A loyalty program is such a simple thing to construct, and they work. I buy from Amazon because I get Amazon Prime – free shipping – a loyalty program. I fly with American or United because they give me priority boarding, upgrades, and other perks – a loyalty program. In the latter example, I continue to use American and United even though I am not delighted with their service or price. But the perks have more meaning to me than other options.
It is really hard to break free of loyalty programs. For years, we consolidated our hotel preference to Omni Hotels or Hilton Hotels. When you travel 100 nights a year, the perks make all the difference. We stuck with Hilton through two years of crappy hotels. This year, we sucked it up and converted to Marriott. The Marriott offers convenient locations, competitive pricing, but way better hotels than Hilton in the cities I tend to visit. My point is that switching from Hilton was really hard because of the loyalty program.
My favorite quote of the year is “A lead is a customer that someone else lost,” by Brian Boero of1000Watt Consulting. The story of listing syndication and online advertising and search engine optimization is a fool’s game if done ahead of affiliate marketing. Don’t you think that an agent or a brand should be marketing to the people that they know and have done business with before they try to convert strangers?
Don’t you always give your family and friends a good deal when they purchase services from you? Don’t you expect the same when doing business with your friends and family?
Guess what? That is a loyalty program, and I should not need to remind you that treating every customer like a friend or family member is the way to build long term trust relationships. I should also not need to remind you that repeat and referral business drives between half and three-quarters of all transactions. Top producing agents do not take on new clients unless the new client was introduced by a friend or past client. That is how the rich get richer.
Take a look at all of your marketing and communications today. Look for your loyalty program. Look for it in your advertising and listing presentations, too. If you don’t see it, make a change. Make it now. You will be glad you did.
By the way, if you are a past client of WAV Group or you know a past client of WAV Group, we are happy to extend friends and family pricing. Trust me, we do it anyway. Now is the time to start working on research for release at Inman Connect in August or NAR Annual in November (for larger research projects). If you plan your work ahead of time, we can do a better job.
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