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Businesses small and large have used customer loyalty programs for years to keep customers coming back. Customers love being rewarded, and business owners love the returning business. All business, regardless of size or business type, should use rewards and incentives to attract and obtain customers.

According to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor, which is an ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that focuses on how they are using media and adapting new technologies, use of customer loyalty programs by small businesses to deliver special offers and rewards for frequent customers remains steady. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed reported that they currently offer a customer loyalty program, and an additional 21 percent indicated that they will likely add such a program in the next year. Those figures held steady from the 2012 survey.

Customer rewards do not have to be large or costly. For example, a salon may offer a free haircut for so many referrals or visits. A computer shop may offer a free defragmentation or USB drive after referrals.  Others may simply give customers coupons with a significant percentage off their next purchase. Whatever you use, it should suit your business and your customers.

Before settling on a specific customer loyalty plan, be sure to contact your merchant account processor. Many can help guide you to the right loyalty program for your business, as they deal with various types of businesses on a daily basis, and can gauge what works, and does not work, for them. Many processors can also help you out with obtaining loyalty cards for your customers. These loyalty cards can be fully customized to represent your business and loyalty program.

Loyalty cards not only help keep established customers coming back and attract new customers, but they help maximize the opportunities to increase revenue. Because you can custom design them to include your company logo and other branding, loyalty cards become part your overall marketing program to enhance your business’s credibility, visibility and brand. In addition, loyalty cardholders tend to shop with you more often so they can rack up more rewards, which help them and you. Be sure to research various types of loyalty rewards, as not all rewards work for all businesses.

 

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