Business is not just about gaining customers, but also building a relationship of sorts with them. Nothing is more desirable for a business than having a loyal customer base, which means revenue you can count on and a steady reputation for your business that can garner more new customers over time.
It is good practice to reward loyalty, and a business that shows appreciation for the loyalty of its customers is a business that can last. Of course, you should still mind your money and keep your business in the green, but showing that appreciation for customer loyalty is an investment that should pay off in the long run.
- Create a simple point system where they can earn freebies
Plenty of businesses out there give points to customers for their purchases, and those points can add up and result in freebies and discounts. This is a pretty effective and cost-efficient way to foster customer loyalty, and most of the effort goes to figuring out what rewards to give out and how many points they should be for.
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Whenever a customer does earn enough points for something, help them get that reward so they further understand your appreciation for their patronage, like every time they get a haircut or a manicure in your salon.
- Offer a birthday freebie or discount
If your business has some sort of customer database, you should be able to acquire your customers’ basic information, such as their names, email addresses, and dates of birth. You can then make use of that information to further market your business to them (but without being too intrusive, of course).
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Having their birthdays gives you a way to reward loyal customers by giving them freebies and discounts whenever that day comes. That ensures those customers do continue their patronage of your business, especially with a membership that must be renewed every year.
Something like free haircuts on their birthdays tell your loyal customers that you do care about them in some way and you are willing enough to celebrate their birthdays with them through this handsome gesture. That then further encourages other customers that being loyal to your business can mean rewards for them as well.
- Involve them in your promotions, such as having Customer of the Week awards
Having something like a “Customer of the Month” makes customers eager to tune into your updates, thus further encouraging them to be regular patrons. Such a thing should have a reward of sorts, like discounts or freebies to get them more into your products and services.
This then gives your customers a spotlight that can then further consolidate a community around your business. Audience participation is always a good idea, especially when it is about rewarding customers who are especially good to your business.
The Customer of the Month can have something like a discount on a haircut or hot oil treatment on that week, whichever fits best in your particular salon.
- Give them a voice by encouraging feedback and testimonials
Few things are better for businesses than customer testimonials that speak of quality and excellence. Testimonials from satisfied customers can be, in a lot of ways, more effective than marketing itself as it is your customers who do the marketing for you to other people as full-fledged recommendations.
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Such testimonials are only possible through delivering the quality that meets or even surpasses the people’s expectations. As for feedback, you can politely ask your audience for feedback on what they think about your content, mainly on what they like and do not like, as well as what they would like to see from your business.
Whether it is a testimonial or feedback, people appreciate it when you not only allow but also encourage them to speak up about what they think.
- Create Time-Sensitive Promotions: Holiday Promotions
Plenty of businesses out there get a lot more traffic whenever holidays roll up, and you should take advantage of that by creating your own promotions during this time to encourage customers to pay you a visit and see what you have in store for them. Offer them something you wouldn’t normally have and keep it there for only a limited time.
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Time-sensitive promotions are great when done right and can make for extra revenue during the most opportune times. Take a good look at your business and see if you indeed get more people coming in during these holidays. If you do, then you should decide on what to offer — like discounts, gift certificates, or so on — and have them ready for that holiday period.
- Turn loyalty program into sweepstakes or giveaways to encourage repeat transactions
Contests can be really amazing, and you can get even crazier numbers once you have a good number of them eager to join in and see if they can get a prize. Just make sure you can show the drawing of winners is done in a fair manner and announce them in a timely manner so they do not get too antsy.
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Due to how people can get worked up in wanting to win, you have to show that it was done properly and did not take too long to have a winner. By having giveaways, you can make customers partake in your business more as they know they have a chance to win something from your giveaways, as long as you don’t hold them too often to make it too comfortable for them.
Upon picking the winner, you may let the lucky customer have a free hair rebonding treatment or some other premium service as a prize that can be availed for a certain period of time. Just make sure they are able to confirm their identity to claim their prize.
- Offer a referral bonus
A customer referring another person to your business is the next level when it comes to customer loyalty, meaning that they are so confident about your products and services that they are willing to vouch for your business and bring people over to take a look for themselves. That is certainly worth rewarding as it goes a long way to bettering your business.
Referral programs can be found in a lot of businesses, wherein they reward customers who refer others to them. The resulting referral bonus is such that it doesn’t take too much away from you while actually improving your revenue.
Think of giving referral bonuses as a supplementary marketing expense, and it can actually be more effective than actual marketing as it is impressed and satisfied customers doing the marketing for you.
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It can be as simple as a free haircut for every new customer referred or additional points to the customer’s loyalty card. Whichever method you choose to do, make sure that gratitude to the customer for bringing in new customers is properly communicated.
- Send messages on unique holidays
Implementation of a client database lets you build up your mailing list, which lets you email regular newsletters to notify customers of your new products and services. You can also greet them on holidays like Christmas, New Year, or so on.
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Since the email inbox is more or less the most intimate part of a person’s online life, being able to greet them through their inbox may result in a more personal greeting to celebrate the occasion.
- Consider follow-up calls after service to ensure they are happy
You need not do this all the time, but it may be a good thing to do with certain customers. Calling them to follow up on whatever feedback they can give of your service is a surprisingly good idea since most people would usually answer a question when asked nicely anyway.
You need not interrogate them; you just need to ask if that person is happy with the service. It is a simple question that shouldn’t be too hard to ask, and you should be able to get an honest answer most of the time since people usually decide on whether they like a business establishment or not once they leave the premises.
It also shows that you care about your customers and you want to get better with your service, thus you’re asking them over the phone. While it may seem tedious, it can be a pretty good idea, much like the birthday freebie/discount.
You need not fret about the thought of rewarding customers for their loyalty to your business as it doesn’t have to take much for them to feel appreciated. For the most part, as long as they see you indeed care about their patronage, that is usually enough.
However, actually taking an extra step to show them gratitude can make them view your business in an even more positive light than they already have. Therefore, they can put in the good word to other people that your business is indeed good and appreciates its customers.