Loyalty programs for small businesses

It's generally accepted that retaining current customers is easier and cheaper than attracting new ones.

But how do you earn such a loyal customer base? Try out these small business customer loyalty programs to incentive and reward your customers for their continued patronage.

  • Try simple loyalty cards, such as a stamp card for free items after a dozen purchases, or a card that provides discounts. This isn't an ideal solution for many businesses that don't deal in small purchases or work exclusively online, but you can still find ways to reward your current customers.

  • If you have regulars, consider personally offering them a small discount. It doesn't have to be much — often times, it's the personal attention they receive that brings them back for more, rather than the actual monetary value of the discount.

  • Start remembering the names of regulars, as well as what they usually need from you. Give them just a little preferential treatment and they'll be more likely to stick with you.

At the end of the day, you don't need to dazzle each and every customer, but just a little extra effort can ensure loyal customers and a successful business. Treat your current customers well enough, and they just may become an advocate for your business and recommend you to other people.

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