Keeping customers constant
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…
It’s a lot harder to attract new consumers to your brand than it is to retain existing customers.
Believe it or not, there’s even talk that it can be up to eight times more expensive to entice in new victims, too!
And, particularly when times are tight like they are at the moment, a lot of businesses just simply don’t have that bottomless pot of money to dip into.
So, what’s the answer?
Consumer loyalty, of course! Get it right and deliver and emotive end-user experience, and your customers are more likely to stick with you.
However, in today’s technical age, it’s not as easy to reel customers in and hold tightly to them.
For starters, you might not even ever lay eyes on them.
Especially If you conduct a lot of business online.
So, if you do conduct all (or even some) of your business in cyber space, how on earth do you encourage customer loyalty?
The good news is, we’re going to tell you!
Walk the walk…
Don’t just talk the talk as to how amazing your brand is… Deliver on your promises too!
We all know how downright disappointing it is when a business sings their own praises and tells you how fabulous they are and what great service they deliver… only to dish out the exact opposite.
But get it right and deliver what you say you’re going to – and make it awesome! – and customers are much more likely to come back again for more of the same.
What’s more, there’s a fair chance they will tell their friends too, so it’s a win-win.
I don’t know about you, but I am extremely twitchy if I place an online order and don’t get any kind of notification about it.
It’s completely unnecessary in our automated world.
So, if a customer places an order on your website, give them some sort of a nod to let them know you’ve received it. They will appreciate it.
The same thing goes if they return something to you.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a standard auto-reply feature or a personal email. Just let them know that everything is as it should be.
Keep them updated
Consumers don’t like to be kept hanging.
So, make sure you keep them in the loop with regards to their order.
If there’s going to be any delays in delivery or an item is out of stock, deal with it!
And keep the customer informed as to what the state of play is. Don’t wait for them to reach out and ask you what the problem is.
Act quickly, and you can turn a potential failure into a demonstration that you care.
And, from an end-user perspective, that’s impressive.
Keep it personal
Despite how useful the internet is, it can be a little impersonal compared to traditional face to face contact.
So, make sure you personalise your service.
Contact information for staff should be easily accessible. And including photos of your premises and people can help too.
Make sure people know how and who to reach out to should they encounter any issues.
End-users won’t hesitate to go elsewhere if you don’t tick all the boxes and meet their expectations.
Research also shows that there is more profit in multi-channel customers.
So, if you have a shop front as well as an online presence, make sure you make use of it.
Give consumers the option to check stock, place orders, submit returns and ask any questions both online, on the phone and in store.
Refresh – and repeat
No one wants to look at the same, staid, boring homepage time after time.
So, keep your website fresh. Include news, product information and details of any special offers.
Not only will this help with search engine rankings but will also reassure your customers that your levels of service will be refreshing too.
Change your website homepage frequently with fresh offerings and news. It helps rankings and reassures customers that service will be fresh too.
Nothing – or nobody – is perfect. It’s a fact of life that mistakes do happen.
Sure, you can go to great lengths to try and ensure that they don’t, but also, it’s vital to be prepared and act quickly if they do.
A quick resolution and simply apology can go a long way in helping you deliver an emotive end-user experience. A small gift or discount can be extremely well received too!
The same goes for issues in the workplace.
Don’t let staff be critical of one another. Everyone has a part to play in delivering customer satisfaction.
Your aim is to beat the competition, not your colleagues.
Learn and improve
As much as we don’t want customer complaints to pop up, you should embrace them when they do.
Feedback – both positive and negative – should be shared with team members and utilised as an opportunity to learn from you mistakes and make improvements to your service offering.
If someone is praised by a consumer for doing a good job, let them know.
Everyone deserves a pat on the back for keeping customers happy.
It’s easy to rest on your laurels, particularly when things are going well.
You need to continually review your service and keep in touch with customers to ensure they are satisfied.
And if they’re not, do something about it!
As well as providing valuable feedback, keeping in contact with consumers helps you to inform them about other products and services or any special offers you have for them.
You don’t need to have a loyalty programme, but it’s always worthwhile to consider rewarding loyal customers. Especially if you have inconvenienced them.
And make it special… don’t just dish out the same freebies or additional levels of service to everyone and their Grandma.
You work hard to get loyal consumers on side. So, keep it that way and make sure they know how valued they are.
It’s all about the customer experience and consistency is key.
You’ll be grateful for it when you are still ticking over nicely in the long term.