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Friday, December 27, 2013   By Mike Reddy

 


The fact is pretty clear- customer retention is more lucrative than customer acquisition.

It's why it's a key strategy in our business coaching programmes.  Repeat customers are what keep small businesses afloat and targeting them should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

So why isn’t it?

Remember - Your customer always has a choice. In any industry exploding with options, the client must be regarded as the most valuable asset. So what is best way to protect your assets? Answer: Customer rewards.

Rewards= loyalty. Not exactly a mathematical fact but the two are pretty closely tied to one another.

Setting up a customer loyalty program can seem daunting. Again, choices, choices!

  • Customer loyalty punch cards
  • Opt-in, sign up for rewards programme
  • Premium customer loyalty programme geared to those who spend the most
  • Branded membership cards
  • Digital rewards programs

These are just the tip of the customer rewards iceberg!

Whichever option you go with, the programme must show the customer they are valued, encourage repeat business, gather information and provide an advertising opportunity.

Customer loyalty programmes should always be opt-in, never required with purchase as their implied elite status is what makes customers feel special.

This is the right time to jump on the bandwagon as software developments are making it easier than ever for small enterprises to create loyalty programs.

These services offer low monthly fees in exchange for the management of a customisable rewards program catered to each individual business.

Be wary when it comes to structuring your rewards systems. A balance must exist between offering rewards that satisfy your customer while also benefitting your business.

This is the time to let your creativity shine, and think outside the box when it comes to rewards. Creating a buzz amongst clientele is invaluable and will create incentives.

Consider partnering with other businesses in rewards programs to generate even more energy and to seamless tap into a new customer niche.

My business coaching tip: “In the race to win a loyal customer you must give them a headstart…”


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.