Customer Loyalty, the wrap up

In the three previous posts I’ve provided some reasons for establishing a loyalty program for your store and some steps on how to set it up and effectively use the data. My goal in these posts was to provide some basis why’s wherefores on loyalty. In this wrap up blog my intend to discuss a few additional reasons why loyalty programs are essential to your continued growth and also provide some insight into integrating your loyalty program with complementary technologies.

The most compelling reason in my opinion for offering your customers a program is increasing  ” Customer Duration” You are currently losing X % of your customers every year. They die, move away, don’t have use for your product anymore or you simply lost them to a competitor.  You might be lucky and organically replace your lost customers every year, but that only keeps you even. If  you increase your customer retention by 5% you will double your customer base in 14 years.

Most retailers pay lip service to the importance of customers. More time and effort is spent on lost inventory than lost customers. When you consider the life time annuity value of a good customer it far exceeds the value of lost inventory items.  Pay attention to your customers or your competition will.

If you already have a program or considering setting one up think progressively and consider some the technologies that will complement your program and enhance the customer experience.

Digital signage program that integrates with POS system and provides information on new and featured items, general information on programs and seminars and allows customers to receive text messages for recipes, how to advice and information on your loyalty program.

Social media and blogs. Both are now a necessary part of your customer communication strategy. The big guys have established ” social media positions as part of their IT  infrastructure. You don’t need to hire a specialist or devote a huge amount of time to social media. You probably have someone on your staff who could take over this job for a couple of hours a week. It’s time to re-think you whole advertising and marketing strategy and shift some dollars into a loyalty program and social media.  The new age consumer doesn’t read the newspaper anymore, they want their information digitally. If you’re not communicating with them digitally you’re not reaching them. They are your or your competitors future customers.