Your preferred customer program, POS or even just your intuition should make it possible to identify those individuals who mean the most to your business.  It pays to give VIP treatment to these “regulars” whose loyalty is key to your success.

1) It seems like a simple thing, but greeting them by name is an easy way to make them feel appreciated. No one walks into a big box store expecting to be recognized! Make sure your staff also makes an effort to learn the names of those who come in often.

2) Keep in touch with them regularly. Send a thank you note after a big purchase, or let them know right away when a new shipment of merchandise has arrived.

3) Consider an exclusive shopping event or open house for your top customers, with refreshments and a goodie bag.

4) If your rewards program offers points with every purchase, you can make special shoppers feel appreciated with a double points day.

5) Send a note of appreciation that includes a gift card for the recipient as well as one for them to give to a friend, saying how much you appreciate their recommendation of your business.

6) Offer services such as complimentary gift wrapping and say that you are doing this “just for you”.

7) Ask their opinion about new products or lines, perhaps inviting them to be part of a customer council that meets occasionally for a glass of wine and refreshments.

8) Open an hour early one day during your busy season so that your top shoppers can have your staff’s undivided attention.

Any existing customer is worth cultivating, and costs less than advertising to attract a new one. But it doesn’t take complex math to see why your very best customers deserve special treatment. For other ideas for rewarding these top customers, see Lisa Ferguson’s FiveStars blog.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder