5-Step Guide On Building A Customer Rewards Program
The product is what draws the customers in. But to keep them coming back—and to ensure that they stick to your product instead of switching to a competitor—a company should find a way to reward their loyalty.
This is where a customer rewards program comes in. Like an airline providing discounts and free trips for frequent fliers, or a credit card company offering rebate for free rewards program, companies that have rewards programs incentivize their customers’ decision to stick to one brand over the long term.
How do you set-up yours? Here’s a simple guide:
1. Ask: Does A Customer Rewards Program Fit Your Business?
This can boil down to one question: how frequently do your customers avail of your service? For businesses in the retail or food service industry, where customers might frequently return, it makes sense to reward loyal customers. In businesses where a customer might return in an incidental manner, such as auto repair services or home improvement businesses, there isn’t enough return traffic to warrant a rewards program. Assess properly.
2. Address Your Most Loyal Customers First
Who avails of your service the most, amongst all your customers? Identify who they are, and shape the customer loyalty program according to their needs. These are the people who return to your services frequently after all–and thus, whose loyalty can be rewarded. Work from there, and broaden your program to the bigger customer base through time.
3. Identify The Rewards You Can Offer
Once you’ve identified who your most loyal customers are, you can move on to identifying what kind of reward would strengthen their loyalty to you. Beyond providing discounts, it could be something that enhances their buying experience or something that you can gift them with. Remember our airline example? Airlines give free miles to frequent fliers. Customers are then inclined to stick to just one airline as they “work” towards earning enough miles for what essentially becomes a free trip. Now, think of ways that you can adapt such a system to your own business.
4. Make It Easy For The Customers
A rewards program is merely a bonus so customers shouldn’t feel like it’s an additional step in the buying process. On that note, you should be able to inform and educate your customers in a way that is incredibly easy for them to understand. After that, they should also be able to redeem their rewards in a way that’s also not complicated. You don’t want your rewards program to become too much of a hassle to put up with.
5. Keep Up With The Times
Like any other aspect of your business, constantly seek out improvement in your rewards program. Routinely ask yourself the set of questions discussed above from time to time. Does your reward still resonate with the customer base? Are you evolving hand-in-hand with the customer? Are you able to communicate with your customers in the proper forums? Am I making it convenient for my customers to avail the rewards program?
If you can answer these questions on a positive note regularly, then yes, you will have an effective rewards program.