Why Rewards Programs Bring Customers Back –

I am a major sucker for rewards programs. I have one for my groceries, movies, hotels, even beer. I just love them, and even though they pay off only in small ways, they have a major influence on who I buy with. As a consumer with seemingly endless options, it makes my choice a lot easier, giving me incentive to give regular, repeat business to companies that pay me back, even if it’s just in a tiny way.

Why do rewards work? People want to feel like they’re getting something above and beyond, an extra little perk each time they decide to do business with you. It’s not hard to understand why rewards keep customers coming back: it just feels good to know you’re valued. It’s so nice to go to the movies and know that we’ve got a few extra bucks to splurge at concessions, just for being a regular and frequent customer.

As a small business owner, it’s important to reflect on how rewards programs can have such an impact on buying decisions. Certainly not every business is in a position to offer rewards points to its customers, but every business can do something to reward their customers. For a photography business like mine, sending great clients a few free prints is a good idea. For an online retailer, including thoughtful sample products in each shipment is a fun way to make a difference. Sandwich shops have been using punch cards for years, getting lunchtime customers to come back time and time again to eventually earn their free sandwich.

Rewards and special perks offer such a great opportunity to strengthen loyalty with your customers. Give your customers a reason to appreciate what you do above and beyond what you sell; give them ownership. Remember that customers want to be recognized as special, and they want you to appreciate their business.

Whatever type of business you’re in, it’s a great idea to consider what rewards, in any form, can do for your organization. Even if you’re not developing a card-carrying points program, it’s so important to keep in mind what you can do to give back to your customers in small, frequent ways: it’s a great way to create customers for life.