Honesty builds trust and loyalty
I read in the Sunday Times about a National Trust discount. They offer 25% discount on their membership fees for anyone aged 60 or over. Members qualify if they have been members for 5 out of the last 10 years – BUT THEY DON’T TELL THEM!
As a result they have had a 2 page spread in the Money Section. It was accusing them of misleading members. The Trust doesn’t advertise the discount. It only makes it available to members if they ask for it when they renew! To be fair, they do mention Senior Discount on the membership page of their website. It is not shown with the other types of membership and you have to call to get the price.
It’s an example of an organisation doing something about customer loyalty. But not thinking about how to communicate it, so it’s backfired on them.
Rewarding loyalty is vital to maintaining a customer base. It deepens the relationship and builds trust. It’s not enough though just to have some benefits for loyal customers. You have to communicate them well. If you don’t, you lose the customer’s trust. As well, customers who would qualify in the future won’t even know about it. That means you’re missing out on an opportunity for them to stay with you!
The Trust said it wasn’t possible to include the discount on qualifying member renewals. But it doesn’t seem that hard to me!
So, if you do offer a loyalty scheme for your customers, please make sure you tell them about it. And make it as easy as possible for them to take advantage of it!