4 ways to win loyalty

PMQ editor-at-large Liz Barrett takes you through four tips proven to build customer loyalty in this month's Art of Marketing column.



 

Give Them What They Want. Most retailers never ask what customers actually want from a loyalty rewards program. Discounts? Free delivery? Exclusive invites to store events? The short answer is, they want relevant rewards that are tailored to them. The only way you’ll know for sure, however, is by asking them—either during the sign-up process or through email and social marketing polls.

Know Your Members. Today’s POS technology lets you gather important information about your customers—up-front and on an ongoing basis—that will help you with future sales, promotions, and even ordering.

Communication Is Key. For a loyalty program to succeed, it’s imperative to follow up with your members. Whether that means sending periodic emails, mobile alerts or a note dropped in the mailbox, your customers need to be reminded why they are being loyal to you and not the pizzeria down the street.

Take It Mobile. The ability to tie a loyalty membership number to a mobile phone dramatically increases customers’ participation and enhances the data you can collect about them. Plus, the customer has constant access to the loyalty program, benefiting you and them.

 

5 Business Resolutions for 2016

Plan ahead.
Quit flying by the seat of your pants! Start planning meetings, events and promotions further in advance. You’ll be amazed how much time you save in the long run—and how good it feels to be organized!

Join a networking group.
Join a civic organization with like-minded business professionals and swap moneymaking ideas. You may even find new partners for mutually profitable cross-promotions.

Give more.
Customers enjoy supporting businesses that help their community. Start donating surplus food to nearby shelters, running canned food drives, or donating a portion of proceeds for the night (or week or month) to a charity you care about.

Support local businesses.
If customers see you’re making the effort to purchase fruits and vegetables from a nearby farm or getting milk and butter from the dairy in the next town, your love for the local community is instantly reinforced.

Do more delegating.
Imagine how much you could achieve if you passed just a few of your routine tasks to someone else. Life won’t end if something isn’t perfect the first time around. Correct any mistakes, and move on. The free time you’ll gain for other, more important tasks is priceless.

 

The Things We Do for Love

Now is the time to start promoting your Valentine’s Day specials for this year. For delivery customers, create a knockout recipe for a heart-shaped pizza and a signature dessert, such as cheesecake or gelato. For dine-in couples, dream up a romantic dinner special, including appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert with wine.

 

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