Do you find that you want to know what products your clients are buying? But sales keep getting recorded under cash client? Your staff tell you that there is not enough time to find the client record because the client is in a hurry. Your suppliers want to help you with a targeted marketing campaign, but you do not have the necessary data to implement it properly!
What if each of your clients had a unique barcode that was scanned to locate their records and history? What if the other side of the card / key-tag had your clinic’s logo and phone number on it so clients could contact you with ease? Imagine being able to reward your loyal clients for their patronage and encourage them to use all your services with no ongoing expenses to your business or to the client!
P2P Limited, in conjunction with Computer Fanatics Limited (CFL), has created the ability for key tags and cards with unique barcode on the back to be used in the VetlinkSQL, HairlinkSQL and PetlinkSQL software. These key tags and cards are ideal for client identification and for implementing a loyalty scheme. It will result in all sales, whether retail or service, being recorded against the correct name, and therefore allow for fantastic targeted marketing opportunities. Each product and service can be allocated Bonus Points that are collected at the time of purchase and can be redeemed any product or service in your clinic. By using the Bonus Points, clients will demand to have sales recorded against their name, even if they do not have their key tag with them!
P2P Limited is the sole distributor and licensee for the key tags and cards for the VetlinkSQL, HairlinkSQL and PetlinkSQL software. Imitations will not be supported. P2P Limited is working with a premier partner to create high quality plastic cards that are specific and unique to each individual business’ needs. Each business logo and any sponsorship logo have a high resolution for clarity allowing for a fantastic branding opportunity. The unique barcode is managed by P2P Limited to ensure accuracy and allow for future marketing initiatives.
WHAT ARE BONUS POINTS?
Competitive forces in the market place make it necessary for your business to stand out to consumers. Having a loyalty programme is a way to create a point of difference, making it a preferred option for new and existing clients. Research has consistently shown that a comprehensive loyalty programme operating within a business can help encourage repeat consumer patronage. However, a loyalty programme needs to be carefully constructed with specific and achievable rewards combined with a transparent point accumulation system to help drive consumer sales. Without these attributes, the consumer will be wary and not participate thus defeating the purpose of the scheme.
Recognising this burgeoning consumer desire to be rewarded for ‘shopping exclusively’ with a particular business, CFL identified that an upgrade was necessary to remain competitive within the market as the existing VetlinkSQL software programme had a basic loyalty system incorporated in the software. CFL worked with P2P Limited to develop a comprehensive, corporate quality, Bonus Points system that has been integrated into the VetlinkSQL software programme with a seamless integration to the clinics website for client interaction.
Existing loyalty schemes have two major issues that can be disconcerting to a clinic contemplating introducing a loyalty programme. The first issue is the cost of administration and maintenance and the second is the cost of the ‘middle man.’ Some loyalty schemes can be difficult to execute from the clinics, clients or suppliers perspective, while others have a ‘middle man’ who wants to profit from managing the programme. Both of these issues increase the cost to the clinic as well as the suppliers, and reduce the discount that can be passed onto the client. This may result in a clinic’s decision to forgo having a loyalty programme. It is these problems that were addressed when the Bonus Points system was being upgraded, which has resulted in the system being extensive but still simple for all users to implement.
The system that has been developed is comprehensive and allows the user to activate, manage and track in-house, with no implementation or ongoing expenses. There is full control over point qualification for clients. This makes it a great way to encourage clients to use your entire range of services and to think of your business first for their retail needs. There is also the ability for existing clients to earn points by referring new clients and the scheme is very simple for suppliers to participate directly on a one to one basis with clinics to help grow their business.
OH NO! NOT ANOTHER CARD!
Knowing that most people already have an impressive collection of loyalty cards in their wallets and purses, CFL, partnered with P2P Limited, have developed key tags that can be used in the VetlinkSQL, HairlinkSQL and PetlinkSQL software with personalised barcodes on the back to be used instead of cards. However, it should be noted that cards are available, if the business feels that this is what their clients would prefer. The personalised key tags, doubling as client identification and clinic branding, have a personalised barcode which is linked to the customer file so it will aid in quickly and efficiently finding the correct client record. The key tag, conveniently fitting on their key ring, will not only make locating client records easier, but will also act as another form of identification for selling restricted drugs. Add a digital photo of the client onto their file as well, and you have provided your clinic and your client with an extra level of security. In addition to this, it will make it easier for your staff to record retail sales under the correct client’s name when they are just “popping in” for hairspray or pet food which is exactly what is required for effective data mining, business intelligence and targeted marketing. It is important to note however, that if the client has left their card at home, they can still collect their Bonus Points once the client record has been located. Because they will want to collect their Points for the purchase, staff will find that the client has a little more patience to wait and it will reduce the number of ‘cash only’ sales put through the till.
HOW MANY POINTS DO I HAVE?
Consumers often complain that they are unable to remember how many points they have or what the points are redeemable for. With a vast selection of loyalty schemes available to them, it is certainly a chore to keep track of them all. CFL, in conjunction with P2P Limited, have created the ability for clients to track the accumulation of their points online through your website with an integrated clinic web site or there is the option for clients to receive corporate quality professional statements detailing the accumulating points total and their upcoming expiry in 1, 2 and 3 month alerts. By encouraging clients to check their points total online, you can also bring their attention to the ability for them to check the time of their next appointments which will result in your clinic’s phone lines being freed up, and in more hits for the website. Integrating the Bonus Points system from the front desk right through to the clinics web site has made the Bonus Points system easy to use for both clinics and clients alike, making it the ideal system to operate in today’s modern veterinary environments.
SUPPLIER GIVING 1 FREE FOR 10 PURCHASED. WHO DOES IT BENEFIT?
The supplier benefits by obtaining brand loyalty from the client and your business. The client benefits as they are rewarded for their repeat purchases. The benefit to the business, however, is debateable. You have kept the client happy, and they may continue to purchase that particular product, but technically speaking you have done yourself out of a sale.
HOW CAN A BUSINESS MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO, CREATE FLEXIBILITY FOR THE CLIENTS AND GROW THE BUSINESS ALL IN ONE GO?
Example: Product A retails at $100. Give your clients 1000pts ($10) for each purchase of that product. Once they have purchased 10 of that product, they will have accumulated 10,000 points ($100) and can claim the “free” 11th product. This shows the similarity between the systems. However, Bonus Points allows for the capability to do so much more. Clients can collect Bonus Points on a wider range of products which can be pooled into one total.
There is also the option of collecting Bonus Points on the services that are provided by the clinic; something that the suppliers cannot offer you with their scheme. By choosing services that have low overheads to the business, you can promote these services to clients helping generate more business. By allowing for these services to be redeemed as rewards, you can minimise the running costs whilst maximising the client satisfaction.
The concept of collecting points from a wide range of participators, but redeeming through only one, is not new. Air New Zealand Air Points, for example, can now be collected not just from the airline, but from other participating retailers such as BNZ Global Plus credit cards, Budget Rent-A-Car and Hilton Hotels to name but a few. The end result is that people will fly on Air New Zealand, as opposed to another airline upon redemption of their points. Air New Zealand, while not making money directly for their company when customers redeem the points, have prevented their competitors from profiting from that customer.
By utilising the Bonus Points system, you create a reason for your clients to purchase from you, rather than shopping elsewhere. Each time the client purchases from you, you deny your competitors the opportunity to gain that sale. There is no need for you to partner up with anyone outside of your business except for your suppliers.
ADVANTAGES OF USING BONUS POINTS
1) The key tags, combined with the in-built system, will allow for tracking of the accumulation of bonus points. Clients do not need to carry a card and request it to be stamped and you no longer need to worry about “Oops, I forgot my card last time, may I please collect the stamp for it now?”
2) The in-built bonus points system has the ability to introduce a wide range of products and services into the loyalty scheme. By doing so, you are able to emphasise the business as a brand that clients think of for all their requirements; both service and retail related. It promotes flexibility in your loyalty scheme, making it more attractive for people to use, resulting in increased profit for the business.
3) Not all points are going to be redeemed, so the business will benefit from this extra “money”. Research shows that in the United Kingdom, shoppers are sitting on £2bn in unclaimed rewards and about £460m is going to stay this way (www.thisismoney.co.uk/credit-and-loans/article.html?in_article_id=400945&in_page_id=9).
4) When $100 RRP worth of points are redeemed by the client on a product, the businesses actual cost of the product is say $70. However, the customer perceives the value of the reward as $100.
5) The activation of the bonus points system allows for the whole process of collecting points to escalate into a ‘strength’ and a point of difference for the business. Pooling points into one system will result in the ‘whole being greater than the sum of the parts’ thereby creating synergy in the business.
6) Over time, the prices of the services and retail products will go up and the value of the loyalty points will drop creating a future margin for the business to capitalise on.
7) Because the key tags come three to a card, there is the ability for you to promote different aspects of your business. The key tags could have separate designs to differentiate your large animal clients from your small animal client or your beauty therapy clients from your hair clients. Another possibility is to have a special key tag for your V.I.P clients. If you have a chain of stores, each branch can have their own key tag design, but they can all be ordered at once thus reducing the cost.
HOW CAN I MAXIMISE THE SYSTEM TO ENCOURAGE CLIENT SPENDING?
Have special “double points” days to attract clients – with or without supplier participation.
Promote high margin “luxury” products for redemption to create an extra margin for your business.
SLOW MOVING PRODUCTS
Promote slow moving items, products that are nearing expiry and / or end of line products using extra “points”.
Allow for points to be collected and redeemed for services that have minimal overheads for the clinic i.e. annual animal health checks or training for junior stylists.
USING YOUR WEBSITE
Create hits for your website by asking clients to check online as to the expiration status of their points. Upon noticing points may be close to expiration, the client will come into the business creating the opportunity for staff to up-sell more products and services.
Frequently Asked Questions
PROBLEM: The cost of setting up a bonus points scheme is out of my budget at the moment, as surely it is expensive.
SOLUTION: The integrated bonus points system that you are able to set up, manage and track in-house already exists in your software. The price of the key tags is retrievable by passing the cost (or a little more for a profit) onto your clients.
PROBLEM: Clients already have their wallets full of loyalty cards. I don’t want to bother them with another!
SOLUTION: CFL, in conjunction with P2P Limited, have developed key tags to use creating convenience for the client as they always carry their keys with them. No more stamping cards!
PROBLEM: Some of my products have a lower profit margin on them than others, so I don’t want clients to be able to earn the same amount of points on every product or service.
SOLUTION: Each product or service can have up to 9 different and independent levels of reward points available. Not only can you allocate how much each product receives, but you can also allocate how much different categories of clients’ receive.
PROBLEM: My clients tell me that already staff take too long to find the relevant records and are sometimes charged for the wrong service or product. Surely this is going to get worse with Bonus Points?
SOLUTION: The key tags help ensure speed and accuracy due to the individual barcode on the back of each. This will aid in finding client records and assist with the correct allocation of Bonus Points.
PROBLEM: I currently don’t have a website, so is the loyalty scheme still relevant to me?
SOLUTION: YES! While the website makes it easy and convenient for you and your client, they can still find out how many points they have and what they can redeem them for by contacting your business. However, if you would like a website, this is also something that CFL/P2P Limited can help you establish, along with ways of encouraging your clients to use it thereby reducing the number of incoming phone calls.
PROBLEM: One of my suppliers does not want to be a part of the Bonus Points programme.
SOLUTION: You do not need to allocate points to those suppliers’ products so when purchased, no points are collected. However, you should explain to the supplier that they may see a slight loss in sales as other suppliers are willing to participate in the programme. Clients are more likely to choose products that they receive points on as opposed to ones that they do not.
Tell me more!
To find out how you can have a Bonus Points system to maximise your business as well as an integrated web site to help capitalize on your existing webpage, contact P2P Limited today!
How do I set Bonus Points up in my VetlinkSQL, HairlinkSQL or PetlinkSQL?
Step One: Contact CFL Help desk (09 489 2280) to upgrade, for free, to the comprehensive version of the software that has all the features activated in it.
Step Two: For best outcome, please engage a CFL professional for onsite consultancy to setup your loyalty system properly.
Step Three: Click here to download the manual from the VetlinkSQL website.
Step Four: Show your staff different ways of maximising the system for the best results for your business.