A great many global companies are spending very significant sums of money to develop relationships with their customers. This is proving to be a very powerful strategy in the hands of these companies, who are using it to secure and retain customers. Another approach is to gain customer loyalty by providing them with value beyond the intrinsic value of their product or service, and this is best managed by means of Loyalty programs.
What is a Loyalty Program?
· Loyalty Programs are initiated, planned and managed by the seller – not by the customers;
· Loyalty Programs offer real and perceived value to their members by optimizing the combination of financial as well as non-financial benefits;
· Loyalty Programs provide members opportunities for discourse with the sponsoring company;
· Loyalty Programs can collect data that will assist the sponsoring company to improve performance;
There are several major guidelines to creating a successful Loyalty Program:
· Integrate the program into your existing marketing plan. Personalized relationships with customers must be a concept that accompanies you and the customer into the future. The idea must become a part your company’s culture, organization, products and services.
· Use the relationship with your customers to learn what they really want from you. Talk to them, but also listen! They will tell you how to gain a greater share of their business.
· Target specific and appropriate messages to the right customers. Not all customers are created equal – some are worth more than others. Some need more attention than others, and this includes making the right offer to the right customers, and at the right time!
By establishing a Loyalty Program, you will have the opportunity of creating a relationship with your customers by means of an interactive environment. It is not a one-event but, rather, a process by which you will have the influence to help change customer behavior. Change it so they buy your products and/or use your services.
From the beginning, the goals of the program must be clearly defined. This way you will be able to measure the success of the Loyalty Program. The final goal is, of course, to increase profit revenue and market share. Yet, along the way other important goals include customer retention, winning new customers, setting up a strong customer database, supporting your company with information or access to information, and creating communication opportunities between the organization and its customers. A variety of subsidiary goals are added; improving public relations and customer support, increasing usage, and achieving more frequent visits to your product or service.
It is important to be conscious of the fact that Loyalty Programs are not a ‘quick fix’. They should instead be viewed as a powerful marketing tool to retain and build stable long-term relationships.
The primary target group for your Loyalty Program should be your most valued clients – strengthening these relationships is essential for your success in the future. Smaller customers and potential customers should not be excluded from the club, but the primary focus should be on developing a program that fits the needs of the top customers.
You must also bear in mind how to approach potential customers (customers who presently purchase from your competitors, or do not purchase at all). A Loyalty Program can create a wave of new customers – but all of this depends on the value and attraction of the benefits that the Program offers.
Set up properly, a Loyalty Program can play an important part in your future success. The most important factors to consider are:
· Offering ‘honest’ perceived value to members
· Obtaining support from your entire organization – top management through entry-level
· Utilizing the club’s potential to provide data to support all of the departments in the company.
Your POS system is a key factor in setting up your Loyalty Program properly. OTECH POWER POS makes this an easy task. If you would like to see how or hear more – give us a call: 786-732-7888 or contact us today.
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