Customer Loyalty: How to Cultivate and Keep Loyal Customers

To call customer loyalty important would be an understatement. Your customers keep you going. No customers, no business. And getting new customers is harder and more expensive than developing your existing customer base. So it makes a lot of sense to build customer loyalty by creating a customer loyalty program within your organization.

A loyalty program is your way of saying ‘Thank You” to your customers. Of course, it’s about revenue, but it’s also about gratitude. You’re grateful to your customers for their patronage. So let’s talk about some of the best customer loyalty program ideas we’ve seen in the retail industry.

Customer Loyalty Idea #1 – Use Personalized Emails

Have you ever sent your customers a ‘Happy Birthday’ email? You should – it’s a great way to tell your customers you care about them, far beyond just being a source of revenue. You could offer them a birthday discount in that month as well, or perhaps even customize pregnancy planning emails for new moms in their first year of motherhood.

Show your customers you care about them. There are a variety of email platforms that can help you customize birthday, pregnancy and special occasion email campaigns.

Customer Loyalty Idea #2 – Customer Loyalty Cards and Rewards Programs

Here’s one of the more obvious ways to create a customer loyalty program. We’ve all seen rewards cards from the supermarket and various coffee chains. You could create a customer rewards program of your own. You could do it with plastic cards if that’s within your budget; but you could also do it with punch cards, which are far cheaper to make and easy to set up.

You know the type. It’s the kind at your favourite local pizza shop, where you buy 10 slices of pizza and the eleventh one is free.

Experiment with loyalty cards and programs. They don’t have to be hard or expensive. It’s little things like this that can keep your customers coming back.

Customer Loyalty Idea #3 -Make Loyalty Easier For Your Customer

Is there anything more annoying than when you call a company and you’re asked to press 30 different buttons, only to be placed on hold for the next 15 minutes? What about going into a store that requires you to have your loyalty card present in order to get your loyalty discount?

Don’t be that business. Make it easy for your customers to get their rewards. For example, MyPOS Connect allows you to easily look up loyal customers by using a phone number or a name or any part of their address. Type anything into the POS system screen and MyPOS Connect’s multi-word search capability will find your customer quickly.

Customer Loyalty Idea #4 – Excel At Something

Every business has a story. It’s important for you to know yours, and to get it out there. For example, some companies are renowned for their lifetime guarantees – even if the current owner of the product or service was not the original buyer. For others, it’s their passion. And for others, it’s being at the edge of pop culture.

So what’s your story, and what do you excel at? With us, it’s our award-winning technical support. For you, it may be something else.

Here’s our point: find your strength and promote it. You know you’ve arrived when customers return to your business for that very reason.

Customer Loyalty Idea #5 – Ask For Customer Feedback

You should never, ever, ignore customer feedback. It’s not a coincidence that businesses with a large number of Google reviews tend to show up earlier in local business search results. Good reviews start with good service. If you’re proud of the service your business provides (and if you’re not, that needs to change), ask your customers to review your business! You can incentivize them with discounts if you like. But you could also simply ask your customers to review your business in your email campaigns after making a certain amount of purchases.

Pay attention to what your reviewers are saying, too. If they’re complimentary, keep up the great work! If they’re not, listen to them.

Feedback is exactly that – it’s feedback. It’s an effective way to learn what you’re doing right and where to improve.

Reach Out to Tri-City Retail To Help Grow Your Business

Customer loyalty is an ongoing target. It’s something you build into your business, starting with your main ‘customer touch points’: whether that’s you or your staff at the Point of Sale, or anywhere else in your store that your customers engage with your team.

We’ve seen a lot of success with customer loyalty programs through integration with our point of sale system in the past 25 years, and we’ve seen a few failures too. So do it right and start today. Make customer loyalty a priority for your company, and remember, you can always reach out to us here at Tri-City Retail for convenient and effective ways to grow your business.

Feature Spotlight: Donation Prompt

The Tri-City Retail Systems team always welcomes suggestions from customers when it comes to new improvements to MyPOS Connect. If a suggestion has the potential to be useful to many of our customers, we happily add it to our development roadmap (check out our recent release for lots of examples). A favourite feature suggestion came to us from one of our kind-hearted customers, who wanted MyPOS Connect to help them collect donations for a local charity. Our team thought it was an awesome idea, and we now proudly include donation functionality as a standard feature for all of our customers to leverage.

Curious as to how it works?

When the donation feature is active, it will trigger an automatic pop-up at the end of a transaction. Not only is this pop-up a convenient way to add donations to the transactions, it also ensures that no cashier ever forgets to ask a customer for a donation.

The pop-up will auto-populate with the standard donation amount, rounding the transaction total up to the next dollar, and give the cashier the option to accept or decline the donation. If a customer is feeling particularly generous and would like to make a larger donation, and settings allow, the donation amount can be changed from this pop-up as well. From this point, the transaction can be tendered as usual. It’s that easy!

To set up the donation feature follow these next steps in the MyPOS Connect Back Office:

Navigate to Data Setup, then Products, and create a new product for the donations, with Product Type set as “Standard Item”. Setup the product with, a Product Code, Description, Short Description, and Full Description of your choice. Setting a Primary Classification (i.e. Donations) will help with future reporting, but it is not necessary for donation functionality. Make a note of the Product Code you enter, as you will need this later. If your donations are non-taxable, make sure you select non-taxable from the Tax Code drop-down menu. Save the product.

Next, navigate to System Settings, then Device Options. On the left-hand side of the screen, click “Donations” to view the three associated settings.

To turn a setting on, check the ‘set value’ box for the desired setting and save. Note that settings can be configured based on the device. This means that each till lane and store can have its own unique settings.

Allow Donation Amount Override:

The standard donation amount will round the transaction up to the next dollar. For example, if a transaction total without donation is $1.45, then the standard donation amount is $0.55. If you would like to allow cashiers to override this amount and enter a custom amount at the till, turn this setting on.

Donations Enabled:

This setting controls whether the donation feature is on or off. To use the donation setting, turn this setting on.

Donations Product Code:

This will link the donation feature with the product you created earlier. Enter your product code from the first step into the set value box and save.

 

Finally, restart MyPOS Connect to allow the new settings to take effect. The feature is now set up and ready to use.

Do you have any ideas for additions to MyPOS Connect? Email your suggestions to wishlist@tricityretail.com.