There are several options for customer loyalty programs, and when you’re a franchisor with a lot of locations it’s important to find something that’s going to work for the majority of customers at all locations. Focusing reward programs on customer engagement is a great way of building customer loyalty.
When customers are loyal, you can rely on them to come back to your stores or use your services again and again. Not only does that keep your profit margin up, but it helps your franchise grow. Happy customers are loyal customers. They’re also a great way to get more word-of-mouth advertising. With a strong customer loyalty program, you can get even more quality advertising from customers who are happy to tell others about the benefits of shopping with you.
The Best Types of Customer Loyalty Programs
The best kinds of customer reward programs have two things in common. First, they’re a good value in that they’re either free or at a very low cost to the consumer. Second, they give customers benefits those customers actually want. There’s no point in offering customer reward programs if the rewards aren’t of interest to your customers! Here are the overall best kinds of reward programs for your customers, so you can choose something—or a combination of options—that gives customers a reason to come back.
Reward programs that offer points are extremely popular. These programs pair well with restaurants and retail establishments, as well as repeat service providers like lawn care or barbershops because customers can earn points they can spend on whatever they want. They aren’t tied to a particular item and they don’t have to focus on only one or two areas of products or services when they spend their customer reward points.
There will still be some guidelines but the freedom of having points they can use for what they need or want is a great reason to use this kind of program. Especially for a franchisor who has a lot of locations, points can be used at any location and keep customers loyal even if they move to a new town, or they’re traveling.
Some franchisors set up a reward point program where points expire after a certain period of time, which encourages customers to use those points frequently. When they do that, they come into the store more often and may make impulse purchases at that time as well. Just make sure the points don’t expire too quickly or customers may end up frustrated instead of happy.
Another popular option for customer engagement is discounts. Customers who belong to your loyalty program will be able to get certain items at a lower cost than others. That can be an enticing reason for customers to sign up, provided you’re giving them discounts on items they’re interested in.
Tracking customer buying behavior can help you decide what items you want to give discounts on. You can also consider time-sensitive discounts that can be applied to a wider range of products. These aren’t as specific toward an individual product or product line, but instead are focused on getting customers into the store more frequently.
No matter which way you offer discounts, they don’t have to be big to be valuable. Even when a small discount is offered, many customers will take advantage to save where they can. It’s about helping customers save money, but also about showing them that they’re important to your business. When customers feel valued, they’re more likely to come back.
Who doesn’t want to get exclusive items that can’t be purchased by just anyone? Many customers feel special, valued, and important when they receive exclusive merchandise from your franchise. It doesn’t have to be anything big, either. It can be a small item with your brand or logo on it or even a product that’s a “short run” and isn’t in mass production.
There are a lot of ways to provide exclusive merchandising options to customers, too. You can give them free items, or the opportunity to purchase something the public can’t just go out and buy. How you structure the program is up to you and as long as you’re giving customers enough value, they’ll come back again and again for more exclusive opportunities.
Digital / Physical Card
Many franchises, especially in the retail sector, offer a digital or physical card (or both) for building customer loyalty. Company reward programs that offer a card make it easy for customers to get all the savings and benefits available to them. All they have to do is shop with one of your franchise’s stores and use their card when they do.
While some customers don’t want to carry another card in their wallet or on their keychain, having a digital option as well as a physical card makes it easier for customers to use their benefits when they shop with you. Customer loyalty programs don’t have to be complicated to be good. In fact, the easier and more seamlessly they work, the better they are for the majority of customers.
Ready to Grow Your Customer Engagement?
If you’re thinking about customer reward programs and not sure what to do next, Juice Banking’s Customer Engagement and Revenue Growth blend is exactly what you need. It will help you address the financial aspect of your rewards program through integrated solutions that give customers the rewards they’ve earned and keep your business on track, all at the same time.
With the right help and support, you’ll have the opportunity to develop customer loyalty programs that are just right for your customers and your franchise. Get started today, and keep building customer loyalty. It’s a great way to feel better about your franchise, and make sure that customers are getting the same kind of valuable experience from your company, no matter which one of your locations they visit.