It can be assumed that one of the main goals of any business is to make or increase profit. In order to do that, a business must have customers. We’ve all heard the many sayings about the importance of satisfying customers by providing optimal customer service. One of my favorites is from James Cash Penny who said, “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.”
It seems easy enough, but it also requires knowing what customers want and very often companies seem to get something this simple, so very wrong. Business owners are customers themselves and should think of what they expect as a customer and take a step further…What would they expect as a loyal customer? How often have you been a loyal customer of a particular company, only to see them focus their efforts on only acquiring new customers, as you seem to fade or become almost invisible because you regularly purchase from them or frequently use their service?
It’s a mistake many companies make that can easily be avoided with a dedicated loyalty plan or program. Incidentally, loyalty programs go back as far as the 1700s, when an American merchant distributed copper tokens to consumers in exchange for store items. Similar programs continued to be developed over the years with the distribution of certificates that could be redeemed for specific items, box top offers, prizes, promotional items such as a toy in a kid’s meals and coupons.
Today, many loyalty programs use cards that track rewards and allow customers to easily redeem points earned. Their benefits have been proven and include:
• The acquisition of new customers
• The retention of existing customers
• They can be used to segment customers by using grading rewards. The level or type of reward is dependent on the amount spent by the customer. This allows customers to move up the various spend segments.
• Computerized loyalty cards allow businesses to access important data about customers including spending habits and customer demographics.
• The data obtained from loyalty cards can assist businesses in better targeting customers with more relevant advertising and well planned in-store merchandising.
• It can provide an incentive for ‘lost’ customers to return.
• It is a great opportunity to build relationships with customers
• A loyal customer is more likely to become a brand advocate
• In the case of micro-markets some employers provide loyalty cards that allow employees to get a discount on items when they make healthier purchases.
Implementation of loyalty programs has also become easier through the use of loyalty card kiosks. They are easy to use and provide a convenient way for customers to purchase and activate cards as well as redeem points or rewards. They typically require a card dispenser, ID reader and authenticator and card reader and require little or no staff supervision because they are so easy to use. These kiosks can also allow businesses to provide users with additional information on current promotions and company information as well as the ongoing advertising of products and services.
Slabb provides various options for businesses interested in loyalty card kiosks. For additional information on an easy way to reward your loyal customers, visit our Solutions page.