Do you remember the days of the punch card? This early form of a customer loyalty program featured a simple card—usually printed on simple cardstock—that would get a new hole punch every time you purchased from the store or restaurant. Once you had made a certain number of purchases, you received a reward like a discount or a free menu item. Although most companies have now moved to online systems, the idea of the customer loyalty program is alive and well. Here is how a customer loyalty program could benefit your practice, as well as some tips for making it a success.
Why Should You Offer a Customer Loyalty Program?
In your work as a hearing healthcare professional, you have likely noticed that you have many patients who come back to see you more than once. For many companies, 80 percent of their business comes from 20 percent of their customers. This may be true in your practice as well.
While it is logical to assume that your returning patients come back to you because you provide quality care, it is never a bad idea to incentivize patient loyalty. A customer loyalty program is one way to reinforce loyalty and make your patients more excited about coming back to your practice. Engaging with your patients is key, and participating in a loyalty program is a good way to enhance engagement. One of the best things you can do to retain customers and bring in new business is to offer additional value to those who invest in your services.
How Does a Customer Loyalty Program Work?
The idea of a customer loyalty program is simple: you reward patients for each visit to your office (or each purchase from your website, if you offer e-commerce options). As mentioned above, early forms of customer loyalty programs often featured a physical punch card that customers could keep with them. Nowadays, customer loyalty programs can be easily set up online. These online programs track your patients’ purchases and visits, rewarding them periodically.
How should you reward your patients? It’s up to you! The main idea is to offer more personalization, better online experiences, and more benefits. A more personalized experience might include extra communication, whether in the form of email, text, or snail mail. Customers want to feel important, and personalized communication is a great way to help them feel special and recognized. You could also offer simple rewards, such as a discount, a gift card to a nearby coffee shop, or tickets to a movie or play.
How Can I Make My Customer Loyalty Program Successful?
There are several factors that go into a successful customer loyalty program, from the incentives you offer to the actions required to receive a reward. One of the most important factors, however, is making it simple for patients to sign up for and use your customer loyalty program. An easy way to make sure that your program is easy and streamlined is to think of the “grandma test.” Is the program easy enough to use that your grandmother could sign up for it on her own? If not, it’s time to simplify! This is especially important for audiologists, as many patients are, in fact, elderly and may not be extremely tech-savvy.
For more information about how a customer loyalty program can boost engagement and retention in your practice, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are happy to assist you.