For my 21st Birthday my parents bought me a car – and with it an already sorted insurance policy all I had to do was sign and pay. It was with the AA and I trusted that my Dad had got me the best deal. For many years I was happy with the AA – I had a full time job, lived at home, had a disposable income and was living the high life – every time the renewal forms fell on the floor I just signed and returned. Then my lovely Corsa that I’d owned from new passed away it was a sad day and this time I had a family and I didn’t really want to buy a new car so I bought an old Fiesta. I was shocked how much more this car was per month to insure but I was mid way through a policy so left it at that. When the renewal forms came I realised that it was a LOT more than what I had been paying with the Corsa. I did a comparison online which highlighted a really good deal from the AA for £200 less than what the AA had sent me. I called them with the reference number and they honoured the price online – happy days. This happened again the year after, but this time they reduced the price it wasn’t the cheapest online but they did give me free breakdown cover for a year. After selling Networking Mummies in December last year and spending 9 months struggling to get all 5 of us in the Fiesta we decided to upgrade to a newer car. I had been with the AA since 2001 so when my renewal documents arrived on my doorstep in excess of £600 for the year I was slightly flabbergasted!!
Comparison sites were showing prices from £200 – so again I called the AA who said they could bring it down to £400 but that was it. It was hard choice to make as I’d been a customer for 11 years and I trusted the AA but I just couldn’t pay double what other people were charging for the same policy so I closed my account. Now what happened next is truly the worst form of customer loyalty EVER! The pleasant lady on the end of the phone said “I hope you will come and join us again next year we give great discounts to new customers“. WHAT!!!! I’d been with the AA for 11 years – 11 years – that’s nearly 6 years older than my son!!! Only Daddy Moo has been in my life longer than the AA!!
The AA obviously view me as a small fish in a big pond BUT I really believe that customers who regularly use your services/buy your products or recommend you to others should be rewarded. We all know word of mouth is the best form of marketing so are you utilising it to it’s full potential?
Ways in which you can reward customer loyalty :
- Block Bookings : Encouraging your customers to book in advance with a discount for doing so is a popular way to reward regular customers. Perfect for fitness classes and therapists. I pay Create a yearly fee for Charlie Moo’s meaning I pay 10 months instead of 12 monthly payments.
- Loyalty Cards : Rewarding your customer when they have collected x amount of stamps. Used in retail premises, soft play and coffee shops. Little Pickles Markets chooses a 4 stamps 5th time free system but you could have more. Many coffee shops will do 10 stamps with a half way point offering half price after 5 stamps and free coffee after 10.
- Exclusive Offers : Providing an offer just for your customers. Samantha Prewett Photography offers exclusive mini bluebell and Christmas themed photo sessions to past clients only.
- Clubcards : Tesco, Nectar, Boots etc …. customers clock up points with you which they can cash in for rewards.
- Repeat Customers : C Y Wild Photography offers 20% off to returning customers.
- Sharing the loyalty : “I give my customers 10% off when they book again and their friends 5% if they have been recommended,” Jennie – CleverCow Cakes
- Affiliate Schemes : The big ones include Awin and Amazon. Whereby you use your website or social media to display banner adverts or links to products and you earn a small commission on sales made in a specific time period after the initial click.
If you have any other customer loyalty schemes please do leave us a comment below.