The current economic climate has made life tough for many companies, as attracting new customers and retaining existing ones has never been harder. Firms operating in business to consumer markets are finding things particularly difficult, as wage freezes and inflation have left people with less disposable income and they have become more careful about their spending.
Businesses that can afford to discount heavily may be able to take advantage of the conditions, but others have to think very carefully about their customer acquisition strategies. In the past, you may have looked to compete on price or launched advertising campaigns to tempt consumers to give you a try, but these options are only available to firms with reasonable budgets. To attract new customers or bring back old ones to your shop or website may require a more innovative approach. One option well worth considering is incentives that make your products and services look like a good value for money choice to potential buyers.
These sections of loyalty schemes are proven to be effective for customer retention and acquisition. You only have to think about your own shopping habits and the points you collect at supermarkets and other major retail chains to realize that they influence people's thinking.
Whatever your company is solely online, has its own shops or operates on both the internet and high street, a points program can help you to bring in new customers. Systems that offer both immediate and ongoing incentives are particularly good. For example, you may want to provide gift vouchers for any new customers who sign up and give them the opportunity to earn further rewards, such as travel perks, by making regular purchases.
If your business is planning a product launch or promotion, coupling it with a new loyalty scheme could be particularly effective, as prospective customers will have a reason to make purchases now and return in the future. You may be worried that running this kind of customer acquisition and retention program will be time consuming, as time is one thing most business owners are short of. However, it is possible to outsource the operation to a company that has significant expertise in managing such schemes and can also provide you with advice about the best option for your firm. There are other choices available to help attract and retain customers, including Christmas savings schemes and selling pre-paid gift vouchers that can be used as presents.