Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The one-two PUNCH: Loyalty Best Practices for Small Businesses

Good morning all! I came across this press release this morning and think it has some GREAT tips for keeping customers loyal. Many successful companies have great loyalty programs that keep people coming back for more. Read these tips and think of how you can incorporate them into your everyday business practices! 

"The first punch is to deliver a 'jab,' which is a philosophical transformation in the way loyalty-leaders treat customers. Each loyalty-leader treats their customers like they're made of gold--meaning there is a deep level of respect and courtesy given to customers at every touch point. Having a friendly and polite staff is numero uno. The second punch is a 'straight punch,' which is delivering the proper marketing message and seamless technology to loyalty members. This allows you to identify customers, track spending, motivate behavior, reward performance, and measure results."
Brooks explains that once small businesses are able to effectively combine the one-two punch, they'll be on their way to delivering a "knockout" program.
He also offers the following five loyalty best practices that every business owner should include in their loyalty strategy:
1. Do unto others.
Yes, it's the loyalty program golden rule. Give customers a reason to be loyal, because if you don't, your competition will.
2. Clearly disclose all program benefits and rules (including potential restrictions).
Remember to put all rules out in the open. Dedicate space on the company website, or have printed material available that is easily accessible to website members. Keep your customers well informed.
3. Offer attractive redemption options.
The goal should be to motivate customer behavior. To do so, offer redemption benefits that are relevant and very attractive to your member base--not par for the course.
4. Communicate with customers.
When the customer enrolls in your business' program, ask them to opt-in to your newsletter or promotional e-mail updates. If e-mail is not an option, try communicating through receipt messaging, statement inserts, or other potential touch points such as social networking. You'll see that communicating stimulates activity.
5. Empower employees.
Train your employees to fully embrace the loyalty program as they hold the keys to the loyalty kingdom. Your loyalty members will buy-in if they see your employees have bought-in."

Roger Brooks, loyalty strategist and author of The Power of Loyalty: 10 Essential Steps to Build a Successful Customer Loyalty Strategy

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