Your customers are more important to your business than any of its staff, managers, or investors. After all, if there wasn’t anyone buying your products, your business wouldn’t be able to survive for long! If you’ve been fortunate enough to have a loyal customer base for some time, then you should be making an effort to reward them, and keep them coming back again and again. Here are a few ideas to consider…
Launch an Early-Access Program
One of the best ways to reward loyal customers is giving them something that the rest of your customer base can’t access. This could mean giving them a product that’s still in the works, and hasn’t been sampled by anyone else. You could give them access to a service that hasn’t gone public yet. Many tech and software companies, most notably Google, will reach out to their loyal customers and offer them beta testing spots. Whatever your niche is, there’s probably some practical way for you to launch an early-access program. The simple act of making your existing customers feel like they’re part of something exclusive can be incredibly helpful in kindling more trust and loyalty with your target audience at large.
Offer a Referral Reward
A lot of small business owners recognise the benefits of referrals programs, but think that they’re just too expensive to be financially feasible. In reality, referrals don’t have to cost a fortune. Try simply giving your customers a little discount, or a piece of company merch to show your loyal customers how much you appreciate them. All you really need is a free gift certificate template, a platform for distributing it, and a solid plan for broadcasting your referrals deal through social media and your website. Depending on how practical a rewards program is for your business, you may even want to formulate one that’s structured into tiers. This will give you a better plan for rewarding your loyal customers on an ongoing basis, and ensuring your existing customer base stays close and loyal to you. Just make sure that you set clear rules and guidelines for your program. If people are confused by it and cut off from rewards they thought they were expecting, it will only turn people against you!
Ask for Feedback
Although this isn’t really a tangible gift, it’s still a great way to reward customers for their years of loyalty. Everyone likes being asked for their opinion, and as fans of your brand, your existing customer base will be bursting with informed opinions, which could be extremely handy when you’re coming up with a new service to launch, a new product to introduce, or a new marketing ploy to include in your materials. Send out a survey to your most loyal buyers, and ask for their opinion on the way you’re conducting business. Right off the bat, you should be making it clear that they’re being asked because you value them most. Once you get their input, set out plans to take it seriously, and act on your findings.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business – give something back!