Ideas on How to Increase Customer Loyalty

I was cleaning out my handbag and wallet the other day and I was overwhelmed by the amount of reward cards I have. But they are all valuable to me. The pet store gives me $10 off for every $100 I spend. The grocery store gives me discounts on gas. The convenience store gives me “reward dollars” plus a ton of coupons. For these reasons, I keep going back.

Customer loyalty is important for my business and I’m sure it is for yours. From small businesses to large corporations, without demand there would be no one to supply. Attracting the correct consumer, making them a repeat customer and getting your customer to bring new cliental is how a business thrives.

So, I thought about what we do at Garrett Specialties to retain our current customers and attract new ones. We’ve talked about customer service before, it is extremely important to keep your customers happy. And now I have come up with five ways that will help you achieve customer loyalty.

Just for fun, I have included a video for each tip. Each video shows a funny commercial with a unique perspective on customer loyalty.

5 Ways to Achieve Customer Loyalty

Rewards

The Discover commercial shows that it’s not only important to reward your customers but to make it worth their while.

Who doesn’t love coupons? Just the thought of standing in the grocery store at the checkout counter and seeing my total lessen gives me goose bumps. No, but seriously, customers love to feel like they are being rewarded for being a loyal. Credit Cards have customer rewards, Kohl’s has Kohl’s cash, restaurants let children eat for free on certain nights, and consumers are always looking for a good deal. The idea of more for less is exactly why $1.00 Stores, Wholesale warehouses and Wal-Mart are so popular. In rewarding your customers you give them a reason to became or stay a repeat customer.

Outreach

This video made me think about going above and beyond. Go that extra mile for your clients.

It is important for a company to show that they appreciate their customer’s business. Keeping your customer updated on sales and new inventory is equally as important. Two ways this can be achieved is through business conference promos, social media and marketing emails. Using promotional items is a great way to gain exposure in an effort to gain new customers, but they also can be just as useful when used to thank a customer for their business.

Appreciation & Support

http://youtu.be/Z89_M4QuX_Y

I think the Progressive commercial is so funny. Why not do something extravagant for your customers? Is necessary? Maybe not, but it is impressive.

Make sure your customer’s experience is streamlined. It shouldn’t be stressful. This shows them that you appreciate them and in return they will appreciate you. Appreciation gifts are a great way to say “Thank You” to your staff, clients and vendors.

Customer Recognition

This one gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. This video can be used as an example of how you can cater to what is important to them. Make them feel special.

When I signed up for my Barnes and Nobles Card I remember the application asked for my email address and the birthdays of my children and myself. I thought this was odd so I asked the cashier why this information was needed and was informed that it was because on our birthdays we would receive an email with free offers. I forgot all about the conversation until my son’s birthday came and I got an email with a coupon for a free birthday cupcake. This one cupcake that Barnes and Noble decided to give me for free showed that they recognized that I was a customer, they are family friendly and they appreciated my patronage. It also got me to go onto their store which I am likely to never do now because I have one of their reader tablets. If I went to Barnes and Noble just to buy a cupcake I would have spent about $3.00. I went for a free cupcake and spent about $30.00. Customer recognition can be lucrative for any business.

Customer Input

Okay, that one was my favorite! This video made me think that if your customer is not connecting with you the way you’d like, their might be a reason why. Maybe they are used to their traditional ways. Getting their input is the best way to find out what you are missing.

Knowing what your customers think about your business can be very useful. Through the input of your customer you can see your business from a whole different perspective. Almost everywhere I shop and even in some restaurants, I find that a lot of establishments are asking their customers to take a survey. Usually online, there is often an incentive to filling out the form. This is vital information for the business owners and operators. This allows them the opportunity to know what the demands of their customers are. Why guess when you can ask? Surveys also allow your customer to feel like they have a say in the products they use and that is important to many consumers.

Just as I was closing up this post, I saw an online ad for Microsoft that stated that it is six times more expensive to get new customers and that loyal customers are worth ten times more! This is so true, focus on repeat customers and you will see great results.

What tools have you used in business to gain loyal customers? How have loyal customers helped grow your business? Do you value the rewards you receive by being a loyal customer?

28 thoughts on “Ideas on How to Increase Customer Loyalty

  1. This stuck a chord with me…I am a sucker for these programs, but only because I find great value in them. I recently had a birthday and my wallet is stuffed with coupons from stores that I frequent. I admit to, on occasion, having to have a conversation with myself…do I really need something from this vendor, or is the coupon making me go there? Hahaha! Bottom line…they work! At least for me!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Is This My Future? …WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?My Profile

    • Jacqueline- Many times I do the same thing. Do I really want it or need it. When I have a two for one sale, many of my customers don’t need the extra items at this time, but they think that they can use them in the future. We are all draw to sales and when something is offered for free
      Arleen recently posted…Ideas on How to Increase Customer LoyaltyMy Profile

  2. I loved the TV spots, especially that last one that has been circling the web. My business don’t lend itself to coupons but I do appreciate when a car service I use offers coupons to the airport. I’m actually using them to get around NYC at Christmas because of the crush of tourists taxis aren’t always available. I made a round-trip reservation to an event I was attending so I simply asked the reservation agent if there was a coupon I could use. She spoke to her supervisor and he took $5 off the charge. Sometime you just need to ask. I considered that really good customer service.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Beware of Selecting the Wrong Vendor for Your Paid WebinarMy Profile

    • Jeannette- I love the last commercial. It sends so many messages. Another good point is to just ask for something. I am noticing something, if you go online to shop and then sign up and you leave whatever you have in your cart for a day or so, you may get an email saying that we see you were ready purchase and if you continue we will offer an additional 10% off. Businesses are trying to be creative to get and keep business.
      Arleen recently posted…Ideas on How to Increase Customer LoyaltyMy Profile

  3. Laughing still at the toilet paper video!!! Nicely done, Arleen. 🙂

    Um, what was the question? Ahem. Let me stop laughing first.

    Okay, serious now – sort of. The cupcake that was free was good marketing on their part since they got you to spend ten times what it was worth! Casinos do the same thing – they offer you free money just to get you in their door. Of course, when you’re there, you end up spending waaay more money. Yup. Pretty crafty tactics, if you ask me.
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…A Letter To My SonMy Profile

  4. The videos are a great way to illustrate each point Arleen. I loved the one about the dog as it reminds me how many businesses forget about their past customers. Often when customers stop buying we can have a tendency to forget them and go in search of new customers. However sometimes it only needs communication to reconnect.
    Susan Oakes recently posted…Stop Hoarding To Keep Customers BuyingMy Profile

  5. Loved the videos!

    Today morning, I was spending my time thinking about my newsletter list, so this is a very timely post for me 🙂

    I want to build another community through my list (I want to stand apart from the community on my blog). This post has definitely given me some ideas on how I can do it (especially, on Birthdays. I could send individual emails. Of course, I won’t be collecting their birthdays. I am just going to borrow from Facebook and Google Plus :D).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing these, Arleen 🙂 Appreciate it. Hope you are having a good week.

  6. What a great idea to incorporate a video with each area of focus. I use rewards cards for quite a few places too. I love the free drinks Starbucks lets people earn as well as the treats they send on birthdays. It’s not much, but it does make a difference. Qdoba sends a card anniversary gift of chips and queso as well as a bday discount. As silly as it is, I have looked forward to it every year for over over four years now. The little things really do count for a lot. When it comes to points related to my husband’s business travel, we’ve been able to get plane tickets and cover many of our hotel stays for our trip to Germany next year.
    Jeri recently posted…Stupid Kitty and the Hairball of Doom!My Profile

  7. What a great way to convey your message about the various opportunities for customer service. I have seen these all a different points in time but it was still fun seeing them all together. My favorite is the iPad vs Paper too.

    When you talked about all your gifts cards etc. I had to laugh because I had the same experience. They are all now in a red business card hold. Why red. I can see it more easily in my purse. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Starry Starry Night: Poem (Podcast)My Profile

    • Susan- I think the Ipad and the toilet paper is priceless. What great advertising and memorable.

      I bought a card holder in red also and I thought I was going to be so smart so I could find it in my purse and then realized that the lining of my purse was red. Oh well at least everything is there in one place.
      Arleen recently posted…Ideas on How to Increase Customer LoyaltyMy Profile

  8. Very nicely put together. Unless you really put some thought into it you don’t realize what is important and what can actually bring you more business, like a free cupcake. You cannot underestimate the power of ‘free’ actually making you money rather than costing you money.

    Loyalty cards. Love them. Use them all the time. Love gas points! I cannot even tell you how much I have saved on gas. I also use credit cards that give points.
    Cheryl recently posted…Celebrating LifeMy Profile

  9. When I was actively coaching my introvert business clients, I would lead off, before we started working together, with mailing them a copy of my first book. Then I would pop in the mail midway, another gift. When we completed the project, I would send them a card putting them on my reward plan – I don’t remember what I called it. But, they could choose either $100 or a free coaching session for referring someone to me who signed on as a client.

    Customer service, sigh. A lost art for many and a profitable service for others. Thanks Arleen.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…How to Write and Submit Guest Blog Posts that Get ResultsMy Profile

  10. I loved all the videos, Arleen – much needed laughter, thank you!

    There is one store in my home country, a clothing store – each year they have a sale buy clothes for $200 and pay $100 (in the local currency though) – and i am shopping like crazy! I hate going shopping so i buy clothes, shoes etc. pretty much once or twice per year, in bulk so to speak. And i am always looking forward to this special… this same store has 20% off in the week of your birthday, and all time 10% off for repeat clients, and so on.

    I almost never buy anything from another store so yes – loyalty programs work wonders for consumer targeted businesses. We (humans, i mean) are like that – we like to collect, e like freebies and discounts, we like everything that is made for us – no matter that we end up spending more end of the day 😀
    Diana recently posted…Freelance Rates – Getting Clients to Pay What We Ask forMy Profile

  11. Great ideas Arleen. Keeping the customer/client at the centre of everything you do is a great way to ensure ongoing loyalty. My own organization started a culture and process change journey two years ago, our objective was to put the client at the centre of our work. Whether the client was internal or external, the idea was that if we kept them the central focus, then we would become more effective. Our satisfaction ratings have improved and so has our productivity. So it not just that you keep them coming, but you also improve your performance when the client becomes your focus.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Don’t Be FlipMy Profile

  12. great tip Arleen!

    I really enjoyed this highly informative post! And like you, I too
    am quick to reach for one of my rewards cards.

    I loved the commercial, especially # 1 & 5! Without a doubt rewarding your best repeat customers and clients is a surefire way to long term prosperity!

    Although the way some businesses, especially online business owners conduct themselves, you wouldn’t think so!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mark recently posted…How To Generate Leads That Actually Convert!My Profile

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