One of my favourite memories growing up was first job. I was 13, and living in the beautiful state of Oregon in the United States.
My first job was to pick berries. I picked blueberries, marionberries, huckleberries and strawberries with tender fingers while the sun rose each summer. My favourite were the raspberries. As the sun rose slowly over the hills in the distance, the fruit would warm, and send sweet, sweet fragrance across the farm plains. It was simply magical.
I suppose the reason I enjoyed picking raspberries over the other berries was that they, in the berry world, were a bit of a challenge.
The ripeness of a berry was crucial as over ripe raspberries would turn to mush in your fingers and not yet ripe berries were unsaleable. But there was more to it than just seeing the right colour on the berry. There were a couple tricks to take the berry off the stem too.
For instance, when removing the berry from the stem, your fingers have to be strong enough to caress the berry off the conical stem, but not too aggressive as to squish the berry between your fingers. Your arms have to be tough to navigate the thorn ridden stems of the bush, and nimble to weave as quickly as can be.
As I would collect berries one by one, I would place them into a bucket I tied around my waist. But I noticed quickly that the heavier the berry laden bucket was, the more “raspberry jam” I found at the bottom of the bucket during counting but too few berried in the bucket made me run back and forth from the farmhouse much too often.
Picking raspberries was a very careful balancing act.
I believe that this is exactly the approach that we need to make with customer loyalty
Get up early
Early adopters are known to jump onto new ideas, processes and habits before the rest of society follows. Seize this niche market by doing it first. “It” can be a new concept with how points are used, redeemable products, or even communication channels. Is everyone in your industry offering silver/gold cards? Go blue! Or purple! Is the communication always via sms? Use Facebook or Twitter. Trying something new in your industry will take a little effort. It will require extra creativity. But the market it there- ready to jump on board.
Give them a strong reason to choose you over
your competition (get them off the stem!)
Positivity works! (Don’t squeeze the berry!)
Reward positive actions. Most programmes allow points to be allocated based on either visits or value. Choose the results you want to see before implementation to ensure that you are getting the most positive action for your business.
Be tough and ready to change direction (Weave around those thorns!)
Getting loyalty to bring in heaps of cash is a learning experience. Some things work well, others don’t. Each industry has their own niche of cliched loyalty programme offerings that are not exciting anymore. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches, testing along the way to success.
More does not bring more money (Focus on the berries worth saving!)
You can’t win everyone. Studies show that 20% of your efforts bring in 80% of your results. Focus on the results that are coming in, and navigate accordingly.By pinpointing your loyalty marketing, you can secure better business, instead of just more clients. Afterall, isn’t the focus to bring in more money and higher ROI?
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