I just want to start out by saying that it costs a business 5-25X more to acquire a new customer, than it does to sell to an existing one. Existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. In the long run customer loyalty programs end up paying for themselves.
It is very important as a small business owner, you really need to have a strategy in place to keep customers returning to your business. 82% of adults say they are loyal to brands that they like. I personally use my Panera Bread (TM) loyalty program the most, because I love their pastries. I definitely end up spending more money with the company.
Customer loyalty is a customers willingness to buy from, or work with, a brand again and again. Its the result of a positive customer experience, customer satisfaction, and the value of the products or services the customer gets from the transaction.