A business cannot establish customer loyalty by doing just one thing. There are just too many moving parts to keep a profitable loyalty program alive. Though you still want to attract new customers and convert them into loyal ones, it is essential that you also focus on those customers that consistently chose your business above the rest.
Also, having an attractive loyalty program will appeal to new customers anyways without additional effort. All you have to do is offer unique and valuable benefits on products that people already purchase. Incentivizing these benefits will make your loyalty program a valuable, useful and convenient option for customers’ daily choices.
Below are three concepts to assess when starting your loyalty program or re-evaluating your current loyalty program.
Focus on customer relationships
According to The Perspective, loyalty programs – though desired – are falling short of pleasing customers because it tends to aim at matching the competitor. When loyalty programs are set up, they are often neglected and not designed for increasing membership and loyalty.
Though it is important to remain competitive, you must not lose sight of what is valuable. As described in our previous blog, customers do not value price tags as much as you would think. Therefore, it important to not ignore this side of your business and use a loyalty program as a tool for furthering your brand and creating repeat customers.
So how can you keep up interest and focus on fostering positive customer relationships?
Humanize the customer experience and consistently update your loyalty program.
Ensure to positively solve customer problems, provide personal attention, and empower shoppers with information. Doing this will emotionalize the experience at your c-store keep interest.
Give the people what they want
Customers like being rewarded for choosing one business over another because it shows appreciation and value. According to the RIS study, 81% of participants said they preferred points or rewards per dollars spent. Additionally, 67% said they liked having automatic discounts when reaching a target goal.
However, rewarding customers with items or services that are not desirable loses its purpose when trying to connect with loyal customers. That’s why it is just as important to understand what motivates customers so that in turn, you can make your business their logical choice for their needs.
According to the Excentus Road to Rewards Revisited report, 37% of customers want fuel discounts over any other benefit. In fact, fuel discounts are the primary desire of the public for 2016. Keeping this information in mind when rewarding your customer base is important to not only keep loyal customers but also helps spread the word in your community about the remarkable benefits and programs you can participate as a customer at your c-store.
Consider the Omni-Channel Experience
Providing exceptional customer service does not involve adding any technology to your store. A simple smile, “hello” and thank you can go a long way. Helping a customer find what they need and being ultra-friendly can establish a positive customer experience.
So if traditional social customer service goes a long way in providing a positive customer experience, what role does technology play in a c-store?
Technology can end up playing many roles in any business – one of which is running a seamless operation. A business that runs smoothly via fast, easy and safe transactions at the register is not only impressive but convenient to a customer. Your c-store will be preferred over another that fumbles on paper.
Eliminating “to-dos” for a customer simplifies a process which is always an asset. For example, replacing the need to ask the customer to present a punch card can be a little addition that goes a long way. Eliminating the step of punching a card by asking for customer’s phone number instead is attractive to consumers of all ages.
Additionally, technology can take your business to the next level. For example, by using technology that enables your c-store to be more of an omnichannel business, you are personally connecting with your customers in a convenient and modern manner. Being accessible via mobile applications and social media is a great way to keep customers in the know about your loyalty program and keeps your business on-brand.
Technology does more than just streamlining your life - it fosters cleaner communication, faster service, and provides reliable data. To learn more about what technologies will help bring this simple and easy ability to your business, click here.