Are you seeing a pattern? Successful word-of-mouth referral programs are all about rewarding users. That means that you’ll need to get into the spirit of giving to make a referral program work.
Simply put, in order to make sure your loyal users will recommend you to family and friends, you need to incentivize them. Motivate your customers to advocate for your business by offering points, punch cards, gifts, vouchers or discounts when they bring in new customers. You should also consider providing the new customer with an incentive in order to further drive new business. This can be the same reward as offered to the referring friend, as in the cases of Uber and Airbnb, or a different reward entirely.
A customer engagement platform like Como Sense can make the entire referral and rewards program a breeze to manage with simple-to-use yet sophisticated automation. In creating your own referral program, our platform allows you to choose customized incentives for both parties, limit the number of friends a member can invite (and, thereby, limit the rewards he or she receives), and track your ROI.
Word of mouth may just be the best marketing tool that you aren’t yet using. To get started with a referral program, schedule a demo with Como today.
Please keep in mind that with Como Sense, all the methods are flexible and combinable. The examples here are based on our clients worldwide, but you can mix and match the perfect, unique solution for your business.
Points & Point Shop
• Members accumulate points for purchases, and then buy items in your app’s Point Shop.
• You define how much your points are worth and the point value of Point Shop items.
• Point Shop items may include products, menu items, and discount coupons.
• Members accumulate a cash balance for purchases, and then use it to pay in your business.
• You define the ratio of purchases to credit.
• Members can also top up their balance at a discount.
• Members can use their Wallet in your app to pay and top up.
• Members fill up a digital punch card by purchasing items and then getting one free.
• You define the items and the number for a freebie.
• You can use several punch cards for different products or customer segments.
• Your Point Shop gives you control over the discounted items you offer.
• The Point Shop is ideal real estate for special promotions.
• Well-chosen Point Shop items are valuable to your customers, motivating them to accumulate points
• Provides members with more purchasing freedom.
• Allows members to stop in to your business and shop or eat using only their phone.
• Between competing businesses, the punch card is often the deciding factor for customers to choose you.
• Easy, effective personalization: specific punch cards automatically sent to members who purchase certain products.
The Point Shop works best in businesses with a smaller variety of items:
Credit works best in businesses with a larger variety of items:
Punch Cards work best for businesses with one core product:
When you add multiple tiers to your business’ loyalty club, you have a golden opportunity to ramp up
your sales. Not only do tiers let you offer more incentives to your loyal customers—they also let you
reward customers based on how loyal they are. And if you do it right, that’s a perfect recipe for
increasing repeat business, while motivating your best customers to become strong brand advocates.
So how can you make tiers work for your business? Keep these three tips in mind:
Create a ladder of tiers
Create tiers that will encourage your customers to aim for the top by spending more per month or earning
more points. The higher the level, the better the benefits—such as exclusive discounts, special privileges, or
the ability to earn more points with every purchase.
Spread the word
Once you have a plan for dividing club members into tiers, let them know both how to move up to a higher
level and why it’s worth it. Posting flyers at your business can be a great way to encourage club members to
reach your higher tiers. You’ll want to stress the specific benefits a customer can only enjoy in the higher
tiers—and make sure to tell your customers exactly what they must do to get into each tier.
Make customer experience a key benefit
It’s not all about discounts and perks! When it comes to getting customers to climb towards your club’s
highest level, customer experience is also a powerful tool. To make your top tier feel like an exclusive club,
you can start by giving them a name that sounds impressive, or even by instructing your cashiers to
acknowledge members of this tier at the checkout counter. To make an even bigger gesture, consider
creating a separate menu or catalog just for your highest tier.
When businesses deliver relevant content, customers feel valued and important—which makes them more likely to make a purchase and stay loyal. Here are a few ways you can increase engagement and sales by giving your customers what they really want.
Offer rewards you know your customers want
Keep customers coming back to your business by enticing them with relevant rewards based on their purchase history. Got dog lovers? Offer them a punch card for their 6th bag of dog food for free. Members who placed an order for a kids’ meal can get a push notification with double points for kids’ meals on a certain night of the week. Send an SMS with a coupon code for a facial to members who haven’t enjoyed a facial at your spa in more than two months.
Personalize your app’s content
Customers are more likely to open your app and stay engaged when the content inside speaks to their interests. Grab their attention right from the welcome screen with a message that’s crafted based on customers’ transaction history. For example, customers who recently purchased a pack of diapers will see a welcome screen that announces a one-day sale on baby products. Link the welcome message directly to a custom catalog of baby products on sale. You can even follow up with a survey asking customers how satisfied they are with the particular products they bought.
Offer rewards that show you care
The best place to get to know your customers right from the get-go is your registration form. Collect information about their birthdays, anniversaries, interests, and any other details that can help you tailor your rewards program based on members’ profiles (but be sure to keep the form short!). For example, show members you’re thinking of them on their birthday by sending a “happy birthday” SMS and inviting them to stop by for coffee and a free dessert. If you’re a grocery chain, let all your vegetarian members be the first to know when there’s a special coupon for almond milk.
Put your employees in the race!
Employees are the key to promoting your loyalty program, so it’s important to keep them motivated—and competitions are proven to work. Tell them that the employee who enrolls the most customers will get a prize. You can even have competitions between your business’s locations.
Splash your club around your business
Your business is full of free real estate where you can display flyers and posters with your app’s QR code and a taste of your rewards. Start at your POS, but be creative! Try menus, placemats, sale signs, TV screens—and employee t-shirts that say “Ask me about our rewards!”
Make your joining gift irresistible
Customers love joining gifts because they get their first reward right away! You can offer anything from free points to a discount on first purchase to a free product. Try setting up automations that send the reward and a push notification, and even tag the new member (such as VIP or student), so you’ll always be able to send personalized incentives and rewards in the future.
The one you choose depends on giving true value to customers while increasing sales for you. Especially with Como Sense, the various methods are flexible and combinable to make the perfect solution for your business.
Set up a Point Shop
Points are the most common loyalty feature. You can set up a Point Shop in your mobile app where you decide what products to offer and for how many points. One big advantage is that you have better control of what items your members can purchase with their points. Point Shops work best for restaurants and other stores with a comparatively limited number of items.
Credit is also a way to pay
Credit (similar to cash back) is an alternative to Points for businesses of any size, allowing customers to accumulate an actual cash balance. One strong point is that customers can top up their balance in advance and then pay with credit at your business—using only their phone. Many kinds of customers appreciate this, such as those who live nearby, or parents who want to top up their teens’ balance so they can buy something to eat after school.
Everyone loves a Punch Card
Digital punch cards are a great system for businesses that have one or two main products, such as ice cream, coffee, manicures, and oil changes. Often, it’s the punch card that makes the difference in whether customers come back to you or to your competition. A great idea is to have different punch cards for different products or customer segments.
Mix and match your way to success
With so many options to choose from, the most effective program for your business might be a carefully chosen combination. For example, you could have Points as your main feature, but also allow customers to buy credit coupons in your Point Shop. Or Credit as your main feature, combined with Punch Cards for certain customer segments or high-traffic products.