Customer loyalty programs are crucial for small businesses. Almost 70% of the revenue earned by small businesses comes from the top 25% of customers. Subsequently, it is more cost-effective to retain customers than find new ones.
Brand new technologies emerging in the digital age are making a massive impact on customer loyalty programs, but old-school SMS is proving to be one of the most powerful tool. It´s not the technology that impresses customers, it´s how brands use it.
The functionality of a loyalty program should be simple. Your goal is to provide customers with convenience whilst gathering useful data that is actionable. You don´t need to know how much customers spend, you need to know their lifetime value to your company.
Customers value brands that are transparent, honest and reliable. Whilst brands like Amazon operate an ecosystem selling multiple categories of merchandise, the online retailer does not build customer loyalty. If shoppers find the same item for a better price elsewhere, they will go elsewhere.
Consumers stay loyal to brands they trust and earn respect. Deliver on your brand promises, show you care about your customers and demonstrate your intention and willingness to make a difference to the community.
SMS messaging services provide small businesses with effective channels of communication. With an open rate of over 90%, your marketing messages reach more targets than any other advertising platform.
Brands that know who their most loyal shoppers are can create segmented campaigns aimed at “VIP” customers. The key to VIP campaigns is to make your customers feel special.
When mobile owners opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, they join an exclusive club. Therefore, they expect exclusive offers. And offering deals other shoppers are not entitled to is an effective way of driving more sales from your best customers.
Make customer experience a priority
The customer-centric focus in marketing today is all about providing an experience. This is particularly relevant for mobile shoppers. Digital platforms are notoriously unfriendly on Smartphones.
SMS loyalty programs should also focus on customer experience. If you hope to encourage customers to spend more through special offers, the funnel has to be convenient and easy to use.
The majority of customer loyalty programs fail to measure up to user-friendly priorities. Statistics reveal that the average consumer in the US is a member of 26 loyalty programs, but only use 10 of them. Mobile users want buying online to be effortless.
Easy to use functions include scanning a coupon or QR code, sending a keyword and shortcode through SMS, clicking on a buy button and shopping through eWallets.
You could create a digital loyalty card that accrues points whenever customers make a purchase. The loyalty card will enable them to purchase other items with their reward points or possibly even entitle them to a discount.
Improving your customer service
Consumers appreciate brands that listen. So why not use your loyalty program to invite feedback from your most valued customers. And make it known you are only asking your regular shoppers for their opinions, because their opinions matter the most.
You can also tie in bonuses to encourage customers to provide feedback. Offer reward points on their loyalty cards, small discounts on their next purchase or send a gift card in return for positive comments.
Feedback forms can be sent via SMS, and because texting has a higher open rate than any other marketing channel, brands are more likely to receive a higher response rate.
Hyper-personalisation is the next strategic wave for brands to retain customers. Digital platforms such as SMS, messaging apps and email are highly personal forms of communication that can be used to your advantage.
When customers receive special offers through personal means of communication they are more inclined to accept the offer ? providing of course it is the right offer for them.
Storing sensitive data is critical for effective marketing. Consumers are inundated with spam and ads they have no interest in. When customers are loyal to a brand, they expect you to know want they want and when they need it.
Although tools like SMS and email can be used proactively, treat customers with respect. Personalise text messages and send them in a timely manner. If you send too many texts, customers will become frustrated and unsubscribe from your mailing list.
Creating an effective loyalty program is key to growth. Using the right tools enables you to implement a loyalty program that connects with loyal customers on an emotional level. An SMS messaging service enables you to achieve your aims and protect your budget.