With start-ups springing up by the minute and online giants constantly working on new gimmicks, it’s important that you don’t get left behind in eCommerce.
What better way to stay in the lead than to keep your customers loyal to your business?
How to achieve that isn’t as difficult as it sounds, so long as you acknowledge that the first sale doesn’t make a business successful, but the succeeding ones it gets from repeat customers.
Consider the first purchase of a new customer the first square on a board game. There are still a lot of squares, which represent potential transactions, to pass through so you have to lure them back.
Email marketing remains to be one of the most powerful tools for retaining customers, but there are many others that have been tried and tested by customer retention experts whose strategies were published recently on the website of CRM solutions provider NGDATA.
Seasoned professionals with expertise in branding, customer service, digital marketing, and SaaS solutions, among others, were asked to answer one question:
“What’s the #1 way organisations can improve customer retention?”
Out of all the answers, we list below the top 10 which we think will affect eCommerce businesses in a good way if they act on them.
#1 Find out why your customers are leaving in the first place.
It’s important to understand why customers leave so that you can easily resolve it in case it happens to you.
The only way to find out why people leave before they have bought anything is by reaching out to them. Send a welcome note to a new customer, a thank you note after their first purchase, and ask them to leave a feedback on your site as well.
#2 Create a speedier checkout and loyalty programs
Get rid of stumbling blocks or unnecessary steps in your checkout process to avoid cart abandonment.
When it comes to loyalty programs, offer special incentives for customers who visit your website and buy often.
#3 Create a customer-focused culture inside your company.
Retention and loyalty stem from service, which begins with the leadership style of a company.
The way everyone in an organisation treats one another will be directly felt by their customers. That is to say, employees who are empowered to excel in their jobs will automatically want to deliver great service to the company’s clients.
#4 Build the customer and not the sale.
A customer is more likely to do business with you again if you make them feel important. However, if you forget them after closing a sale, what makes you think they can’t do the same with you?
Keep a record of your customers’ purchase history and make it available to everyone in your customer support team. That way, tracking their shopping activities and communicating with them will be much easier.
#5 Serve and engage with people who are a good fit for your products or services.
Treat a potential customer as you would a new friend. Ask them questions to find out more about their interests.
Keep in touch with them to the best of your ability. You can send them a survey, a thank you email, a cool freebie, or even make a follow-up call.
#6 Deliver great service and continue to evolve your offerings
Whether the nature of your online store is B2C or B2B, don’t stop developing new products and services to give your customers a reason to come back.
#7 Turn difficult situations into opportunities.
The best time to prove the worth of your business is when a customer is dissatisfied with your service. Assure them that you’re dealing with the matter and keep them posted on the progress.
Solving a problem with your customer deepens the trust and solidifies your relationship with them.
#8 Be proactive in the way you manage customers.
You should be aware of the issues your customers are faced with and quick to address them.
If they always get stuck at a certain point on your website, for example, fix the problem fast before they think of going to someone who can provide them a better shopping experience.
#9 Be responsive.
The main reason a customer will choose the competition’s products over yours is a bad experience with your customer service representative.
Hire the right people for your customer support team and train them to respond appropriately, instead of giving canned responses.
#10 Personalise your customer’s journey.
See to it that your offerings are tailored to every potential customer’s requirement.
To pull that off, study your customers’ behaviour on your site then segment them into groups based on their interests. Once you’ve done that, adjust your product pricing, product pages, images, and even promotional items according to their needs and wants.
Click here to read the answers of all 46 customer retention experts to NGDATA’s question.
As always, to your continued success,
Dave & Matt