Inspiring customer loyalty is the key to maintaining your customer base. You may be asking yourself: “How do I do this?” In our last blog we went over some tips and tricks such as communication through email and social media, rewarding loyalty, and creating referral programs. So, the real question is: How do you know what to offer to whom? After all, if your communications and promotions aren’t relevant, at best your customers won’t respond to them at all and at worst they’ll respond negatively. In many ways maintaining your customer base and inspiring loyalty come down to understanding want they want.
Do your research . . .
We’re not telling you to head to the library or even hit Google. You already have all of the information you need. Now you need to make it work for you. Take a look at your records to gather some information that will help you make decisions. If you have a management system like the CaterTrax Platform, you can easily run reports. Some pieces of information to gather include:
Who are your top spenders: It goes without saying that these are the people you want to keep as customers. On an individual basis, take a look to see what they’re ordering and when they’re ordering it to create custom promotions. And if you have a loyalty program, why not award a few bonus points to show them you appreciate their business?
Who places the most orders: This isn’t necessarily the same group of people as your top spenders. Getting both lists will ensure you don’t miss any of your loyal base. You can reward them in similar ways, but you may want to consider creating promotions that reward larger orders. This may persuade them to increase their average order size.
Who hasn’t ordered in a while: Don’t let this one go too long. In addition to creating targeted promotions to win them back, consider doing a survey. If satisfaction is the issue, their feedback can help you fine tune your products and services to avoid losing any more business.
What are your best sellers: Promotions, rewards, and coupons aren’t going to be effective if they aren’t for things your customers want. Not only will customers love saving money on their favorite items, but you’ll also introduce a new favorite to other customers.
What are the most popular add-ons: We’re all familiar with the age old question, “Would you like fries with that?” Up-selling is a powerful sales tool that can quickly increase your bottom line. It’s simple and can be construed as helpful rather than as an aggressive sales tool. Try creating limited time offers where popular add-ons are free or discounted with the purchase of the associated items. They’ll enjoy the break on items they like and may continue adding them on when the promotion ends.
What items aren’t selling: Obviously this information can help you make important decisions about your product/service line. Why sell it if nobody is buying? But if it’s an item you have faith in, maybe they just have to give it a try. Create promotions around these low selling products or even try to piggy back the items on more popular fare.
. . . to make it relevant
Rewarding loyalty isn’t enough. Rewards are meaningless if they aren’t valued by the recipient. When you create relevant rewards, you’ll demonstrate that you know who they are and that you understand their needs—which will foster loyalty.
Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake,” when her people didn’t have any bread (okay, she didn’t actually say it, but go with us here). And we all know what happened to her. While businesses and monarchs don’t have too much in common, there is a lesson that we can take away. She was out of touch with her people (and apparently how to make bread or cake) and it cost Marie her position, to put it mildly. Your life isn't on the line, but your livelihood is. If your best customers love chips and sandwiches and you reward them with specials and coupons for champagne and caviar, you’re not only going to miss the mark, you're also going to alienate your customer base. If you want to inspire customer loyalty, encourage them to keep coming back by giving them what they want.