Don’t underestimate loyalty: how to keep your customers coming back

There has been a lot of talk recently about how to be an ethical consumer. In the wake of the pandemic, we’re all more aware of the struggle businesses have been facing, and we’ve been encouraged by the media to think about how and where we source our goods and services. The advantages, both to individuals and the economy more generally, of buying from independent businesses has been a source of discussion. Many people are putting in the extra effort to ensure the products they buy are not from multi-national conglomerates, and possibly shipped from overseas; but instead, are from start-ups and small businesses with a more eco-friendly business model.

It is important that small, independent businesses, take advantage of this steep increase in public awareness. It is true that the current economic climate is more difficult for yet-to-be-established brands. Although the pandemic has certainly been exhausting, it has been heart-warming to see consumers show their support for independent businesses, rather than simply flocking to the nearest retail park at the first opportunity they get.

Small businesses need to take ownership of this spike in consumer goodwill. As we make our way into 2022, business owners will need to work harder to ensure that their brand stays in the spotlight, especially as the economy recovers. This is true of the leisure and hospitality sector, not just retail and customer services. To get customers in the front door is one thing; to make sure that they return, and that your business feels the effect of repeat service, is another. Of course, the tenets of good customer service and a clean, well-thought-out venue are priceless is such a situation. But as inflation rises and customers’ belts begin to tighten, you may start to feel the need for a little bit extra.

Stoking the fires of customer loyalty is harder than you’d think. However, there is a way that has been proven to favourably alter the customer experience. Loyalty schemes are an ideal way to keep your customers engaged after they leave your venue. If a customer is rewarded every time they make a payment, and they can see the material effects of their spending – whether they see their points going up or can access a voucher of some sort – they are more likely to return to your venue. By setting goals for your customers and keeping them entertained through the attainment of personalised deals, your customer will become hooked, for want of a better word. Not only will they spend more, but they’ll actively enjoy the time they “spend” in your venue.  

The Booked it loyalty scheme has been engineered precisely to do just that. Using the Booked it loyalty scheme, customers connect their debit card to the app, and earn points with every transaction. This has been proven to increase both spend-per-head and total dwell time; these are two especially important factors if your business is to survive the economic climate. Furthermore, what separates the Booked it scheme from others is the fact that it all works through the customers’ choice of technology; there is no need for loyalty cards that are lost or become outdated. Our scheme is easy, fast, and the app can be downloaded on either iOS or Android, with either Visa or Mastercard.

This is the perfect way to take advantage of ethical consumerism. If you remind your customers that you are a small venue and point out that your loyalty scheme is a way you can support you, your customer will be happy to spend. To imbue a sense of goodwill in your customers is to keep them loyal. When your customers are happy to spend at your venue, they are more likely to come back. The pandemic has proven that; now it is time to reap the rewards.

Words by Rebecca Clayton

TIME
TIME