Confession: I am so ridiculously loyal to my airline's rewards program that I will manipulate my travel schedule just to make sure I earn max points, to qualify for more benefits. I have heard of people booking an end-of-year flight going anywhere that gives them maximum miles, just to ensure that they receive the next tier level on their rewards program.
Statistics on loyalty programs show that the typical household enrolls in approximately 18 different rewards programs. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, pharmacies and even luxury spas use the power of rewards for repeat business. Adding a loyalty program to your rental business makes sense as more and more customers have come to expect appreciation for their continued business.
Here are some ideas for reward programs to boost your rental business:
- Customer surveys. Learn more about what your customers care about by sending a survey that upon completion will offer them a discount on the next rental. Use this information to design the rest of your rewards program. Remember, your goal is to change the customer’s behavior, so make sure you know what motivates them.
- Punch card. Offer a card that receives one punch for every visit. A benefit could consist of a “rent X times, get next rental for free” offer or you could assign a dollar amount to each punch that customers can apply to their rental invoice.
- Point system. Like the punch card method, your visitors earn points for each rental transaction — either based on how often they rent or the dollars spent. When they achieve some points, they can get a reward such as free delivery, or a discount percentage.
- Earn higher levels system. Classify your customers into three tiers (Gold, Silver, Bronze) with different rewards for each. After the customer earns points based on their level of activity or reaches a particular dollar amount, they jump up to the next category for more rewards.
- Gift Cards. Purchase gift cards from local businesses that may be appealing to your clients. Reward them for renting large items from your stock or use some other criteria.
- Customer Appreciation Event. Once a year host a customer appreciation event for your best customers. Provide an excellent opportunity to network and “cement” the relationship with your biggest contractors
- Birthday/anniversary promotion. Keep in touch with your clients by sending them a card celebrating their birthday or anniversary with a special offer.
- New customers emails. All new clients will receive a follow-up thank you with a discount on their next rental. Add tips such as “Is it time to pressure wash” to give added value.
Amplify your rewards program by posting through email and social media regularly to help build momentum and get some attention for your rental store.
Keep in mind that the simpler the rewards program, with fewer rules, attracts the best engagement. We have all received a discount coupon from a company that has so many restrictions on it that the offer becomes less valuable. For example, I received a 30% offer from a retail chain, but it was not good for any name brand merchandise, so it was pretty useless. Moreover, BEWARE: you can damage your brand by making your offer look better than it is, and even worse, by not delivering what you promised.
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