“Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley
In today’s market, customers expect the best and more. They want companies to provide them with experiences that ensure their satisfaction and delight. Your company’s customer service teams must know how to deal with customers and your company must support the teams by providing them the empowerment to reward your customers – these methods will provide a boost to your reputation with them. Does your company follow a practice of systematically and regularly, rewarding its customers? If yes, what are some of the methods used? Let us look at what some companies do in this regard.
Customers work hard and invest time and money in a company. While they may not say so, everyone likes to feel appreciated. Reward your customers by adding special discounts – making their purchases a bargain for them. It does not cost a company much to offer these discounts, but they are a great way to appeal to customers and remain attractive to them. We are not suggesting that sales and discounts become an everyday feature since it would affect your company’s bottom line and would lose its novelty. In your desire to reward your customers for their time and business, ensure that the discounts and schemes offered are worthy of them and are attractive enough to gain and sustain their attention.
As a customer, what happens when you discover that you would need to pay a sum of money to get the goods purchased – this after you have given them business. This is a major put-off and the reason for many a cancellation. To reward your customers, offer them free shipping and returns. Not only does this tell them that your company is thankful for their business, but it also provides the customers with a sense of satisfaction and security, that in case they do need to return a product, they would not lose money on doing so. Of course, as mentioned, you need to care for your company’s profit margins too – you could either weave the shipping cost into the product, or offer free shipping only when a customer’s purchases exceed a certain limit.
Organize a first come first served sale – that is a limited time sale only. It creates ripples of interest in your customers and allows your company to sell more – making it a win-win for your company. A research found at least 56% businesses, which agreed that such sales received a better response than regular ones and since these sales are a limited period, purchases took place fast and furiously in the first hour. Reward your best customers by letting them know about these sales before others by sending them personalized emails. Inform all other customers too via social media, in order to generate wider interest and gain a larger audience.
Offer incentives and discounts to customers who buy products over a certain amount such that the price they would need to pay, may seem worth it. Providing them a discount or an offer of something free, makes them feel satisfied with their huge purchase and they would be sure to return. Such schemes would entice other ‘onlookers’ and encourage them to buy more in order to get the ‘preferential treatment’ that the others received.
As a customer, you too love gifts and freebies. You could offer a free sample of a certain product on the purchase of another. Not only does this, allow your company to show case its new product, but also provides the customers an opportunity to try out a new product before it hits the market. This makes them feel special – a great way to reward your customers. Remember, that since this should be a regular feature, the offers and gifts would need to be creative, interesting, good quality and enticing enough to generate interest and eagerness to buy. Customers who receive them should feel proud to use / display them, and others, who miss out, should want to possess them – this makes your brand and company memorable and easy to recall.
To reward your customers means that your company is committed to creating a loyal base of customers. Create a loyalty program system, in which each time they buy, their account is credited with points that can later be exchanged for a product of their choice or receive a significant discount on any item. Such schemes and ‘rewards’ display your company’s motivation to keep its customers happy and coming back repeatedly. When customers shop often, they begin to see the utility of doing business with a company, which over time makes them loyal, profitable, and the best of all – raving brand advocates.
When you reward your customers, you make every purchase and every interaction for them seem exclusive and unique. It is also a great way to pacify disgruntled customers and encourage ‘drifters’ to begin purchasing bigger and more regularly from your company. In addition, it keeps your competitors guessing on a number of counts and then spending time to match your company’s offers. One of the largest retailers in the world has become such a formidable force within their area because their customers are always sure that they would get the best products and at rates cheaper than anywhere in the market. They also promise that they would refund the difference if customers found a cheaper rate of a product. What a great way to reward your customers! This ensures that their customers are loyal and the reason they stay is because, the company instils trust and reliability – something that cannot be defeated by any number of discounts or low prices.
Knowing when to reward your customers is critical to the success of the program. Holiday season is possibly the most stressful time for any customer but also the time that they splurge. Some discounts, promotions, creative incentives, and great customer support will get their attention. They would spend more but have a sense of satisfaction on spending their money wisely and getting exactly what they would want for their loved ones and their homes. Holidays are the perfect time to reward your customers, while seizing the opportunity to make your brand known and memorable.
While we may have mentioned several tried and tested methods to reward your customers, the most effective and sure method is to keep them with you with customer service excellence. Customers may come to and buy from a company based on prices and reputation of quality, but the reason that they would provide repeat business and encourage others to provide business, is the kind of experiences they have with a company when buying. A company cannot hope to build its reputation overnight but with time and consistent top class service, it would soon earn itself a respectable and formidable position in the market. Customers are quick to notice and pick-up such aspects and when delighted consistently would ensure that they spread the positive word of mouth through every channel and means possible. When existing customers speak highly of a company, there is no other better means of advertising or promotion for a company.
You may believe that to put a program in place that serves to reward your customers could prove expensive to your ‘pocket’, the fact is that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Repeat and profitable customers are worth their ‘weight in gold’ and must be cherished, nurtured, and rewarded. If you want to have your customers coming back (and bring their friends), you would need to show them that they mean the world to your business. Reward your customers – this proves to be a reward for your company instead.