As a business owner, you (correctly) believe that the best ways to retain customers is to offer fair prices, outstanding customer service, speedy shipping and free chocolate chip cookies to anyone who walks in the store.
Well, maybe not the chocolate chip cookies. But the rest is definitely a good idea.
While you want to treat each and every customer who orders online or comes in the door as a very important person for your business, you can actually secure a huge amount of customer loyalty for the entire year — all in the matter of a few seasonal shopping months.
As for how to do this, please consider the following tips:
Create a loyalty program
As Business.com notes, customer loyalty programs can help companies to land and keep new customers. One of the best times to launch this type of program is right after Halloween, when the trick-or-treaters return home and people start to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consumers tend to love loyalty programs, and they are also an outstanding way to boost your brand recognition. They also allow business owners to offer their customers experiences that get better each time they come in; for example, after a first purchase a customer will earn 25 bonus points, and after earning 100 points he or she will get $5 off their bill. If you start a new loyalty “points” program right around Thanksgiving and offer double or even triple bonus points for customers who shop with you throughout the season. This can boost customer loyalty to the point that when summer rolls around and the consumers are looking to buy your product again, they will think of your business first.
Offer bonuses during the holidays and seasons
Another great way to bring in customers during various times of year and create a sense of goodwill that will last all year is to offer tangible goods that you give them just for shopping with them. As Web Marketing Pros notes, a great example of this is when a business that sells gift cards throws in an additional, smaller gift card with every purchase during a holiday. Knowing that every $50 you spend on gift cards at a restaurant or clothing store will get you an additional $10 gift card at no cost is a terrific way to create that proverbial warm and fuzzy feeling in your customers; in fact, that $10 bonus you are giving them should come back to reward you in the form of discounts all year long. (The popular restaurant Sweet Tomatoes is offering this exact deal right now.) Other bonuses can include free decorations, small holiday stuffed animals, calendars and more. Customers tend to remember fondly who gave them these lovely extra goodies during different holidays, and they will reward you by coming back all year long.
Amazing seasonal sales can also boost loyalty
Customers who get killer deals during different times of year will typically return to those companies and brands for every holiday and throughout the year. One company that gets this tactic is Lorex. They’re known for offering great holiday deals, including sales on their battery-operated, wire-free security cameras. Once these happy customers received their new security camera systems and discovered how easy they are to install and what a great picture quality they offer, this, combined with the amazing sale price, will entice them to return to Lorex again and again.
Strive for excellence all year, but focus on the time of year
Yes, you want to offer the best of everything to your customers every day of the year. But it’s good to know that by really focusing your efforts on different shopping seasons — at least in terms of starting a points-based loyalty program, extra bonuses for shopping and incredibly low holiday prices — you can expect the vast majority of your customers to come back to your company all year.