The Secret Strategy Starbucks Uses to Win Loyal Customers

When you think coffee, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Or, how about this: what’s the first coffee shop that pops into your head?

I’m betting you thought about Starbucks.

The Seattle-based chain services millions of customers on a daily basis, and many of those customers are regulars that buy Starbucks coffee multiple times a week.

So what is Starbucks doing to set themselves apart in the beverage industry? How do they earn so much repeat business? And why does that even matter?

Keep reading and you too can grow a base of loyal customers that won’t think twice about taking their business elsewhere.

First, the Secret Strategy…

So what’s this “secret strategy” I’m raving about? The one that Starbucks uses to attract customers who gush about their business?

It’s simple: they send birthday cards to their rewards members. All they do is email or text their customers on their birthdays – and they include a free drink voucher that the customer can redeem at any Starbucks location.

Really, that’s it. And if Starbucks – one of the largest franchises in the world – can do it, then you can too. More on that a little later on…

When you offer a deal like this to your customers, they will feel loved and appreciated; former customers will want to return to your business to redeem their rewards, and newer ones will appreciate that you remember them after just one trip to your store.

But what difference does this make? After all, vouchers and coupons are already widely used across plenty of industries.

Here’s why it matters.

Why Your Business Depends on Loyal Customers

Your customers are bound to come back to your store and use the voucher you send them. Starbucks essentially gives customers a free drink that normally can cost upwards of $6, and all they have to do is go to the store, scan the voucher at the register, and enjoy a free drink.

That’s important because you need loyal customers. For one, they’re the people that will continually pour money into your business. They’re also more likely to try a variety of your products/services, since you’ve already earned their trust.

Regular customers also become your best word-of-mouth marketers. Think about it. If you like something enough, it’s only natural that you’ll want to tell others about it so they can experience that same level of joy that you do. These referrals are more likely to convert into paying customers because they already have a strong first impression of you from their friends.

But you’re probably still wondering, “How do I keep track of everyone’s birthdays?” That’s where investing in a powerful POS system can really make a difference for your business.

How Your POS System Can Market for You

Besides playing a crucial role in facilitating transactions, newer POS systems can do a whole lot more, including calculating rewards program points and sending out automated messages to your previous customers.

Here’s how you implement the birthday program: purchase a POS system that captures the customer’s email and/or phone number at checkout. Most people are wary about giving out their personal information, so make sure this process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible and doesn’t involve any unnecessary steps.

Next, program your POS system to send off the birthday message to your customer with the voucher attached. Keep it short and to the point: “Hey, thanks for coming in. I really value you as a customer, so I wanted to give you a voucher for a free [PRODUCT] that you can redeem on your birthday. Hope to see you back soon!”

Again, the right POS system and/or back-end software can automate this process for you. That’s just scratching the surface. You can also set up a rewards program that you can track on your phones, send check-in texts to customers that haven’t visited your business in a while, and even remind them of promotions you might be running.

One last thing. Unlike Starbucks, your customers don’t need to be rewards members to get a voucher from you. By offering every customer a free product, you’re banking on them enjoying themselves again and coming back for yet another visit. And another. And another…


Ready to win over your own loyal base of customers? Click here to check out some of our high-grade POS systems that you could have inside your business as early as today!

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