Reward Cards & Returning Customers
If you own a business, you want to draw in and retain customers. Many businesspeople have found that instituting a reward card program can encourage people to continue to purchase their products or services over a period of time.
A loyalty program can be a card that is stamped each time a customer purchases a product or service or points that can be redeemed for a product or service when they have reached a particular level. The requirements and rewards for the program can vary from one business to another.
The first step in creating your reward program is to figure out the goal that you want your customer to achieve. For example, you could tell your customers that if they purchase 10 cups of coffee they will receive one free. Another alternative is that customers who spend a specific amount of money will receive a discount (in terms of dollars or percentage) off their next purchase. Customers can also accumulate points that can be redeemed for future products or services. You want to design your loyalty card program in a way that will encourage people to buy more of your product or service.
The next step is to tell customers about your reward program. Give people cards at checkout, display signs, and ask people to register online or give you their email addresses when they make a purchase. Whenever people come into your business to make a purchase, ask them if they have a reward card. If they say no, offer them one.
A study found that people were more likely to continue working toward a goal if they were already started along the path. Researchers gave out two reward cards at a car wash. One required people to purchase eight car washes to receive one free. The other card required people to purchase 10 car washes for a free one, but the first two spaces were stamped as a bonus to thank people for enrolling in the program. People who got the two free stamps were almost twice as likely to make eight more purchases. If you give your customers a bonus to get them started, they will be more likely to continue and eventually earn their rewards. You must give a reason why you are providing them with a bonus. It could be something as simple as thanking them for signing up.
People like to compete. Having levels in your reward program, such as silver, gold, and platinum, can encourage people to make more purchases to move up to a higher level. Design your reward program so that a customer will benefit more from each higher level.
Using reward cards can turn casual customers into repeat buyers of your company’s products or services. Institute a customer loyalty program with rewards to keep people coming back to your business time and again.