When you run a retail shop, keeping customers loyal is a little easier. They might come for the conversation and the ambiance – two things they can’t really get when they shop online. Customer loyalty needs to be approached from a different angle when your business exists primarily on the internet. You’ll be utilizing a lot of the same loyalty tactics, but implementing them in different ways.
Stay Focused on Customer Service
Customer service is of the utmost importance no matter where you meet your customers. In person, it’s a little easier to provide service. Online, you may need to make use of specialty tools. Live chat customer service is very popular with complex online retailers, such as clothing companies that offer a wide variety of sizes or tech stores that offer a myriad of specifications. No matter what business you’re in, you should be ushering your customer service strategy into the digital age.
Many people expect customer service on social media. They often reach out to brands in their comments sections to ask questions or seek help. Make sure the employees representing you on social media are trained to handle complex customer service situations that may pop up unexpectedly, like angry customers leaving spammy comments. Your response will demonstrate to your followers how much you value great service.
Get Cozy with Your Top Spenders
People who spend a lot with you expect to get a lot. That’s why many online retailers offer tons of free samples or small free gifts with their purchase. Material things don’t necessarily replace the person to person consultation a customer might receive at a brick and mortar retail location, but they certainly make its absence easier. Go the extra mile to take care of the people who spend a lot with you – small perks will remind them why you’re superior to your competitors.
Use Data to Your Advantage
If you look closely at your customer data, you’ll learn a lot about the people who shop with you. Understanding all of your segments can help you create landing pages or curated experiences for the people who visit you. Using special landing pages can help you create an experience that feels highly personal. Segmenting your traffic by referral source or saved account information might even encourage people to spend a little more than they ordinarily would, because they’re able to find the things they want in less time.
Give Insiders Something More
Email lists help you retain customers and combat cart abandonment. They also give you the opportunity to create insider sales and special discount codes. People will feel more inclined to sign up if they know they’re getting something for it. They’ll also feel more inclined to shop if they’re getting things at a discount. You can create a formal loyalty program that gives returning customers access to special products or services. You can create an informal loyalty program through the clever usage of your email list.
Put Your Feedback to Good Use
People are already telling you what they’d like you to change or do to improve their experience with you. It comes in the form of your feedback. Give your customers as many opportunities as possible to provide feedback. Read it, and look for suggestions and complaints that frequently pop up. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Openly admit that you listen to your customers and shape your strategy to satisfy them. In a small way, it’s similar to admitting that you’re wrong. In a big way, it’s a huge demonstration of care and commitment to quality. Your customers will adore you for allowing their voice to shape your path.
Most of keeping your customers loyal is common sense. Put yourself in the position of a customer and imagine what you’d like. Empathy will help you create a customer base that will never want to leave. Try utilizing a multitude of strategies simultaneously to see maximum results.
This article has been written for Times of Startups by Amelie Mahone. Amelie is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. As a young mum, Amelie also likes to read about motivation and parenting.