“Save more” is a new year goal a lot of people put on their list, but it’s proven to be a difficult one to reach the last few years. In your Sugar Land business, it’s likely some of your employees fall in this category — especially for those in lower income brackets.
Thanks to the Secure Act 2.0, there are ways you can help support your employees in building an emergency savings of their own. The IRS recently gave the green light for PLESAs (pension-linked emergency savings accounts). Basically, these are individual accounts in defined contribution plans and are designed to encourage employees to save for financial emergencies.
While you don’t bear responsibility for your employee’s financial choices, it’s become more common practice to find ways to support them in making good choices for themselves. Especially in an economy where everything costs more.
For you, this means you can match contributions to PLESAs at the same rate as the defined contribution plan. Also, eligible employees can contribute to PLESAs even if they’re not part of your defined contribution plan.
There’s a maximum limit of $2,500 for contributions, you can choose a lower limit if you prefer. Additionally, PLESAs function like Roth accounts, with non-deductible contributions and generally tax-free withdrawals.
Things like this demonstrate to your employees that you care about their well-being, not just their job performance, and that garners loyalty.
And, with a new budgeting year now at your disposal, you’re thinking about how to spend those dollars both to take care of things in-house and also to grow your business. Let’s talk more about that second one.
There are all kinds of experts out there who can tell you what’s working and what’s not working to market your small business in 2024. I’ll leave the platform tactics to them.
What I want to share with you today is an evergreen marketing strategy that is applicable to all types of businesses: customer loyalty programs. Though its expressions can take different forms depending on your clientele and your niche, the underlying principle never changes.
And that’s the reality that your customers will always appreciate being rewarded for sticking around. In fact, a well-executed customer loyalty program can increase average customer revenue by 5-10 percent.
But how do you intentionally make loyalty appealing? You know your customer best, so let your creativity run free on this. But here are some ideas to get you started…
5 Customer Loyalty Strategies for Sugar Land Small Businesses
“When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment.” – Kara Parlin
Since 65 percent of a company’s business these days comes from existing customers (source: Small Business Trends), it’s clear that nurturing customer loyalty is not just beneficial; it’s crucial.
But you and I both know that traditional loyalty programs are no longer enough. In today’s market, innovation goes a long way. So let’s explore some customer loyalty programs tailored specifically for small businesses like yours that create deeper connections and offer real value.
Community programs are all about building relationships and a sense of community among customers. Rather than individual incentives, you’re rewarding your most dedicated customers collectively to enjoy as a group. Think of it as a club where each member feels valued and heard.
This could involve encouraging them to share their ideas about your products or services and rewarding them for their engagement. (Useful for them and you.) Other examples include online forums, social media groups, or special events where loyal customers can interact, share experiences, and receive exclusive updates or offers.
The idea: you’re not just selling — you’re engaging. When customers are part of a community, their loyalty to your brand deepens, moving them from customers to advocates.
Instead of traditional rewards, your business can pledge to donate a portion of profits to a charity. This approach appeals to customers who value social responsibility. For instance, a local grocery store might allow customers to choose a nonprofit for donations after they reach a certain spending threshold.
Keep your customers engaged throughout the year — especially useful for more seasonal businesses. Offer unique promotions to customer loyalty program members around local festivals, company milestones, or even less conventional occasions like local sports team victories. Personalized offers for birthdays or anniversaries are more common but still effective.
With this type of program, urgency and exclusivity provide the incentive.
Customers pay a regular fee to access continuous extra benefits. This could be anything from a monthly gourmet coffee delivery to exclusive access to premium content.
This loyalty program is particularly nice for regular customer engagement and a predictable revenue stream.
This tech-based approach encourages foot traffic and spontaneous purchases by providing rewards or discounts when customers are physically close to your store. The way it works is through mobile apps or other digital platforms that track the customer’s location and send timely offers or notifications to entice them to come in.
It’s a great strategy for businesses in high-traffic areas or those looking to increase spontaneous visits, like restaurants or retail stores.
The themes in all of these ideas revolve around personalization, community building, and technology. It doesn’t have to be one more thing for you to manage when you leverage AI to automate your customer loyalty programs. The reward is that every interaction between your business and your customers is not just a transaction, but an experience.
So how can your Houston small business use emerging technologies to create an even more personalized and engaging loyalty program?
We’re thinking along these lines to help you innovate in 2024,