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Five ways to increase customer loyalty by using gift cards

August 13, 2014 9:23 pm by Bronwyn Watt

Contrary to popular belief, the success of a business doesn’t boil down to great marketing, a superior product or even awesome staff. While these are all crucial in ensuring that your business flourishes, the one thing that differentiates successful businesses from their mediocre counterparts is happy customers. If you’re able to continually delight your clients, they’ll want to support you. If you’re looking for a way to increase your customer loyalty, read on. We’ve compiled a list of five ways that using a gift card can elevate your patrons’ satisfaction – turning once-off clients into loyal customers.

1. Widen your offering by incentivising customers by partnering with a complementary business.

Be smart about how you use gift cards. Consider collaborating with a business whose products or services complement your own. For example, if you’re a yoga studio, you may want to partner with a health shop. That way, all three parties benefit – your customers are able to claim discounts at both stores via a joint gift card, while you and your partner business are able to garner increased sales.

2. Adopt a seasonal approach to your gift card promotions

It is human nature to look towards the future – which means that in the dead of winter, we’re all dreaming of sun-soaked days spent beside the sea. Offer different gift card promotions that are in line with the seasons or widely anticipated events like public holidays. Sorbet – a nationwide franchise of beauty salons – recently ran a promotion that entitled their gift card holders to 25% off a Brazilian Wax for the duration of the World Cup. Their innovative approach is a great example of how gift cards can increase customer loyalty.

3. Load discounts onto a gift card so that customers will need to visit your store.

Gift cards that come with discounts that are only redeemable in-store are not only a powerful way to get clients through the door. They also provide them will something of value, which facilitates customer loyalty. Everyone loves a special offer or discount – you may want to consider rewarding customers who redeem their discounts on purchases over a certain amount with an additional special offer that can be claimed on their next purchase.

4. Give gift cards as a token of appreciation, or in response to customer complaints.

Position your business as a company that values customer loyalty by giving them gift cards as birthday gifts, for example, or as a response to a customer complaint. Acknowledging your customers is the first step to facilitating their loyalty. Brands that are able to make their customers feel valued, noticed and appreciated are rewarded by customer loyalty – which translates into increased sales and brand endorsement.

5. Build excitement around your gift cards by incorporating them into your social media campaigns.

Let new and existing customers know about your gift cards and how they can benefit from them via social media. What’s more, you’ll be able to increase you brand exposure too. Make sure that you’re adequately managing your social media feeds – few things are more damaging than a brand that doesn’t respond to a mention, like or re-tweet. You might want to run a competition via social media where people who retweet you are rewarded with a gift card.

Image credit: SterlingWebCommerce

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