When it comes to recognition, a lot of time and energy is spent on focusing on employees – and with good reason, if we’re honest. Each employee that feels valued and important to the organisation is more likely to work hard, stay focused and stick around. But if it works so well for employees, why not shift the focus to recognising customers too?
We all like to feel appreciated in all areas of our lives. From the thank you from our significant other for finally moving those boxes to the attic through to a nice thank you card on our doormat, we all like to feel recognised. This love of recognition doesn’t disappear when we make a purchase, recommend a friend or spend in store.
That’s why businesses all over the world are introducing customer loyalty programmes and reward schemes – and customers are snapping them up. According to 3Cinteractive, 64 percent of brands reported an increase in loyalty programme membership over the last year.
But apart from a warm inner glow from being kind, why invest? In short – it’s worth your while. Household name brands like Sky and Subway have stated that they use their schemes to stem customer churn and increase purchases. It seems it pays to be nice!
How to recognise customers that stick around
There are many schemes you can run, but choosing the right type of customer reward is really the key to your success.
When asked, in a survey, “What reward type would be the most appealing”, 59.5% stated a discounted product or service and 28.7% choose a gift – but interestingly, that doesn’t mean you have to turn to your own inventory of stock. In fact, offering rewards outside of your core product could increase loyalty.
Consider a reloadable loyalty card which can be used at multiple stores. This gives customers the means to make discount savings on everyday expenses or an item of luxury, or allowed to accumulate over time as they continue to frequent your business without eating into your own profit margins.
Need more evidence? Research shows that 69% of loyalty programme members in the UK agreed that the value of an initiative drops if they are presented with a limited number of rewards.
Simply, you don’t have to offer rewards that are just discounts on items sold in your business.
For instance, insurance companies and banks offering cashback and vouchers and deals with cinema chains and eateries. The most prominent players in marketing understand that tying your business to another is not only a smart move, it could be highly profitable.
Consumers appreciate flexibility and versatility. If you can keep them engaged with your brand, you’ll stand out, even in the most saturated sectors.
About the author:
Elaine Keep is the owner and director of Incentive & Motivation, among the longest standing titles in the employee and customer reward space catering to HR pros. Elaine is also the founder of Your Marketing Managed, offering marketing management, content production and copy writing services.