How To Evaluate Customer Loyalty Programs For Your Small Business
Owning and operating a small business isn’t an easy thing to do. Whether you run a bakery, a boutique, a barber shop or any other type of business that composes the nearly 28 million small businesses in the US, you need to make sure that every customer that walks through your door intends to come back time and time again.
As the business owner, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that this is the case. The first is to offer an undeniably exceptional product. The second is to provide an unmatched level of service and hospitality. The third is to find a customer loyalty program that is perfect for your business and for your customers alike. There are many out there, so make sure to keep these factors in mind when evaluating a loyalty program for your small business.
The Customer Experience Is Crucial
Loyalty programs start with the customer. This may seem obvious but in order for the program to bring value to your business, customers have to use it!
To ensure that a meaningful amount of your customers are engaging with your loyalty program every day, it must be easy and convenient for them to use. Today’s consumers don’t want to carry around a separate card for each and every small business that they patronize. Nobody wants to dig through his or her purse or wallet to find an old crumpled stamp card, nor do they want to fill out a survey or questionnaire just to join your loyalty program. Look for something that is quick, simple and easy to use for all types of customers.
Additionally, your loyalty program must provide a real incentive for your customers to come back. Give them a reason to look forward to that next visit! Every small business has its own unique personality, so look for a loyalty program that is customizable to you and your specific customer base. Your rewards should remind your customers what sets you apart.
Value & Versatility
In the world of owning a small business, absolutely every dollar counts. To make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck, seek out a loyalty program that is versatile and can engage with your customers in a number of different ways. For example, a program that includes an email marketing feature or a mobile app can be doubly effective in reaching customers and drawing them back into the business with personalized offers and rewards. These are features that often come with a cost on their own, so bundling them in with a loyalty program is a great way to stretch your dollar and kill two (or even three!) birds with one stone.
Be cognizant of the technology that a loyalty program uses as well. Your program must be able to stand up to the rigors of everyday customer interaction, and should operate on hardware that is reliable and of the highest quality. Sometimes it can feel like every time we buy a new piece of technology, a newer version comes out and we are left with wanting more. A program that is worth your money will feature technology that is constantly up to date, and won’t leave you stuck with a disappointing old device.
Support & Service
At the end of the day, operating a small business is about building relationships, whether it be with your suppliers, your employees, or most importantly your customers. And this attitude shouldn’t disappear when finding a customer loyalty program that is the perfect fit for your business. Find a program and a company that will work with you and take into consideration the specific needs and goals of your business. Seek out a program that can provide the same level of care and consideration to you that you give to each customer who walks through your door. When business is booming and your program is put to the test, you’re going to want to have a program that you can rely on and customer support that understands the time and effort that goes into running a small business.
When evaluating a customer loyalty program for your business, make sure to look for an amazing customer experience, an unbeatable value for your dollar, and a program that you can rely on when the going gets tough!
Schedule a demo with a Belly representative today to learn why Belly is the perfect customer loyalty program for you business.