Ways to reward customer loyalty Published: 16/11/2020 | by Star Trader

Ways to reward customer loyalty

Recently, we provided tips on how to deal with customer complaints properly. This time, we’re here to talk about what to do when customers are happy, providing tips on how to retain them and make them even happier. Rewards are a great way to keep these customers on-side, whilst giving you the ability to attract new customers. Here are some ideas on how you can reward customer loyalty and do what’s right for your business.   

 

What is customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty is all about having positive relationships with your customers. These sorts of relationships are usually built up over a number of years through a consistent level of service. Some businesses, however, choose to speed up this process by introducing a customer loyalty scheme. This is a particularly good idea for startup businesses, as it can help to get things moving in the right direction much quicker.

 

Why is customer loyalty so important for businesses?

Loyal customers will act as advocates for your brand. It’s like free marketing – what’s better than that? Customer loyalty almost guarantees repeat sales for your business and will influence your existing customers to choose you over your competitors. 

 

Ways to reward customer loyalty

Reward your customers. It’s as simple as that. Rather than just offering discounts all the time, there are different ways you can give back to your customers. Loyalty schemes are one way to do this and there are many different types out there. Choosing which one is down to you and what you think would be most beneficial for your business. Think about what would resonate with your customers and influence them to become loyal to your brand. 

To help you, we’ve listed some of the most popular ways to reward customer loyalty below:

  • Points-based system 

This type of customer loyalty scheme involves rewarding your customers with points every time they place an order. Think of it like a cashback scheme; the more they spend, the more they earn. There may be some technical work involved in implementing this sort of scheme. For example, you may need to think about getting some branded digital cards with a QR code that your customers can swipe or scan when they buy from your physical store or website. 

  • Stamp cards

Similarly to the points-based scheme, stamp cards reward people every time they buy from you. However, this can be easier to implement, as it simply involves a printed card and stamp. Have your stamp cards on display in your store, so customers can pick one up and reap the benefits. It will encourage them to return to your shop.

  • Charge for VIP benefits

A one-off payment, so your customers can get the VIP treatment. This can be anything you like, from members-only discounts, to early-access sales and freebies every once in a while. How much you charge is up to you. Just be mindful of the fact that customers won’t buy into this type of customer loyalty scheme if the initial cost to them isn’t worth it. 

  • Partner with other companies

This is a good way to support local businesses and boost your customer base. Start off by thinking about which type of business would be a good fit for you and your customers. For example, if you sell second-hand phones and other electronic devices, partnering with a mobile repair shop would be a good partnership for you. Think about what would benefit your customer. Once you’ve established a partnership with a local business, think about introducing exclusive discounts, so you can support one another and drive more sales. 

If you’re trading our sims and own your own business, then you’re technically a partner of Star Trader and O2. What’s so good about this, we hear you ask? Well, there are already a whole host of benefits on offer for your customers when they join our network. Use them to your advantage by letting your customers know about them, so they feel encouraged to activate your sim. Need a recap? Here are all the O2 benefits your customers should know about – and don’t forget about our latest 3x data offer on selected Big Bundles.

  • Rewards for referrals

A referral scheme is another good example of a customer loyalty scheme. Reward your customers with points, discounts or freebies for every referral they make. It will encourage more people to spread the word about your business. Of course, this won’t work if your customers aren’t aware of the scheme, so make sure you tell them and advertise it at every opportunity. Hang posters in your store, share all the details on your social media channels, send out email communications.

  • Prize draws

Give your customers something to get excited about. Prize draws are a great way to engage with your customer base and encourage sales. Don’t do them too often, though, or the novelty will wear off. Time them well and you’ll have a winning formula. Your prizes don’t need to be spectacular; they just need to be something your audience wants. 

 

Examples of the best customer loyalty programmes 

We’ve already touched on why we think customer loyalty schemes are so beneficial to businesses, but how do some of the best-performing ones work? Here’s the lowdown. 

  • Amazon Prime

Prime launched in 2007, giving Amazon customers the chance to benefit from unlimited one-day delivery on millions of products through a monthly membership. Since then, the subscription has evolved into one of the best customer loyalty schemes, ever! Now, the subscription gives members exclusive access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle First, and so much more. Last year, in 2019, it was reported that there were approx. 150 million Prime members worldwide. Impressive, right?

  • Boots Advantage Card

This particular customer loyalty scheme has been around since 1997. Customers with a Boots Advantage Card are rewarded with 4 points for every £1 spent in-store, which they can use to get money off any future purchases. The great thing about loyalty cards is that it influences people to return to a specific business, just so they can earn more points. 

  • British Airways Tiers 

With four Executive Club tiers, Blue, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, the British Airways loyalty scheme works in a similar way to Star Trader. The higher you are, the more benefits you’ll receive. These range from free seat selections, to exclusive access to airport lounges and complimentary spa days. Naturally, to climb the tiers, British Airways customers need to spend money. This encourages people to rebook with the airline, even if they can find a cheaper deal elsewhere.  

  • McDonald’s Monopoly

Gamifying your customer loyalty scheme is a great way to get people on board. McDonald’s Monopoly gives people multiple ways of winning, so there’s really no way to lose. The allure of the big prizes, like free houses, cars and holidays, brings people in. The smaller wins of free and discounted food act as consolation prizes, making people happy to re-enter because they get something. A free cheeseburger isn’t bad, is it? The clever thing about this type of scheme is that the majority of prizes can be redeemed in-store, which pretty much guarantees repeat visits. 

  • Star Trader

Earlier this year, we rewarded not one, but two top-performing traders from every tier for their hard work in 2019. The Star Trader Awards is a scheme we launched to give back to our hardworking traders. Each tier had a different set of prizes up for grabs, from a £50 Amazon voucher, to a brand new iPad.

We run these types of awards every now and then, so make sure you keep on trading to stay on top. That way, you’ll be in with a chance of winning next time. Not a Star Trader already? Make sure you sign up now, so you don’t miss out. 

Now that you have a few ideas, it’s time to start thinking about which reward would be best for your business. Think about what sorts of things you want to achieve. Do you want to reward old customers or would you like to give new customers an incentive to shop with you? Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to implement your customer loyalty scheme and reap the rewards.

 

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