The client comes first. This old maxim hasn’t changed in the slightest. On the contrary. It is as important as never before. Because every customer you treat like royalty will gladly come and make another purchase. And trust me, it’s much easier and more effective to keep existing customers happy than to constantly try to attract new ones. Sure, you should always be doing that anyway, but the biggest potential for your business is loyal regular customers who keep coming back and enjoy buying from you. Not only do they generate sales, but they are also the main drivers of your referral marketing.
It’s all the more surprising that, according to a study, 44% of companies say they focus on customer acquisition, while only 18% focus on customer loyalty. In addition, the study shows that only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies focus equally on acquisition and customer retention. Some reconsideration could do no harm there.
But now we come to the crucial question:
How do you inspire first-time buyers to become loyal, regular customers?
The answer: Make the customer feel comfortable with you. Delight them with gifts, personal attention, something that makes them feel your appreciation. In other words: take care of them. Most importantly, do so from the very first second. Immediately after the first purchase, or even better, before and during the purchase process. That way, they have a good feeling about you right from the start. It’s like in real life: The first impression counts. Ok, but how can this be done in concrete terms? Let’s look at a few examples:
Thank them in a friendly way – perhaps with a small gift
Reward the purchase – before, during or after check-out – with a voucher for their next visit to your store. This significantly increases the likelihood that the customer will come back and buy something again.
Remember: Small gifts not only keep friendships alive, but also keep customers coming back.
A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot – but it can bring a lot
Monetary gifts, such as discounts, are one thing. But there are also ways to give out gifts with “emotional value” that cost the company little to nothing. SEAT, for example, teamed up with Brame to launch a Spin the Wheel promotion to celebrate its 70th birthday, offering free test drives at SEAT dealerships in tandem with a grand prize. Thanks to the playful element and the incentive of the prizes, a lead conversion of 70% was achieved. Consequently, registrations for test drives also increased rapidly during the campaign period.
Include a little game that barely anyone can resist
Surprise the customer with a quiz. For example, 5 questions about their product preferences. A quiz stimulates the urge to engage in a game and thus increases the likelihood of answering the survey questions eagerly. An additional incentive could be a prize, voucher or discount. In the 2nd step, individual offers can be sent based on the quiz answers. It’s great when a company knows exactly what its customers want and can offer them the right products and services.
The Advent calendar – ensure high incentive and daily contacts
Especially now in the pre-Christmas period, the use of an advent calendar is ideal. Filled with small discounts, incentives and other pleasantries. This way, the user comes back to the website daily, engages with products and the brand. In addition, the goods in the calendar encourage further purchases. An example: Thurgau Tourism wanted to gain leads in the short term and increase the number of newsletter subscribers.
An advent calendar developed by Brame was used, filled with attractive prizes from partners in the region. The result: a conversion rate of over 70% and an increase in the newsletter opening rate of more than 12% within 24 days.
The mother of all customer loyalty programs – the loyalty card
The loyalty card is a classic and we now know it from quite a few stores and companies. And rightly so. The mechanism: The customer is informed as from the very first purchase that they will receive a discount by registering for the customer card – as early as the current impending purchase. And likewise for every subsequent purchase. Or they receive collection points to redeem. Or exclusive offers. The possibilities are many and diverse. Such customer loyalty programs are widely used. In conjunction with an app, customer loyalty and purchase activation can be intensified even further, for example through push messages or the use of gamification. The best-known loyalty programs are probably Payback and Miles and More, but retailers such as Spar and Rewe also rely on such customer loyalty programs.
Charity – anyone can make the world a little better
Customer loyalty programs with a charity aspect also offer great potential. They give customers the feeling that they are doing something good. Not for themselves, but in a charitable way. And who wouldn’t like to save the world a little bit while shopping?
So when you buy Krombacher, you can help save the rainforest. Companies that support the “Plant-My-Tree” campaign are committed to climate protection, such as Pirelli, Hyundai and E-On. By doing so, the companies not only give their customers added value, but also publicly demonstrate a sustainable corporate attitude. An important factor in today’s world.
Choose the path that suits you – and follow it consistently.
Of course, there are many more ways to build up good customer loyalty in the short, medium or long term. Our selection is only meant to show how diverse the options are. The method should fit your business, your goals and your target group. In the end, it’s always about creating a relationship with the company. Either by showing that the customer is important to you and that you care about their wants and needs or by putting your company’s values in the foreground and letting the customer actively participate in them.
But one thing is certain: no matter how you want to express your commitment to the customer, there is hardly a better time than during the initial purchase. This is when you decide whether the purchase will remain a one-off or whether the customer will be a loyal customer who enjoys coming back again and again.