Because Loyalty Is More Than Just Discounts.

A great loyalty program understands why customers are loyal.

I have always held that at the end of the day if all things are equal, people buy from people; and they buy from people they like. They buy from people who share the same interests, are positioned as experts, and who exhibit a genuine desire to serve. They seek advice and then act on it (usually in the form of a purchase). They like being recognized (who doesn’t) and value being appreciated. They only grow more loyal when their support of the business is rewarded.

The rewards can be incentives, special deals, offers or events, but they can also be a careful and thoughtful response to a question. I have found that most customers come to an independent garden center for information and inspiration. They buy what the see, but often don’t have all the information to communicate what they’ve seen. That’s one of the main reasons we added a very simple feature to the epunched customer loyalty app. It is the ‘Ask Us’, or ‘Snap & Send’. It allows customers to take photos of plants they like or problems they’re facing. You see many times customers simply don’t know they name of the plant, or don’t remember to bring along a sample of a diseased plant (sounds just as bad as it seems).

So the ability for them to tap an app (ideally, yours), tap ‘Ask Us’ and then snap a picture with a simple caption, then it is magical when someone actually reads and responds to their question. And in the case of retailers like Fairview Greenhouses, they have seen a direct correlation of their ‘Ask Us’ submissions and sales at the register.

The epunched app platform allows you to not only respond to the question, but also save it as a ‘blog post’ and add it to a FAQ section on your website. In addition you can ‘reward’ any individual account with a time sensitive incentive. “Have a problem with Japanese Beetles? Stop by and pick up a Japanese Beetle trap. We’ve put one aside at the register for you. Also, check your rewards, we’v included a $1 off coupon.”

Just imagine if that was your experience at any retailer!

With that in mind I thought I would share some observations from a couple of companies using the epunched app platform.

“Direct sales from the “Ask Us” feature. Customer sends picture of diseased plant. We diagnose problem, recommend a product and “gift” a coupon for said product. Customer comes in to purchase product and redeems coupon. (we don’t always send a coupon for every question asked, but when we do it works!)” Heather Rollins, Fairview Greenhouse, Raleigh, NC 
“We’ve also started receiving a steady stream (at least one per day) of Ask Us questions, with many people attaching photos, which is way more interaction than our “Contact Us” page on our website has seen.  The addition of weekly coupons (see below) has also seen more use of the app at the registers.” Jonathan Kinsman, Estabrooks – Yarmouth, ME