Franchise Success Through Loyalty Clubs
As a franchise owner, your number one goal is to continue to have money coming in to grow your bottom line. The longer you are in business, the more quickly you will realize that it is far easier to keep a current customer than to try to gain a new one. While both are important strategies, one way to keep a customer coming back to your store is to offer a loyalty card or loyalty club they can join.
These loyalty cards offer the recipient some sort of benefit for using the card. They rarely cost the customer anything, but the rewards for repeat use are considered very valuable. For instance, one popular sandwich and bagel company, Einstein Bros Bagels, offers an online club that is free to join. Those who choose to join will receive exclusive discounts and offers throughout the year, including something for free on their birthday. The franchise benefits because the customer is constantly receiving marketing through email, and that marketing is actually something that the customer requested. Because of this, the customer is far more likely to view and read these emails than something that came unsolicited.
Setting up a loyalty club can be as simple as creating an online mailing list or offering a punch card for a discounted future purchase. Simply having that incentive will increase the likelihood that the customer will choose your location over your competition.
Coupons are another way to draw repeat franchise business from your existing customers. If you conclude a customer’s visit to your location with a great coupon, you will greatly increase the odds that they will return to your location to use the coupon in the future. After all, why would they visit your competitor when a trip to your location is going to be cheaper with the coupon they hold?
Each of these options is very cost effective and can turn a first-time customer into a repeat customer time and time again. They will also improve customer satisfaction with your business, since everyone is happy when they are saving money. Because of this, the savvy entrepreneur is going to invest some time in creating a coupon program or loyalty club that will appeal to his typical guest. While it will not replace the need to look for new customers, these programs will help you improve your income with just the customers you already have.