The topic of this conversation is “Small Business Customer Loyalty Programs” as we consider the fact that when we look at the ongoing customer facing strategies used by some of the most reputable companies found throughout the world, we see that a large majority of them can be seen to be executing fully functioning customer loyalty rewards programmes.
In addition to this we see that they use Coupons and Deals all from a top level business development and marketing strategy perspective as they are designed to fulfill specific objectives in terms of driving business growth seen through the increased sales of products and services which come through the fact that they have come from the new leads that have been generated. Also the increased revenues would have been generated from the existing customers who come back into the business over and over again.
As an example – consider perhaps the most famous fast food company in the world where at my local outlet on the coffee cup that I purchase I get the option to save tear offs that prove that I purchase a cup of coffee.
If I choose to save up the tears offs then say when I have 6 then I will be able to present them to the checkout desk and get one free. This is an example of a customer loyalty rewards and customer retention program as I as the customer am able to increase engagement with the company by going back into the establishment for the receipt of free products and services …
… [in this case the loyalty award is a cup of coffee but it could be a free beauty facial, a free salad at a restaurant, a free oil change in term of a car repair etc etc] …
The type of customer reward will be determined by the type of company [as an example it may depend on sales volumes as in the case of a coffee shop customer can be seen to purchase one or two cups a day whereas in terms of a car repair outlet, the customer may be seen to come in say 2 or 3 times a year] – with that said in the case of the car dealer the offer could be given for referring a new customer. But the main point being made here is that from a business strategy development perspective – the marketing professional will design any loyalty awards programme that will be seen to fit in line with the top level company strategy.
In terms of putting our attention on small business customer rewards program and marketing solutions it should be made clear that as in the examples above; loyalty schemes must be developed with the needs of the business in mind as the objectives will come in various forms : one being to get existing customers to come back into the business over and over again in order to purchase more products and service; the other to acts as lead generation which will serve to build up the total number of customers that the business has in the long run which in turn will have a bearing on the revenue generated by the business.
So given the arguments above; what shall the owner of a chain of 4 or 5 coffee shops do or a beauty salon chain owner with a handful of beauty parlours or in the case of a restaurant owner that owns say three or four dining outlets do in order to develop their own small business customer rewards program and marketing solution ?
The point above is stressed given that in most cases these classification of business will not have millions of $ or £ that are needed to print out flyers, leaflets and credit card sized loyalty schemes which at times expire and the business is left with at a lot of wasted material that simply have to be discarded.
… Well as with so many things that we see around us today here is where technology [in this case in the form of digital marketing] comes into play …
….. as now companies can work with a full service digital marketing agency in order to effect customer loyalty programs that actually function via the mobile phone of the customer, is based in the cloud and that the company is able to use in order to develop innovative digital marketing customer loyalty systems and at the same time building an ongoing database of new customers as well as raising levels of customer satisfaction by giving customers rewards in terms of services and products which in turn will encourage them to spread the word about the business operation between their friends, family as well as their colleagues.
One other aspect of being able to make use of customer loyalty and rewards programmes that are based on digital marketing principles is that these deals, coupons and awards are readily able to be shared via social media sites such as facebook, twitter and youtube as well as via the search engine marketing content portals.
So now as small businesses look to gain a competitive advantage within the marketplace; they can look to digital marketing including search engine and social media strategies that can be used to widen the scope of the brand, generate new business leads and encourage existing customers to come back into the business over and over again as well as acting as business advocates.