Customer loyalty can be worth up to 10 times as much as a single purchase, according to the Office of Consumer Affairs. Every first time customer that engages with your business has the potential to be a loyal customer. By providing an incredible customer service experience you are more likely to have a happy customer, but how can you turn a happy customer into a loyal one?
People looking at you on Yelp are there to find a great local business. They might even share their experience with others. In addition to writing reviews, users can upload photos or even check-in and announce being at your business to their friends online. By finding unique ways to encourage engagement, you can amplify word of mouth and reach even more potential customers. Here are a few ideas of how to start encouraging that engagement in your own business and turning first time customers into loyal fans and repeat customers.
You Could Run a Photo Upload Contest
Consumers are visual. On Yelp that means scrolling through photos. Looking at the type of experience you will get. As a business owner you can add unlimited photos to your Yelp page, but a photo upload contest can be a fun way to engage your customers to do the same.
The best kind of images on Yelp are ones that show your business, your staff, and the goods or services that you provide. They’re also the images that have captions. Make sure that when you host a photo upload contest with your customers you create ‘contest parameters’ that help your cause. When creating your contest be sure to check out the FTC guidelines and FAQ about contests.
You might be thinking, “FTC…FAQ? “ Yes, there are even rules to follow when you’re thinking about running contests for your business. You want to make sure you don’t end up in hot water by violating the FTC guidelines or the terms of service of the site you’re running the contest on. When in doubt, you can always ask your lawyer. Once you get the green light, sit back and enjoy the images your customers add to your business page.
Photos can also help you get to know your customers better. They could upload photos with an employee that served or helped them, take fun poses in front of your unique decor, or share their favorite item, dish or service. Regardless of the direction you go in, have fun and make sure you’re following all your local, state, and federal rules around contests.
Create a Consumer Loyalty Program Using Check-Ins
Create a Check-In Offer: Check-In Offers are a great way to connect with your customers in person. In order to check into a business, the Yelp user needs to be at that business. Once they check-in, your offer is displayed and they will present that offer to an employee for redemption. This is a great opportunity to check on their experience and create a quality connection that can lead to repeat business.
Take Your Check-In Offer To The Next Level: Once you create a Check-In Offer, promote it throughout your business to encourage those check-ins. Yelp will display your offer to anyone looking at your business page, but you can let every customer who comes to your business know about the offer too.
Create table-tents or signage to display the offer around your business. Train your staff on the offer and ways they can communicate it to the customers they engage with. By mentioning the offer they can bring attention to the Yelp page and encourage customers to open the Yelp app and check in at your business.
When a customer checks in on Yelp they can share that check-in with their network on Yelp and Twitter, which can encourage new visitors and reward loyal customers.
Turn Your Check-In Offer Into A Loyalty Program: Maybe you already have a customer loyalty program, or have run one for a special occasion at your business in the past. By using Check-In Offers to track customer visits you can help encourage those check-ins to happen more frequently.
Think of unique loyalty perks you may want to offer a repeat customer. Then map out the frequency of visits that makes sense for your business. If you’re a restaurant maybe you want to see that customer for dinner again within a month. If you’re a yoga studio maybe you want to encourage customers to attend 3 classes a week for a month. Every business is different but running fun loyalty programs can encourage repeat business and more loyal customers.
Displaying the Yelp logo in your email signatures, on electronic receipts, on business cards or on company vehicles is another great way to let people know you pay attention to Yelp. You can view and download all of the approved Yelp logos by visiting yelp.com/brand. You can even request a free Find Us On Yelp sticker. We’ll send it out to your business.
There are so many actions a consumer can take on Yelp beyond reviewing a business. Start encouraging some of those engagements from your customers by utilizing Yelp tools and continuing to promote your business page whenever you can. Loyal customers are valuable. By creating connections and encouraging engagement you strengthen their bond with your business and create a loyal customer and fan.