No business can afford to take customer loyalty for granted as consumers are often open to switching from brand to brand in order to get the best deal.
A recent loyalty survey of 2,000 adults has found that customer loyalty is strongest in the North East and weakest in the South East. The businesses that customers are most loyal to are hairdressers with two thirds of consumers stating that they will continue to return to the same hairdressers again and again, without even thinking of switching to another salon.
Three fifths of consumers are loyal to their favourite restaurants, shops and local pub. Half of those surveyed said they were loyal to their current car brand, while two fifths said they were loyal to the airline they usually use to go on holiday.
It pays to build good customer relationships
With recent studies showing that it costs up to ten times more on average to generate a new customer than to maintain a good relationship with an existing customer it pays to run a successful customer loyalty scheme. Customers want to feel like they get something back for being loyal.
As well as seeing an increase in repeat purchases, companies can gain valuable information from customers who join their customer loyalty schemes . The customer rewards chosen for any scheme need to be desirable and have wide appeal – which is why gift vouchers and cards work well. They can be much more effective than simply coupons for money off etc, as customers will strive to reach the level needed to be rewarded.
What’s important to your customers?
Which gift voucher/card to choose will depend on your customer base, for instance M&S and John Lewis gift vouchers are popular with affluent consumers and those 40+, whereas younger consumers may prefer Amazon or Starbucks gift cards. If your customer base is broad, a multi-retailer gift voucher may work best as they offer lots of choice.
Gift vouchers and cards are also used effectively for Recommend a Friend schemes – a great way of gaining new loyal customers as referees often display similar behaviours and characteristics to the person who recommended them.