Loyalty programs have long been used as a way to encourage repeat customers and bring in new interest. However, the old standards of membership cards and “buy 9 and get the 10th free” are starting to feel a little stale.
A great new way to expand on the traditional loyalty program is with a loyalty app: a small program that your customers use when they purchase from you to get a reward.
Here are 5 tips on creating fun, unique loyalty apps that are sure to keep customers interested and coming back to your business again and again:
1. Think Outside the Box and Target Loyal Customers, Not Just New Ones
Acquiring new customers is expensive and most of your profits are going to be made from returning customers. Loyalty apps work so well because they are an extremely cost-effective way for you to instantly connect with your customers and improve their service experience. They’re also a great way to show off your originality. A fun, creative loyalty app will help you stand out from the crowd, bring in new business, and keep your current customers excited.
2. Offer Personalized Services and Rewards
A great way to show your customers just how much you appreciate them is with personalized rewards. Take a cue from the ChefStable app: whenever a customer makes a purchase at one of the participating restaurants the app keeps track of what they order. Next time they come in they’re greeted with an unexpected thank-you glass of their favorite beer or a suggestion of what they might like on the menu.
This app works so well because it shows the customers that you’re really paying attention to what they like and that you want to offer them the best possible service.
3. Offer Unexpected Rewards
Loyalty apps can go far beyond just offering free merchandise. You don’t want your app to come across as too “sales-y”, but you also want to encourage your customers to use your app as often as possible. Why not have your app offer a game that your customers can play on their phones? Each time they make a purchase they can “unlock” the next level. This would be a new and unexpected twist on the traditional “buy X and get Y” style of classic reward program.
4. Use Social Media to Market Your Company
Taco Bell takes unexpected rewards a step farther with an app where customers participate in a “treasure hunt” game on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When they find enough of the “pieces,” they’re rewarded with free food or merchandise. This app has been extremely popular and, because it was based through social media, customers were hearing about it from each other. A leaderboard added a slight competitive edge, further encouraging people to use and talk about it.
5. Apps Aren’t Just for Customers
A well-designed app can help your business offer faster and more efficient customer service. American Airlines uses an app that tells their flight attendants important information about their customers like who has a short connection or has special preferences or needs. This could be expanded to a wide range of businesses by helping your staff get instant information about your customers so they can offer them personalized care.
Have you implemented a customer loyalty program? Share what tactics worked (and what didn’t) in the comment section.