There is a local restaurant close to where I live that has a BOGO special twice a year. Buy one of their unique ‘oval’ pizzas, get another ‘oval’ free.
When the program was initiated, it was meant to reward their loyal customers with a fun bonus.
Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, once the program was up and running, this local restaurateur found their happy, loyal patrons walking away!
The BOGO was advertised in local papers – and during those two weeks the special ran, guess who showed up?
The less than loyal, regular folks looking to catch a bargain.
Nothing wrong with that at all.
Except the influx of patrons created long waits, noisy dining rooms and uncomfortable, unfamiliar dining experiences for the true loyal customer.
Regular patrons decided the bargain wasn’t worth it.
In all likelihood, it did create an increase in profit for the restaurant during that period that they would not have made – but management recognized that it was hurting those they needed most.
They ‘listened’ to their regular customers and changed up the program!
A ‘rewards’ card program was instituted where all loyal, regular customers could earn points each time they dined, which, when revealed at the BOGO time – – they would be awarded the BOGO special.
If you walk into their restaurant during the BOGO special time and cannot show a rewards card with the earned points, you are welcome to dine, but you cannot get the special.
The business owner proved to his regular customers their loyalty mattered.
Trust and Loyalty of Your Patrons is Not Guaranteed
Acquiring new customers is 5 to 10x more expensive than retaining customers. And returning customers spend 67% more than a new one!
Customer retention = $$$
And happy clients are delighted to refer you to new business!
You may think the ‘rewards’ concept applies only to retailers or dining experiences, but think about your business.
Do you run an early childhood learning center? When a family stays on an additional year – is there a discount or a bonus item you can offer to them to show them you appreciate their loyalty?
Banking and finance marketers. Reward your long term patrons! How about a deal with a local coffee shop or convenience store for you customer to grab a favorite beverage or snack one day a year?
Property managers! Just because moving is an overwhelming event for your renters, don’t think they won’t move if there is a better deal down the block. How about a ‘summer block party’ for your community or a free movie ticket when they renew their lease?
Before spending money on the next ‘wow them’ promotion, make sure it will fit with the needs of your current customers. Let them be recognized for their allegiance and confidence in you!
How do you let your customers know they are appreciated? Please share in the comment section below.