Loyalty programs tell your customers you like them and you want them to come back
Say you’re in a store, and you go over to cashier to pay for your items. And she asks you how will you be paying. You take out your store card, hand it to her, she swipes it, scans your items, asks if you want anything else, and gives you the receipt. It may look like just another day at the store, but when you look at your receipt, you see you got a 10% discount.
That’s what a loyalty program can do for you and your customers.
Now, if you were shopping there for the first time, you probably wouldn’t get such a discount unless you asked to sign up for a loyalty program.
Usually, when stores or other service providers offer loyalty programs, they ask for your basic information, and then some other information related to the service they are providing.
Let’s All Go to the Movies
For me personally, every time I go to see a movie I use my cinema card to pay for my tickets. For every certain amount of money I spend, I get a certain amount of points on my card which can later be used to buy anything from tickets to snacks in that cinema.
But before I was able to use their card, I had to see 6 movies during one summer. Every time I saw a movie I would get a free item (a DVD, pop-corn, beverages) with a grand prize being a loyalty card with a free ticket.
But when I got the card I had to fill out a form with what kind of movies I like, what kind of movies would I pay to see, what kind of movies would I come to see with friends, would I tell other people about that cinema, how likely was I to recommend their cinema to other people, etc.
It was a dull process, but the lady at the counter told me she knows it’s a pain in the rear, but once that was over I would be able to get points for purchases, be able to get discounts if buying ticket online, get a free ticket every time I put a certain amount of money on my card.
It’s been a few years since I got my loyalty card, and to be honest I am going to cinema more often than ever before, and every so often I take my friends for free just because their loyalty program benefits me as much as it does the cinema.
Is It Right For You?
So, if you don’t have a loyalty program, it is worth taking a closer look. Believe it or not, but loyalty programs started out over 200 years ago by a US merchant who was giving away copper tokens which could later be exchanged for in-store items. Later on other grocery stores started with same or similar programs, some of which are still practiced today.
So, what does it take for a loyalty program to be a winner?
Ask any airline company, grocery store, or a hotel chain – all it takes is knowing what your customers want and providing it so that the deal you are offering benefits both parties.
This is also how you draw new customers in.
Loyalty programs tell your customers you like them and you want them to come back. And they will want to come back if the service or product you are providing is good, and that you are treating them like people that they are (even if they aren’t part of the loyalty program).
Sean Gallahar keeps a steady flow of content on i7 Marketing’s social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Sean was born in Oklahoma, and is now living half-way around the world in Croatia, allowing him to see the world in a different perspective. While living in a foreign country and learning another language is challenging, Sean relishes the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and experience a fascinating culture firsthand.