As we outlined in the first segment of this two-part series, customer engagement is a key ingredient to building a sustainable business. Repeat customers are your most valuable fans, even when they’re just spending $5.35 on a coffee and bagel each day. The $5.35 guy, as we call him, is worth much more than just a few bucks: his loyalty leads to word-of-mouth recommendations; regular, dependable revenue; and the opportunity to increase sales on other items or meals.
In Part I, we covered how to build a following from your existing customer base using the Customers and Promos tools in the Customer Engagement Suite, a free tool to help Clover merchants connect more deeply with their community. But once you have an audience, how do you keep them engaged?
It feels good to support a business you feel you have a connection to, and one you feel listens to you as well. The Customer Engagement Suite comes with two features that support dialogue: Feedback and Rewards. Here’s how to use these tools to enrich customer relationships and boost engagement.
Open a dialogue with Feedback
Customer feedback can help identify and resolve issues, learn what people love—or don’t—about your products or services, and navigate your way to higher customer satisfaction, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis. Clover Feedback is a simple and effective way to let your customers communicate directly with you—it’s a private channel for one-to-one conversations directly through your point of sale system. Feedback lets you hear a customer’s input, respond to complaints, and correct errors before any negative reviews appear online.
Typically, only confirmed buyers are able to send you feedback. At the point of purchase, a code at the bottom of the customer’s digital receipt invites them to provide feedback.
As you adjust your operations and health & safety practices in the wake of COVID-19, take advantage of Feedback to uncover what’s working for your clientele—and what isn’t. Maybe curbside pickup isn’t running as smoothly as you would like. Or maybe customers are frustrated that products are selling out online but are still showing as available on your e-commerce site. Use Feedback to learn if your COVID-19 sanitation methods are being followed, or to find out if a new menu item is a hit or a miss.
Customers, especially high-value VIPs, can actually tell you a lot about your business and offer ideas to expand and boost sales. Don’t be shy about asking for input: our data shows that the overwhelming majority of feedback sent to Clover merchants has been positive or neutral. And, when customers know you value their opinion, they’re more likely to stay engaged.
Encourage repeat business with Rewards
Data shows that rewards work: customers who participate in loyalty programs spend 60% more per transaction, purchase 90% more often, and are 5 times more likely to choose that brand in the future. Nearly 70% of customers will shop at a retailer based on what they can receive from their rewards program.
Clover Rewards is a simple and effective tool for merchants to create great loyalty programs. The shining star of our Customer Engagement Suite, Rewards offers a way to customize the perks and freebies using several variables. Some businesses model their rewards based on the number of purchases: “buy 10 cups of coffee and get one free.” Others may have lower purchase frequency but higher or variable value, making it more logical to base loyalty on the amount of money spent: “spend $250 and get a voucher for $25 off your next visit.”
Customers can earn points based on the purchase amount or qualifying inventory items. This means merchants have a number of options for customizing a loyalty program that suits their business. There are three main types of loyalty programs that have proven to work: frequency-based, points, and cash back. Our Customer Engagement suite offers two types of loyalty programs: punch cards and points. Test out different approaches to see what works best with different kinds of people.
With Clover Rewards, customers can earn points in three different ways:
- Print SMS codes for customers with eligible purchase
- Ask customers to download the Clover app (iOS or Android) and check in
- Allow self check-in on your customer-facing Mini—via SMS or email
The key to these programs is to reward the type of customer engagement that leads to meaningful business results. For instance, boba tea shops like to use SMS receipt codes so their customers can claim their points while they’re waiting for their drinks. Coffee shops are telling us their baristas earn up to 20% more tips with the autopay feature. And salons can make it super easy for their clients to protect freshly done nails with the autopay/Bluetooth beacon combo, which automatically checks a client in and gets the bill paid. Rewards are a fun way to engage and delight customers. It’s a win-win tool for everyone.
Communication is everything when it comes to customer engagement. Small businesses are the heart and soul of communities everywhere. As the economy reopens, remind customers just how special it is to patronize your business. Rewards and Feedback are two great avenues for allowing your personality to shine through customer communication and develop genuine connections with your customers.