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Customer retention by Optculture- A Guide to customer loyalty programs

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A strong customer database is a strength to every successful retailer. Loyal customers can perform like high-performing advertisements without any investment. Only uncompromised customer service and quality products can improve customer loyalty and thereby customer retention. Implementing loyalty programs can retain your customers with your brand forever.

When a customer opts for a brand or company without worrying about the price or availability, a loyal customer is added to the loyal customer database. Maintaining customer engagement is very tricky and needs more deep analysis. This guide will help you to understand how to retain your customers, how to start a loyalty program, how to nourish your existing customer database with more loyal customers etc.

Who is a loyal customer?

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A loyal customer is generated by 5 steps, Awareness, Evaluation, Conversion, Retention, and Loyalty. The trust you can maintain with a customer indeed brings them back to you for his next purchase. If you can influence their buying decision and attract them to your store and choose your brand over your competitors without even looking for a price tag, then this customer will be a loyal customer of your company. 

Loyal customers usually spend an average of 60% more per store visit. They will shop more frequently than non-loyal customers. They are more likely to share about your store with their friends and sometimes on their personal social media platforms too. There may be just 20 % loyal customers in your total customer database, however, they can generate 80% of the total revenue. You have to plan your marketing strategies to convert your new customers to loyal customers.

How to create loyal customers?

There are numerous ways to create customer loyalty. A loyal customer won’t hesitate to buy a product even if it is not on sale. So the revenue through this group is very high. To retain a customer you can follow below 7 golden rules,

  1. Never let them down by giving fake offers.
  2. Understand your customer preferences and interests.
  3. Ensure that your products and services are beyond their expectation.
  4. Study your product’s market demographics.
  5. Engage with your customers regularly through social media channels.
  6. Give uncompromised support to build trust.

Run Rewards program by Optculture loyalty program solution to turn your customers into loyal customers.

How to choose a loyalty program?

Now you are aware of the loyalty programs and their importance in customer retention. Let’s check how to implement one for your business. Rather than creating a loyalty program by copying your competitor, just create one by listing down your necessity of the one, goals, target audience, average profit margin, etc, Through loyalty programs customers feel special and recognized which turns them retained with your brand, engage with your products, refer you in their circle and increase the loyalty span.

Here are few ideas you can refer to,

  • Special Discount for the most demanding Item.
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Appease your customer with special discounts on selected products. This will help you to move your inventory effectively. This method can be used in the service category too. Like free fitting or instruction classes to the members. Customers may feel very special when they receive special discounts from their favorite brand and they will stick more to that brand or company.

  • Reward points and Cash backs
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More than a hundred years ago retailers started rewarding their regular customers by giving tokens sometimes in the form of copper tokens, box tops, or plastic cards which could be redeemed later for discounts.

Point rewarding system is a very old method but still being used very effectively, especially on digital e-commerce platforms. It’s like every  $1 they spend they will get 1 point. When it is accumulated to a particular point level then they can redeem it on the next purchase. It allows the customer to choose their preferred item. Through Cashback programs, While spending a certain amount, customers will get a certain amount as cashback. It will allow customers to purchase the item of their choice with the amount they got through the cashback offers. These types of programs are very popular and flexible too. But it’s not apt for some businesses

  • Access to events or Sales

Some online stores announce sales during special occasions. In this type of loyalty program, loyal customers get early access to these sales. This is a great way to attract loyal members and it will make them feel like they are premium customers. Running such kinds of events can promote traffic and sales. You can also opt for a double point redemption program by combining a store credit reward with a promotional program.

How to implement a loyalty program?

The main task is already completed, you have selected your loyalty program. What’s next, yes you have to implement it wisely. How to do this job without any failure?

Let’s check some important factors now.

The first thing is how to introduce this to your target category? Your loyalty program should be appealing enough to attract your customers to this program. Announce the loyalty program details through your website and social media platforms. Train your staff well enough to explain each point about this program clearly and make the enrolling process smoother.

Big Data

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How to promote your loyalty program? You can choose SMS, social media, email marketing, etc to make it reach as many customers as possible. Email marketing is a great method to communicate your views and loyalty program structure. To do this you need a strong email database. Digital receipts are a perfect way to collect email addresses. In keeping with the social movement against cutting trees, Offer e-receipts to go paperless. Another method is newsletter subscriptions.

Continue customer engagement

Great!! Now your business has a solid loyalty program and the customers start enrolling. During this stage, you have to communicate with them and educate them about the loyalty program. Keep them engaged with new releases, events, product familiarisation, etc. The responses will be useful for your marketing strategies analysis.

Going the distance

Prioritizing your loyalty program by analyzing its response can be done in this phase. Continuous monitoring is needed to do this. Employee culture is important for every retail business. Make sure your employees are excited about the products and services you offered. Because they are the face of your company. They are directly interacting with your customers. They can spread the excitement from them to the customers. The continued customer relationship management can drive your company to a clear path to success in the world of retail. Optculture can manage your loyalty programs, email marketing, promotion management, etc.

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