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Can loyalty programs help retain customers?

Can loyalty programs help retain customers?

It’s been a long, hard slog from the days of writing up a business plan to making your first sale. If your small business has made it this far, you’re no slouch when it comes to attracting customers. However, getting them to come back can be a different story entirely, which is why you might want to think outside the box to turn first-time customers into repeat visitors.

“It’s so easy for customers who are price-sensitive to slip away or go to a competitor,” Chris Cottle, vice president of marketing and products at Allegiance, told Inc. magazine. “One of the ways you can make your customer relationship more sticky is through a well-planned and well-executed reward program.”

If you’ve been looking to take your small business to the next step, establishing a rewards program for your customers can make them clients for life.

Focus on the big spenders
While you should provide top-notch service to each and every one of your customers, Inc. explained that rewards programs should be tailored to the top 10 percent of spenders. Bob Konsewicz, strategic consultant for Maritz Loyalty, noted that the most active patrons are usually five to six times more valuable to your bottom line than the average customer.

But how can you appeal to these lucrative patrons? Entrepreneur magazine recommended using digital programs to save money and make the rewards process as convenient as possible for your customers. Mobile apps like Belly, PunchTab and Perkville all charge a monthly fee for a fully developed loyalty system. You can program these apps to put cash back in your customers’ wallets, or you could have them trade in points toward custom promotional products.

Smart giveaways work
Most small-business owners immediately jump to offering discounts in their rewards programs. However, Konsewicz explained that this could actually backfire on you. Rather than extending the relationship between company and client, he noted that discounts don’t provide an incentive for patrons to buy your products or services at full price.

Rather, Konsewicz told Inc. that physical promotional products create a relationship between you and your customers that didn’t exist before. Sending customers unique promotional products like Myron’s Anti-Slip Mobile Phone Stand creates the opportunity for your brand to be present in your patron’s minds around the clock.

Don’t get caught behind the competition and start a rewards program full of custom promotional products today.

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