This article is about heartfelt engagement with customers. It’s about what makes them feel good, why loyal consumers matter, and how you can gain a faithful following for your website or business.
People like to be checked in on. They want you to ask them about their experience with your website, product, or service because it gives them the opportunity to talk about it! Customers enjoy hearing and seeing their names, and they especially love being remembered. No really: one in four customers gets upset when a business does not identify them as a past patron.
It’s not awkward either to request more information (like names and preferences) when 67% of American consumers would willingly provide companies with personal information in exchange for better products and higher levels of customer service. Persuade your customers, offering them the ability to track orders and receive special offers, to register and you can gain access to their buying history and preferences, show them personalized love, and ultimately make repeat purchasing faster and easier.
Now, let’s talk loyalty—programs. We probably all have a dusty coffee shop punch card tucked somewhere in our wallets! While that’s become a thing of the past, the future of loyalty programs is here, and it’s expanding. As of 2015, there were about 3.3 billion customer loyalty program memberships in the United States, and that number increased 26% from 2013. So they’re out there, and people still want them. In fact, some American consumers, roughly 34%, are loyal to a specific brand simply because of the loyalty program, and 76% of them believe their loyalty program, or that dusty punch card, is an integral part of the relationship they share with the brand.
People like prizes and perks, but what’s in it for your business? Lots. Loyalty programs increase revenue, order values, net promoter scores, and repeat purchase rates. They also activate customer engagement and interaction and help build a brand that customers perceive as concerned and likable. It does take creativity, commitment, and money to start and follow through on these programs, however, and a failure to keep it interesting, current, and active could negatively impact your brand or business. The good news is that every three out of four companies with a loyalty program generate a return on investment, increasing customer retention by 5% and profits by up to 95%.
It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. This is largely because current customers spend more than new customers. Take the ones you’ve got, learn their names, take down their information, send them considerate emails thanking them for their business, get your creative team brainstorming a new loyalty program, and let the customers do the rest.
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