Brands like Baskin Robbins, The Body Shop, Zalora, Sephora, Grab, and Nike have all long invested in customer loyalty programs.
Baskin Robbins, for example, gives members free ice-cream on their birthday.
Nike doesn’t stop at selling and promoting shoes. They want their customers to be in those shoes, living an active lifestyle. As part of their loyalty program, they introduced several apps that encourage their customers to be consistently running or training.
So you heard of all those stories and realised the importance of having a customer loyalty program for your business – but you’re not too sure where to start.
Here are a few things for you to consider when starting a customer rewards program:
Points or gifts? Physical card or virtual card? What’s your objective?
Before you start your rewards or loyalty program, you need to get your objective sorted out.
Do you want to keep customers coming back to your store, or do you want customers to spend a certain sum whenever they visit?
Do you want to surprise members on their birthdays?
Are you trying to build a customer database and send them regular updates and promotions? Do you want to engage with them on a more personal level?
Do customers accumulate points and redeem gifts, or does their membership entitle them to certain special treatments?
Your answer to these questions will determine what kind of membership or loyalty program you should implement in your business. Knowing what and how often do you want to communicate with your customers will help you land the right kind of membership plan, from the right provider.
How to choose the right tool? Free or paid?
There are many softwares and systems out there that can be purchased to manage your customer loyalty and membership programs. So how do you pick the one that’s best for you?
Again, that goes back to your business goals and what you want to achieve with your customers. If you have a small pool of customers, then perhaps you want a free, open source software with basic functions.
Admidio, for example, is a decent open source software that can be used for general management of customers. However, it doesn’t support payments or auto-renewals.
MembersGear is a paid, open source membership software that can be used for simple membership programs and subscriptions.
Their features include membership database, member directory, and payment processing. It doesn’t include email marketing or membership renewals. This software is priced at $39.95 – which is a one time payment.
If you have a big, solid customer base, want to send them monthly curated emails and text messages, birthday surprises, then you need a more comprehensive software that can do all the work for you. Especially if you run multiple stores and need to centralise your customer database and keep track of the numbers.
Eber, for example, is an excellent tool that does all the work for you. Eber helps you tailor your customer loyalty program according to your business needs, including handy features like member management, virtual gift cards, analytics report, text messaging, email, and more.
It’s also important to make sure the software comes with support – in case you run into any problems while running the program.
Most free softwares don’t offer support, so you need to make sure you have a tech-savvy person in your team before you implement it.
Come up with a catchy name
Your customer probably has three or four membership cards in their purse. On top of that, they have too many emails bombarding them from every corner. You want to make sure your loyalty program stands out from the rest and leaves a lasting impression. One of the ways to do it is to come up with catchy name for your loyalty program.
For example, The North Face’s member program is called the VIPeak. Clever right? And memorable too. Inkbox’s inkfam is another catchy name that also reflects the brand. It’s easy to remember and ‘fam’ has a nice ring to it.
Adidas’ loyalty program is called 3Stripes (like duh), which immediately makes you feel like you’re part of a premium brand.
You get the drift. Pick a name that resonates with your brand, preferably something quirky that’s hard to forget. If you need help, try this brand name generator.
Shout it out!
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve with your loyalty program and settled on the right membership software, you have to let your customers know about it.
First things first, you have to train your employees – the ones who come face to face with your customers – to use the software or program. In most stores, it’s usually the cashier who inform the customers about the rewards or potential membership that they can get in on.
Aside from that, you can also blast the news through text messages or newsletters – especially if those features already built into your software.
Are you ready to start your rewards program? Talk to us and we’ll be happy to show you a free live demo.