introduce to your business.

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