Are your marketing efforts for your parking operation only aimed at garnering new customers? If so, then it might be time to rethink your strategy. Today’s consumer not only expects an excellent customer experience but also assumes, even demands, a customer loyalty program that is personal and relevant to their buying habits. Research shows that 81% of consumers are more likely to continue doing business with brands that offer loyalty programs (Bond).
Smart businesses know that whether the focus is on new or existing customers, there is no substitute for a superior customer experience – the foundation for any industry. Customer loyalty programs simply build on the customer service experience to help retain and convert customers into long-lasting and loyal ones. But can a customer loyalty program actually grow parking revenue? Yes, it can and here’s how:
Repurpose Your Marketing Efforts
Did you know that it costs 5-10 times more to gain a new customer than to keep a current one coming back (WHOCA)? By redirecting the efforts and dollars focused on gaining new parking customers to keeping existing ones from leaving, your revenue will realize the savings and the return.
A customer loyalty program provides the perfect platform for retaining those loyal customers. Nurturing the customer relationship with a simple “thank you” and added reward speaks volumes and strengthens the customer bond. The best way to make customers feel valued and rewarded are systematic, consistent and immediate rewards.
Leverage Your Loyal Customer Base
Research shows that the 80/20 rule applies to customers: 80% of revenue is generated by 20% of a loyal customer base (Gartner). A successful customer loyalty program helps to retain the small segment that generates most of the revenue by rewarding buying behavior with personalized incentives.
Yet, in order to properly reward them, you must first know your customer, their needs and the things that are important to them. Using reporting and analytics provides the data needed to see and understand past and present behaviors, helping you to predict and strategize future behavior. A solid customer loyalty program collects this important customer data to help you define the best reward system for your customers.
An additional benefit of customer data collection is the ability to increase customer communication and marketing through email marketing, which further strengthens the customer relationship.
Craft a Retention Strategy
When you consider that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 95% depending on the industry (Bain), it only makes sense to develop a simple strategy to retain existing parking customers
A key element of the strategy should include a customer loyalty program to strengthen the customer relationship through rewarding buying behavior and showing the customer they are valued. Another key strategic element is customer engagement through social media.
Finding the Right Loyalty Program Provider
While at first glance it may seem to be an overwhelming task to source and start a parking customer loyalty program it is well worth the effort. It is important that the provider have a proven and trusted system that is optimized for the parking industry and that offers the needed features to accomplish your goals. These capabilities should be included:
- Integrated with parking reservation system
- Real-time access and redemption
- Customer data collection and analytics
- Program customization ability