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Loyalty And Rewards Card Programs Will Keep Your Clients Coming Back! - Articles Surfing
Most small business owners don't realize that bringing a new client in the doors can cost up to twenty times what it does to keep an existing client coming back. Small businesses spend freely on yellow pages, radio, television, mailers, and other advertising. While these ways of promoting ones business can be successful in bringing new clients in, they in no way help a business keep clients. Once that new customer comes through the door and makes a purchase the business needs to find a way to keep that person coming back. If they don't they will have to repeat their advertising cycle and continue spending thousands to get another client in the door.
So, how do you keep that client coming back? Simply put: you need to give them an incentive. Reward them for being a loyal client. If you are in a business with a lot of competition or you are competing against big box stores or national chains you need to be able to compete on more than price. It is a fact, rewarding your clients for shopping at your store will keep them coming back instead of going to your competition.
How does a rewards or loyalty program work? When the client makes a purchase offer them a rewards card. (The most widely used are plastic credit card quality loyalty cards with a magnetic stripe on the back) These cards are run through a credit card terminal and accrue points every time the client shops with you. When the client spends a certain amount of money they automatically get a specified cash value added to their card. They can then use the value on the card towards their next purchase.
The reward amount that you offer to a client depends on your business. You need to reward your clients as often as you can with whatever amount of cash you deem reasonable. For example: a coffee shop with a $5 average sale may want to reward a client with $5 when they hit $50 in purchases. On the other hand a client with a high aveage sale, a clothing boutique for example, may want to give a reward of $25 for every $250 spent.
You can also customize reward levels based on a clients annual purchases. A busy restaurant may offer clients a $100 gift card if they spend $2500 during the year. Some businesses have such loyal customers that they offer plasma televisions and cars if the client spends enough money during the year! Be as creative as you want, and remember, your rewards have to give your clients a reason to keep coming back!
Now that you are rewarding your clients - how do you keep track of everything? We always suggest that you register your rewards cards on your gift card providers website. If nothing else get your clients name and address. You can have a report generated that will show the number of cards you have outstanding, who owns the card, how often they shop with you, and how much money they have spent during hte month and the year. These are very powerful reports. They will show you who your best clients are and how often they shop with you. Now use this information to promote your business!
The simplest way to use this information would be to take a look at your top 100 clients every quarter. Send them a letter thanking them for their business and let them know that you are going to add some cash value to their rewards card. All you need to do is accrue some value on their card, send them the letter, and when they come in the next time they will have some added value on their card. It is almost guaranteed that they will spend more during their trip than just the amount you added!
These are only a sampling of the ways you can use a rewards and loyalty program to keep your clients coming back in. Programs like these cost a fraction of standard advertising and have a much higher return! Remember, it is much harder to get a new client than to keep an old one, so get a loyalty program going today and keep your business buzzing!
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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