Customer Retention Programs – Secrets to a Success

Your best prospective customers are the ones you already have. Customer retention programs can greatly assist your efforts to turn these existing customers into repeat and return customers.

One of the Best Customer Retention Programs

One of my favorite customer retention programs is Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards program.

I already love Southwest because of their great customer service and they are a family-friendly way to travel. However, their customer loyalty program stands out of the crowd.

Most airlines have a fairly standard (and boring) frequent flyer program. Southwest, in contrast, has some rather game-like tiers and rewards that encourage flying frequently.

At each new level in their Rapid Rewards program, you are entitled to more benefits and incentives. This tops out with a free “companion pass” where a friend can fly with you on any flight at no cost to you.

Here are some tips when you are looking at customer retention programs for your business.

Encourage Frequent Use of Your Service

Southwest has time limits on when you must fly the required number of flights to achieve the next level in their program. This encourages frequent reuse of their service.

How can you encourage your customers to purchase from you regularly?

Pile on the Rewards

With each level in their Rapid Rewards program, Southwest stacks on the extra benefits and rewards. To make a tiered loyalty program work, you’ll need to make sure each level really does have significantly more benefits than the previous one. Otherwise, customers will see no point in climbing the reward ladder.

Make it Fun

Southwest understands that most frequent travelers are likely business travelers. The premium reward at the top of the program is a companion pass. Southwest presents this in an non-business light and focuses on the benefits of travelling with a friend or family member. Surely after so much business travel, you look forward to a fun getaway to relax.

Your customers may be repeat buyers because of non-fun reasons: business, maintenance, routine, etc. Consider how your retention program can give rewards that reward the person in an exciting way.

Honor the Best

Your most loyal customers deserve to be treated specially. For example, let them go to the front of the line or have direct access to support.

Craft Your Customer Retention Program

Take the principles above and look for what best fits your customers. By offering one of the most attractive customer retention programs to your customers, you’ll continue to drive loyal, repeat business.

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  • Saurabh Khetrapal

    ‘you’ll need to make sure each level really does have significantly more benefits than the previous one.”

    This seems like such a simple concept, yet so many companies fail to do it right. Your best customers want real rewards, not just an extra 10% off coupon every once in a while. These customers deserve to be treated as exceptional.

    • Joe Rawlinson

      @Saurabh – your best customers definitely deserve to be treated as exceptional. Thanks for highlighting that point.