In today’s competitive business environment, companies large and small are all working to determine ways they can effectively acquire and retain loyal customers who will continue to choose their products and services over the long haul. But, why does loyalty matter? For starters, they tend to spend more. According to Forbes.com, 57% of consumers will spend more money with companies to which they are loyal—and this can include pest control companies. But capturing customer loyalty can be easier said than done. Businesses must first prove they are trustworthy and demonstrate that they genuinely care about their customers. They also need to communicate appreciation and that loyalty will ultimately be rewarded.
A customer loyalty program is a marketing approach many businesses use to reward customers who purchase or engage with their brand on a frequent and recurring basis. In fact, Forbes.com also reports that as many as 90% of companies have some type of loyalty program in place and that 75% of consumers say they are likely to make another purchase after receiving an incentive. Some examples of the benefits offered by such a program include free merchandise, discounted services, rewards and coupons.
While you may be wary at first at the prospect of giving away complimentary or discounted services, remember that loyalty programs come with a multitude of benefits for your pest control company. According to Salesforce, members of customer loyalty programs typically spend up to 18% more than other customers. It is also more cost-effective for businesses to retain happy customers than it is to acquire new ones. Happy, repeat customers are also excellent brand ambassadors, helping you to reach new prospects through recommendations to friends who are looking for a reliable pest control partner and positive online reviews. And we know through 2021 consumer research commissioned by the Professional Pest Management Alliance that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways people make decisions about purchasing pest control services.
A loyalty program will also help with customer retention. Today’s customers are more likely to purchase from a company that they believe has similarly shared values or one that they have had a positive experience with over a company that simply offers the lowest price.
While a loyalty program will help you retain customers, it can also serve as an enticing benefit for new prospects. If you are trying to attract a new customer that will sign up for recurring routine service, a loyalty program that offers a discount on every fourth quarterly visit can appeal to and attract committed customers.
READY TO LAUNCH
Launching a customer loyalty program may at first seem like a daunting task, but rest assured that you are not alone. In fact, Entrepeneur.com reports nearly seven in 10 out of all small businesses (66%) don’t have one in place; however, there are simple and easy ways to get started.
While your mind may immediately go to those “buy nine get the tenth free” frozen yogurt punch cards when you think of loyalty programs, it is actually quite possible to implement and track your loyalty program in a more sophisticated way through most digital payment processing systems. They often have the ability to create a digital rewards program that will apply loyalty points to an account for each purchase made. Contacting your current payment processing partner to learn more is a great place to start when launching your loyalty program.
ENHANCE YOUR LOYALTY PROGRAM WITH DIGITAL
In this day and age, it is imperative that your loyalty program has a digital component. Email marketing is an excellent way for small businesses to contact their customers about their loyalty program rewards. According to HubSpot.com, 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. You can implement an email campaign by sending a message to loyalty program members at the start of peak pest season to remind them to schedule their next treatment and offer a small discount if they schedule within the next 72 hours. Additionally, you can send reminder emails to customers when they have points or a reward to use.
SPREADING THE NEWS
Once your loyalty program is up and running, it is time to share the exciting news with your pest control customers. To start, ensure all your employees, from customer service reps to technicians, are briefed on the loyalty program and its benefits so they can encourage customers to join during their regular pest inspections and treatments. Be sure your website is up-to-date by adding a page detailing the new loyalty program and encouraging customers to call and ask how to sign up. As mentioned above, email marketing is a great way to reach your audience. Set up an email campaign to announce the new program and detail how customers can get started and begin accruing rewards. And of course, post the news on social media. Your engaged customers can share your post with friends in their networks for that excellent word-of-mouth marketing.
While loyalty programs are a tried-and-true way to cost effectively attract and retain customers by offering benefits in return for their purchases, it is important to remember that nothing beats top-notch customer service and effective treatments. Be sure your company’s loyalty program is complimented by exceptional service as satisfied customers will be more inclined to sign up for the loyalty program and encourage their friends to do so as well. Implementing a loyalty program model will certainly require some work to get started, but your business will reap the benefits in time.