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“I believe in incentivizing people. If you can incentivize people in anything; whether it is in politics; in life; in spirituality; in business; just take care of folks. Incentivize them and all of a sudden it’s amazing the difference you will see.”

The market is more crowded than ever – similar products and services, similar lines of business operations, and so much more that would blur the presence of any company in the mind of customers. Is it surprising then that companies would notice a sharp drop in the sale of their offerings? As mentioned, customers buy for a number of reasons but if some of those reasons disappeared or customers found other places to buy from, it would become imperative for a company to put in place strategies for incentivizing customers to buy more of its products. The good news is there are several tactics to do so, which are not hard to follow if a company remains committed to its customers, apart from its commitment to better sales figures.

We know that customers have whole bunch of choices today, and it is not easy for any company to attract or retain them. Incentivizing customers to buy more seems to be a tactic that works – and there are several ways to encourage and entice customers to buy more and repeatedly. Offering promotional ‘lures’ is possibly one of the most common method of incentivizing customers to buy consistently, and would include things such as discounted prices, freebies, gift coupons / cards, and many other such enticements. Companies do benefit from putting such promotional activities to good use, however, overuse is not recommended since customers would then buy from a company only when it had some such offers. Aligning the financial and growth goals of a company with such promotions does not make good business sense – these must be used only to create hype and awareness about the company and its offerings, and must be limited to a certain timeframe.

Given the sharp increase in the price of commodities and products, customers would quickly accept anything provided as a benefit. In a bid to incentivizing customers, a company could offer free shipping for products ordered through their online stores. Free, accurate, and speedy shipping is a benefit that customers seem to love, and research shows that customers in fact check this aspect before placing an order with a company. In addition, the return policy of the company must also be highly effective – this is an extremely attractive feature for any company since it displays the company’s confidence in its products and that the company stands by all its offerings, while letting customers know that they can be completely at ease when buying anything from the company.

As mentioned before, customers love companies that would be socially aware and responsible. By giving back to society or the environment, through acts of charity and social responsibility, a company becomes more attractive and is a great way of incentivizing customers to buy more. Even better is to collaborate with a customer who may already be associated with some such works of charity and social responsibility. Not only would the customer buy more and stay with the company, they would more inclined to spreading positive words about the company thereby raising interest and engagement in the mind of other prospective customers.

A fact in business is that 20% of customers make for 80% of the revenues of a company. This 20% should be pampered and shown extra attention – incentivizing them to buy more, while simultaneously encouraging them to let others know the many positive reasons for their continued patronage. It would be a good idea to offer bespoke offerings to such customers – something that may not be on offer for all customers. This would make these highly profitable and loyal customers feel special. To build customized products or gain new ideas for offerings, it would be good to collaborate with the customers for them to provide inputs on what they would want and be happy to use. When customers would be part of the ‘creation’ process of products and services, selling consistently would not be a challenge for a company.

We have discussed in a previous exposition the importance of using the holiday season for incentivizing customers to buy more. Creating fun and relevant seasonal / holiday offers and products is sure to boost sales, and if coupled with a positive experience, would surely encourage customers to come back and encourage others as well to buy from the company. The good news is that there are holidays and festivals in almost every month, and a company with global customers would have even more opportunities of incentivizing customers through special seasonal / festive offers.

Incentivizing customers through time bound / urgent promotional offers and loyalty programs are great ways to boost sales and sustain the interest of existing and prospective customers. It would be a good idea to put together some creative and innovative ways to ‘call out’ to customers such that they are encouraged to buy now and buy more. Limited period offers provide the feeling of urgency, while inciting customers to want to ‘possess’ the offerings before anyone else – gives them ‘bragging rights’ over others. This is a simple yet effective method of incentivizing customers to buy more, and remain interested in the company. Customers that buy continually, tend to become loyal, making them eligible to avail the ‘special benefits’ offered by a company under their loyalty program. Customers want to feel special and important – such offers and programs feed these feelings, thereby encouraging them to remain with any company that does this well.

Provide incentives for customers to leave their email address and phone number with your company – incentives such as maybe an attractive discount on their first purchase or an additional benefit for recommending someone to buy from the company. By gaining their contact information, a company would be able to gain more data about the customers, which in turn would enable it to provide customized offerings and personalized content. It is also a lot easier to let customers – both existing and prospective – know about new products, re-launched offerings, send them the company newsletter, and other such useful and engaging information. The other advantage from collecting customer information is that a company would be able to expand its customer database – making it more robust and useful for the company.

Whatever a company does for incentivizing customers to buy more, nothing would be more effective than excellent customer service. Top class personalized service, according to research, is the most important criterion for customers to remain with and buy more from a company. It is imperative for a company to make every effort to build and consolidate a personal relationship and emotional connection with its customers. This builds trust and confidence in the mind of customers, and customers tend to stay longer with a company they trust and like. Over time, such customers not only become increasingly profitable, but also become vocal brand advocates for the company, thereby gaining more business for it. Part of service excellence, is the fact that irrespective of the business offered by a customer, a company must treat all with respect, empathy, and care. With so much competition, losing even one customer makes for poor business sense.

By putting in place strategies for incentivizing customers to buy more, a company could soon increase its number of profitable and loyal customers. In today’s competitive business world, the more such customers with a company, the better its chances of survival and success. Are you incentivizing customers to buy more?

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