One of the best ways to improve your business is to offer your customers something free. If you look online at any of the email lists you’ve likely up for, they’ve probably offered you a free e-book or another item. Why? Because customers like to feel important and they just like getting free stuff. Many stores have taken advantage of this by implementing rewards or loyalty programs.

The first thing you should consider is whether a loyalty program will work for your business.

Loyalty programs can be beneficial for most businesses for a few reasons:

  • Retaining customers through a loyalty program can increase your revenue
  • It’s cheaper to retain a current client than find a new one. In fact, just increasing your retention rate can increase your bottom line by more than 90 percent (source).
  • A loyalty program can help you get ahead of the competition. Customers who have rewards with your studio or more likely to keep using you rather than switching to a new place where they have no history.

Unless your business is very small, you’ll likely benefit from implementing some type of loyalty system. And even then, smaller businesses could grow if they successfully implement this type of strategy.

There are a few ways you can utilize this service in your Yoga studio, depending on how your business operates.

Punch Card: Likely the easiest option, the punch card lets clients earn a stamp or hole punch every time they attend a class. Once they earn enough, they get a reward (like a free class session). If you go this route, you can easily order punch cards from an online retailer with your logo on them. It’s standard to require 10 to 15 stamps per reward.

Points: A point system is a little more difficult to implement and works better with larger businesses that have a system in place to track points. Major retailers often link points to a card that customers scan when they make a purchase. You could also use an app and allow customers to earn points with social media check-ins, sharing your content and coming to class.

Special rates: Another alternative that works for many businesses is to offer a renewal rate or renewal gift for people who opt to continue their services once their current plan expires.

Once you’ve decided which type of program will work best for your studio, you will need to put a plan in place to ensure that the program is beneficial to you and your clients.  If you don’t pay special attention to this program or slack in updating rewards and offers, you will miss out on potential revenue and returning clients.

A few things to remember once you have decided on the type of loyalty program that you want to use:

Choose your rewards wisely: You’ll need to figure out an offer that incentivizes clients to keep working with you and doesn’t put too much strain on the finances of your business. Only you can decide which type of reward will work best for your situation. But, do offer something customers want and something you can afford to give them.

Have rules: All rewards programs have rules that outline behaviors that are acceptable and those that aren’t. You should also outline (clearly) how customers earn the rewards and what type of things would forfeit someone from using any earned rewards (like sharing their punch card with a friend). Make sure your employees know the rules and that any customer who participates knows them too.

Advertise: A loyalty program will only work if you put a little effort into making sure current and potential clients know about the program. You can even use the program to encourage former clients and customers to come back. If you have any staff, make sure they offer the program to everyone who qualifies.

Track your program: Like a good advertising campaign, you need to track participation in the loyalty program. Do people use it? How often do they redeem their rewards? Is the usage rate higher or lower than you expected? Are you losing money or is this system profitable? Using a program to help you track the numbers will simplify your life a lot!

Do some research:  Check out other Yoga studios or businesses with similar services in your area. What type of reward program are they using? Does it work for them? Understanding your competition will help you build a better program for your clients.

As you research, implement and monitor your new loyalty program, don’t be afraid to make changes as needed. Proper maintenance will ensure both you and your customer benefit from this program.

Ashley Remstad

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