Weekend Special – Encouraging Customer Loyalty

Posted on the 05 September 2011 by Onqmarketing @onqmarketing

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After a stern talking to (by myself) last week for publishing the weekend post on a Monday, here it is nice and early on a Friday afternoon (Melbourne time). Hope the ideas, links and suggested posts help you at some stage. Please, anyone let me know if you’re sick of seeing this poor girl on the beach with her phone..That’s four weeks in a row now but I think I like her…   IF ONLY I read an article during the week titled ‘Use Social Media to Retain Customers‘ by Jamie Yap and published on ZDNet.  I almost put it into this post as a recommendation to read but wanted to take the idea further. I recently attended a very small retail forum, where a handful of retailers and marketing co-ordinators discussed the state of the industry in Melbourne. Besides a clear request for local councils to improve amenities, the key message was that there is no customer loyalty anymore. The notion was that customers are more worried about price. Yes, price has become a key determinant in a customer’s value equation, after all the state of the economy, the constant discounting by the big department stores, and obviously the rapid rise of group buying sites has pushed us that way. The thing is, it has to be about providing value and this does not mean price and price alone. The customer will see value in customer service, finding information when they want, where they want it, and they will find value in sharing their experience with others. Social Media, often overlooked by the small retailer is one way where value can be provided to the retail customer and this value will encourage loyalty. Where would a small retailer start in social media….Here’s a few ideas: Get on Facebook (Page not Group) and promote it instore, have it printed on your shopping bags, have a link from your website and start an initial advertising campaign to spread the word. Publish photos, general info including trading hours and more. Post once a day or a few times a week. Remember you want to provide value so answer any questions promptly (good or bad), provide exclusive specials for your Facebook ‘Likes’, run competitions and more. If you don’t think that your customers will engage on Facebook then try a Twitter account. Start following everyone in your local area to build up a network and start tweeting exclusive specials (if they mention Twitter), start communicating with people and again promote it instore and via your website. Foursquare is a simple activity even for the smallest retailer and it is specifically designed to encourage loyalty. Claim your venue and encourage your customers to check-in, communicate this instore, via your website, via your Facebook page and even on your front window. Then start introducing specials. Specials can be a discount or free product for either a 10th check-in or let’s even reward the Mayor of your venue (that’s person with most check-ins) I think that...

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