What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Sorry, let’s make that a bit more relevant – do merchants lead the charge to get customers using Vicinity, or are customers empowering themselves to start earning rewards at their favourite local businesses?
It involves a little bit of both. While the intrepid consumer will likely sign up at the first mention of rewards, some shoppers need a little push in the right direction. Our account team will get you set up with Vicinity and provide you with in-store signage and other marketing materials, and once you’re ready to go here are some tips to help convert your loyal customers into your Vicinity VIPs:
1. Display all of the available POS materials. Sometimes the easiest way to have “the talk” (about Vicinity!) with your customers is by making it impossible for them to get their coffee without seeing the Vicinity logo & signage promoting the program.
The Vicinity team will provide you with tVicinity branded ,tent cards, counter cards and a window clingannouncing the program, and we’ll be adding more in-store support this year. We also provide staff facing reminders that help ensure your team remembers to prompt customers to join. Displaying these items (and adding program details to any of your in-store signage) will make sure no one walks out the door without getting the message – and some points.
2. Ask customers? for their phone number. It’s a great way to open up the conversation about Vicinity, and a quick way to sign people up (no mile-long application form required). When people ask why, you can respond with “we’d like to reward you with special offers and loyalty points, plus you can use this same card at other small businesses in the area!” – just make sure you don’t respond with “we’ll call you to chat when we’re in between the lunch and dinner rush” because that’s just not going to solve anything.
3. Highlight the rewards. Let’s call a spade a spade – people really like free stuff. In fact, one of the best ways to tell customers? about the Vicinity program is to highlight what’s in it for them. The 10-pack of yoga classes they just bought gets them halfway to a reward? Let them know. A free coffee with the purchase of 5 more coffees? Tell them up front! Another way is to let them know the value of a Vicinity reward. If they buy a burger, tell them that with Vicinity they’re only a few points short of a free side!
4. Be social. Making friends these days is much easier than it was in elementary school – you don’t even have to invite anyone to your birthday party. Some Vicinity merchants like Dark Horse have thriving social media communities which let them tell their customers about the program and encourage them to sign up. If you’re a social media pro, tell your online communities about Vicinity. If not, get online – get a Twitter account, a Facebook page, or add some messaging to your website. If you prefer printed materials, consider adding the Vicinity logo and a description. It’s what all the cool kids are doing, and it’s a great way to bring back customers who haven’t been in store for a while.
5. Complete your profile on the Vicinity website. As Vicinity grows, more customers are going to use the app/website to find businesses in their area that accept the card. Work with your account rep to complete your profile on the Vicinity website, provide links to your social media accounts, and don’t forget to add in your reward levels. By bringing in existing Vicinity users you’ll save yourself a sign-up, and potentially add a new loyal customer.
Encouraging your customers to sign up for Vicinity is a win-win situation: customers can continue to earn points at your business and other participating Vicinity businesses, which can get them discounts and perks. As a business owner, you get to use the Vicinity merchant dashboard to keep them in the loop about special offers and promotions – we’ll tell you more about how to send out (free) text and email campaigns in an upcoming post.
See? Win/win. For more tips and tricks on making the most of Vicinity follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, subscribe to our newsletter, or get in touch to set up a consultation with our team.