2 Reasons why NOW is the best time to have a Loyalty Program

Posted by Cathy Harms on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 @ 08:08 AM

Reason Number 1 - Time to give thanks.  Your customers have been there for you this year and now is a great time to say thanks.

Reason Number 2 - Time to make a difference.  It’s the “feel good” time and you should not miss the chance to make your customers “feel good”. Help make their holidays better.

 So - you don't know who your customers are and have no way of thanking them?  Keep reading - it is not too late.

It is November 14th and the craziness is just beginning.  I have come to accept that all retailers have their holiday stuff out the day after Halloween if not earlier.  The trend to have Christmas out has been happening earlier each year.  The one that surprised me was all of the Chrysler brands – Dodge, Jeep, etc. – had their holiday ads running on TV as early as Nov 8th.  These ads all have different Christmas carols in the background.  Without even intending to, people are thinking about all the holiday traditions, gifts, cards etc.  Now is the time to capture their attention and give them some great ideas.  If you wait until after Thanksgiving, they will be bombarded with offers, busy with gatherings and frantic with cards and gifts.  Why not make their life better by letting them know about how you can help them survive the holidays?

No matter what kind of business you are – you have something that will help your customers during the holiday.  The key buying categories are grouped into 4 areas:

 

 

·        Holiday loyalty

  1. Food
  2. Gifts
  3. Traditions
  4. Stuff for Entertaining

Let’s go through a few examples

C-Store – Can you make dinner easier for the family who is busy?  Do you have cool stuff for stocking stuffers?  Are you someplace cold – great to promote your warm drinks?  How about great donuts for a special family breakfast treat?

Restaurants – Special menu items that bring back family traditions – here in MN it may be swedish meatballs and lutefisk.  Special offers geared toward bringing the whole family together at the restaurant.  A special holiday meal that reminds customers of their Grandma’s cooking.

Retail – Think about the unique gift ideas you may have.  Everyone is looking for that something special and different – so let them know what you have.  Holiday open houses are also a great way to make shopping easier and enjoyable for your customers.

What does any of this have to do with loyalty?  The holidays are the epitome of loyalty.  Families are together, traditions continue, the same carols are sung and many eat the same food each year.  There is loyalty in every aspect of the holidays.

1.      If you have a loyalty program – now is the time to appreciate your customers, give them great gift or meal ideas and make their lives better.  If you have a database of customers that you connect with do it now.

2.      If you don’t have the ability to connect with your customers, the holidays are a great time to invite your customers to join a program so that you can share offers and ideas in 2014 with them.  For many businesses the next 6 weeks are the busiest they ever get.  You do not want to miss the opportunity to get your customer information so that your database is large and ready for great targeted promotions during your slower months in 2014.  You may have many customers that only come once or twice a year – so this may be your one chance to get connected.

Think it is too late to get this started?  Absolutely not.  Keep it simple.  Within 24 hours you can start to get customer information.  There are 2 quick ways to enroll at your business – using a paper application or using a terminal where you can swipe the driver’s license and enter the email or mobile number.  The process takes seconds.  Using their phone number, there are no cards needed.  So all you need to do is print an enrollment form or plug in a terminal and you are ready to go. 

After the holidays you can send promotions or communications the way your customers wanted – either email or text.   By the time the 2014 holidays start – probably in September – you will have already connected with your customers and can encourage all of them to invite their friends to your business.

NOW is the time to connect with your customers!  Click here to get started!

 

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Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Customer Experience