Connecting Customer Service To Customer Loyalty
What do customers want?
That should be an easy question for anyone to answer. Imagine yourself as a customer for a moment. First you want to be respected as having the ability to purchase. All respect is lost when people know you can’t purchase. You also have the need for attention, it comes with the respect when you enter a retail store or service establishment. You want to be recognized, acknowledged and served.
Am I right so far, even if you did not intend to buy?
Respect, recognition and appreciation is only the beginning. You want to save, or not appear to spend foolishly. You want to see value before you purchase. You prefer to buy when items or services are on sale or there are big discounts. If you are not shy, you will ask the the seller for an additional discount, you prefer to pay less than everyone else, you want the “best” deal.
OK so now we understand the customer a little better; how do most small retailers think.
What do you want or must have to stay in business?
More sales, more people coming in the door, it does not matter their attitude just that they buy the merchandise, pay for the service. You are not interested in weekend sales and big discounts, you want a fair and full price. You expend tremendous effort in getting new customers to buy from you. You see the new customer as a source of instant income. For a fleeting moment he/she is the most important person in your life. When they buy, you love them usually the relationship ends there, you’re are done with them,; you look for another customer. Is that incorrect?
What is the Life Time Value of a Customer?
Few small business owners consider the life time value of a customer. You can learn more about Life Time Value and get a calculated estimate of your customer’s lifetime value here. If you think that the current transaction is the most important relationship, you are missing the point. Customers, you, hate to be taken for granted.
Counterintuitive thinking business owners understand the process differently. They recognize that when a customer purchases a product or service it is not a onetime transaction. Every new customer comes with their own built in life cycle. The life of this cycle is determined by the customer themselves, the particular product, the first transaction, experience, and customer satisfaction. All these factors determine whether a customer will return.
You go to a barber or hair dresser, they are friendly, personable, acknowledged you, and showed you respect. You like the haircut or hair do, your better half likes it too; and even coworkers praise the cut. Think you will go back to this barber or hair dresser? How many times? For how long?
Whatever you answer is your projected life cycle with that barber or hair dresser. They mess with any of the factors that make you happy and you will find another one.
Understanding the customer and retailers perspectives are the dots we want to connect. How do we manage all the factors that go into keeping a customer for as long as possible. What tools, techniques or strategies are there to do this?
Customer Loyalty Card Programs
This is the only proven way to improve the chance that a customer will return. Even a time consuming manual paper driven customer loyalty program will work, coupons and membership programs have been in use for over 70 years. The idea behind the program is to keep real live customers who have purchased to return and purchase again and again.
This is too important to leave to chance or happenstance. A loyalty card program brings structure to how you manage customers, yes it is a loyalty card program but it's the unseen benefits that makes it so powerful.
Would you like your customers to instantly get a sense of security and belonging? A customer loyalty membership card program will do this. It will also give you the ability to track what each customer buys, how much they buy, and how frequently. And, you can contact them by email or cell phone text or calls.
Install a loyalty card program and here’s what happens;
- You are going to almost instantly boost sales,
- You know more about your customer behaviors, and
- You will know what is selling best and to whom
There are good reasons why large chain stores invest significant resources to install and maintain a loyalty card program. Before the advance of technology, small business owners could not benefit from these programs because high investment required.
Companies with loyalty card programs, have sales where the customers receive an extra 10 or 15 percentage off of their sales total, just for being a loyal customer. Others offer the frequent buyer program. You can give one item free when the customer buys so many of the same product. If you are a smaller company, you can always send thank you notes to your customers for being such wonderful guests.
How can knowing this help?
Ok, now that you know why you need a customer loyalty program, what next?
First consider if such a program will benefit your business. It works for most retailers and businesses offering personal and even services. You are the only one that can decide if it will work for you. Do your home work, your research, find out what’s out there. Loyalty card programs are not new, they have proven themselves to build businesses in a multitude of industries.
If you think that the time is not right, check it out anyway, you may understand it better later. It is a simple way to make sure your business survive because with each customer life cycle you add to your business, the longer it will survive. Makes sense?
The reason for this article on loyalty card programs is that I want to place my personal recommendation, ( I’m biased because it is one that I promote as an Area Sales Manager). The fact is that because of my background experience, knowledge about business planning and using business building tools and the experience of seeing it work,
I personally and professionally recommend this for retail and service businesses in any part of the world. This provides tremendous value to small local business owners. Right now it has been established in over 162 countries. I am based in Trinidad and Tobago but any business owner, anywhere in the world who can see the value of a loyalty card program should not hesitate to use this business building tool.
This business building is simply about building a quality relationship with your customers.
The particular program I recommend is BY INVITATION ONLY. I have prepared an introductory video that explains the reason for INVITATION ONLY requirement.
Take a look at the initial video, its less than two minutes.
Then you decide if it will work for your business GO HERE TO SEE