This week I came across an article from Time magazine about Penguin Publishing’s new book rewards program for readers called "First to Read". The rewards program is simple. Readers gain access to advance copies of books and earn points for action on the "First to Read" website. The author points out that this program first struck her as surprising that consumers need points or a game to read at all anymore, but Penguin Publishing is looking at it as a way to say thank you to their loyal customers. Businesses often start customer rewards programs to retain and thank their loyal customers but can sometimes forget the importance of their loyalty.
This kind of rewards program won’t necessarily attract people who don’t read because it will really only appeal to readers, but that’s okay. This fits in with who is Penguin Publishing’s “ideal” customer. Instead of trying to please everyone focus on those that are helping your business grow. Identifying and rewarding your loyal customers for their business is more important than drawing in every customer.
Hi there! We are your happy, loyal customers.
You start a customer rewards program to make your loyal customers feel special and show that you appreciate their business, but then often times they are ignored. Go beyond the automatic rewards that are given when certain spending levels are met. Giving customers special privileges help meet that human need to be noticed and will in turn give them more satisfaction. Giving access to a special sale or event can be a great way to help them feel special and keep the focus on thanking them for their loyalty.
If you have a customer rewards program that really focuses on rewarding your loyal customers it will help your business grow. Those loyal customers will in turn talk about your business (or books in the case of the article) which will bring new customers. There are plenty of ways you can use your rewards program to bring in new customers by sending out offers for joining (like Which Wich) or talking about your rewards program on social media channels, but keep the focus on retaining your loyal customers. Why?
Simply because -
- Repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers
- It is 7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing customer
- After 10 purchases, a customer has referred up to 7 people
Statistics from Bain and Company and Flowtown 2010
Is your customer rewards program rewarding your loyal customers?