Reciprocal loyalty keeps everyone happy, especially the business owner
When someone talks about being loyal to a business, you probably think "Why would they be loyal to a place they always spend money at and never get anything in return besides what they paid for?" and that's because of a few simple things that most businesses aren't doing. How many times have you been out shopping and someone has given you a loyalty card when checking out or paying a bill? If you go to sit down restaurants, you probably get these often since it's a standard now to give these out in order to get returning clients, but most businesses in the world aren't doing this.
Sure, you could get a free oil change every 19th visit at your local shop down the street or you could get a $1.00 off coupon on your next order from the fast food place owned by a mom and pop, but those aren't great ways to show loyalty to people that could be coming back various times and spending a lot of money.
You'll need to be strategic with this, you can't give away $500 worth of your products or services if you're only charging $25 a person, that just doesn't make sense. This is why a lot of restaurants will give away a free appetizer every 5th visit or if the table just buys more than $50 worth of food. The restaurant loses the cost of that appetizer, but they are creating a family that will always want to come back because they got something for the amount they already intended on spending
Use a loyalty program
When you hand out a punch card to customers and tell them they will get something for free with every 5th or 10 punch, they will likely try to get as many punches as possible and not think of how much they'll have to spend in order to get that free $10 item lol.
Another way that is getting popular is having people register online and just entering their phone numbers at checkout. Everything will be credited to their account and the person placing the order will then tell them when they hit a certain level and what they have obtained for being a loyal customer
Show customers you're loyal to them
Even if you have a loyalty program, that shouldn't stop you from giving loyal customers something for free when you see them. I'm not saying to give them a free dinner or digital service every time you come in contact with them, I'm saying to catch them off guard with something nice and they will likely refer people to you since you always make them happy
Run a business, but show some dedication to the people who are paying you and you'll notice they will regularly come back as well as bring in friends and family.
Do this right and customers will come back, guaranteed
People want to be treated well, and the loyalty program is just the beginning when it comes to returning customers. People want to know you have a good atmosphere, a great response rate, you're professional, and that you're friendly. If you can do all of that, you'll create a place or business that people will want to come back to time and time again
Reciprocal loyalty isn't anything new, it's just not done by the majority of businesses out there because it costs more money than simply giving away something for free when someone spends an exorbitant amount of money. You need to treat people well and they will always see you in a positive light. You will be able to boost your profits over time and that's never a bad thing