No getting around it – the economy isn’t looking all that pretty these days. With the Dow recently suffering its biggest decline in 20 years, concern is in the air. Should we pack it in, stuff all our money into a mattress and call it a year? That’s one option. Here’s another – dust yourself off, take stock (not the Dow kind), and build up your loyalty.
Loyalty programs increase customer satisfaction and can actually save you money. Prospecting is expensive. It costs 4 – 151 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. And happy customers are also more willing to refer others to you.
Here are some tips to keeping your customers happy and getting them to tell their friends!
Holiday & Birthday Cards
Sending out greeting cards is a great way to keep your brand fresh in your customers’ minds and make a personal connection – something that is key during difficult economic times to help you stand out from competing companies.
Coupons can be either a discount on your product or services (buy 9 get the 10th free), or a special savings coupon for another vendor (such as gas)– a special savings that can’t be found anywhere else and that your customer receives because of their association with you.
The Frequent User
75% of consumers have a frequent use card of some sort and those that do visit that business twice as often and spend four times as much. Can you offer points? Other incentives that they earn every time they purchase from you? Make it worthwhile and keep it simple. Your customers shouldn’t need a PhD to figure the program out.
Customers always like promotions or giveaways. Now is a good time to focus on items and gadgets that many people want but may not buy themselves because of a tightening budget (such as the recent Nextdayflyers iPod giveaway). There is a lot you can do in this area, from downloads to vacation give-aways.
Referrals are one way to get new customers for less. Provide your current customers with such an outstanding experience that they will rave about your company and service. You can also actively beef up your referral programs by using coupons and promotions to encourage current customers to refer new ones to you. Research4 shows that “consumers trust word of mouth from friends and family more than any other form of advertising.”
With the downswing in the economy, it is more important than ever to work at creating and keeping happy customers. Utilizing loyalty programs is a great stategy for improving customer satisfaction and therefore maximizing your existing customer base. Now, go forth and profit.
Note: NDF offers greeting cards and other products any business can use for coupons and promotion. We also offer professional pre-designed industry specific templates to help with your designs.