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Having regular customers, faces you see every day, makes work more fun (and rewarding). And it’s also good for business. For example, a study by Bain & Company found that repeat customers in the apparel industry spend roughly 67 percent more than first-time customers. And over their lifetime, loyal customers are worth 10 times as much as their first purchase, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. So it’s definitely worth finding ways to keep people coming back in.
One way to do that is by making your regulars feel special. Here are a few ways to create a special experience for people who frequent your business.
1. Keep their card on file.
With Square’s new Card on File feature, you can just say “the usual?” — and with their permission — securely charge a regular’s order to their card on file. This allows you to spend more time connecting with the customer and less time processing their payment. For San Francisco-based Corridor Cafe (part of the Hi Neighbor Group), 10% of business comes from regulars who pay with their card on file.
Ryan Cole, one of the Group’s partners says, “Card on File enables Hi Neighbor guests, especially our regulars, the convenience of having house accounts at each of our outlets, so transactions are quick and seamless.”
2. Start a loyalty program.
Reward your loyal customers with perks. A loyalty program is the easiest way to do this. Square Loyalty is a punch-card program that automatically tracks and rewards customers based on how many times they’ve come in and bought something. You can select how often you want to reward your customers (by the number of punches) and what they’ll get as a reward — a percentage or dollar amount off, or a free item.
Customer loyalty programs are particularly attractive to millennial consumers. In data released by Bond Brand Loyalty, 68 percent of 20- to 34-year-olds said they would change where they shopped if it meant getting more rewards.
3. Invite them to exclusive events.
Everyone loves to feel like they’re part of the VIP set. So when your business is having an event, make sure you extend the invite to your loyal customers. You might even host a special event just for your regulars — a holiday party, or the opportunity to taste new menu items, for example. It’s easy to send a message to your repeat customers in Square Email Marketing. The tool automatically segments your customers into lists: loyal, casual, and lapsed — so you can easily target the right audience with your message.
Your regular customers are part of your community. They’re also crucial to the success of your business, so give them the A-list treatment.