I have a friend who has been involved in the hospitality industry for over 35 years in the US of A.
He now owns his own restaurant, and holds a customer appreciation day at least once (and sometimes twice) a year.
For the past 3 years he has been capturing almost everyone's name and contact details when they dine at the restaurant, and then holds a draw once a year to fill the restaurant for a special breakfast with patrons who have returned more than twice.
Giving them a free breakfast, and drinks, he also takes photos that then go up on his wall behind the cash register to show other customers what they might enjoy if they return more than twice.
Plus, he also hires the local radio station to record very short interviews with these people and uses their audio in his radio commercials.
He swears that this idea works in keeping return business - because people never want to miss out on the fun, or a free meal, and he recommends that this simple idea could work for every business.
You could do a BBQ or hold a formal dinner, something small, or large - it doesn't matter.
It's just showing appreciation for your customers for keeping you in business.
He says it doesn't have to be a one off day either; his local community is flush with store VIP/loyalty cards, and stamp/save cards.
Here is his list of other businesses he thinks that this idea would work for:
1. Petrol stations – offering discount petrol prices and special offers of food or drink.
2. His local Bank – offers free cookies, candies, coffee, special free deals on children’s savings accounts, deal-of-the-day bank specials.
3. Bike shops (both push and motor) – offer free bike accessories with purchase.
4. Golf courses – offering discounted and free green fees
5. Bowling alleys – offering 6 free games for groups over 10 people.
6. Pizza shops – offering pizza at a discount or 2-for-1 deals on the days that they are slow.
7. Mechanics – offering 25%-50% discounts on oil changes or every 5th oil change is free.
8. Amusement parks – offer 30% discounts on a family day.
9. Any business - a lucky shopper of the week, drawn at random anytime there is a transaction.
10. Plus…many, many more!
Have you thought about offering a loyalty or reward system to your customers?
Or about joining a rewards program like the 97.3 Coast Card which covers not only your current customers, but also those who may not use your business? Then contact us at our office on (08) 9581 2666 and ask about becoming a Coast Card Business.
By thinking about it creatively, and tying it in with existing advertising and promotions. By letting people know about this through your advertising, you could grow your customers into loyal, regular customers.
Would you like to add to the conversation? Please do so below.
Until next time... Keep on Selling.