In the past, before technology streamlined business processes, customer loyalty was created through face-to-face interaction between customers and staff or business owner. Today, with most transactions done online, business relationships began to change.
Business owners spend huge amounts to woo customers and spend more to keep them loyal with new packaging, new formulations, price offs and special offers, promos and giveaways. The scenario is different online, where trust is very important due to cyber theft, product quality and condition and more. For some pointers on how to encourage customer loyalty if you’re an online seller, read on.
Customer Loyalty Programme Tips
Give a face to the company
The web is a very impersonal place. Take a cue from businesses in the past, where trust is developed through customers and owners/staff getting to know each other on a more personal level. Give a face to your company by uploading photos of your business, the people behind it, your staff and events.
Always acknowledge orders received
Make their online shopping experience with you more memorable by acknowledging their every order at once. You can use the auto-reply function of your e-commerce platform. Using a robust POS system can automate services like this for you. You can also take it to a higher level by sending a personal email. Acknowledging product returns when they arrive is also something that your customers will take note of. Provide contact details of the persons they can get in touch with if there are problems.
Keeping online shoppers informed is a must
Due to the nature of online shopping, products have to be shipped/delivered. Keep your customers informed if there is any issue, such as delay or non-availability of the product. You must take responsibility for problems such as this instead of blaming a supplier or another third party. You’ll be telling customers that you care for them when you keep them informed, whether there is/there isn’t a problem.
Use complaints positively
Reverse the cycle and use complaints to improve your customer service and other business functions. Complaints reveal particular problems that need attention, so use them as guide to improve and learn. Share positive and negative feedback with staff. Provide the names of those who received praise but remove the names of those who were criticised and discuss the problem with them separately. This is a good method to remind each one of the importance of good customer service.
Do not be afraid to apologise
Correct mistakes immediately. Call the customer at once and do not be afraid to apologise if the situation calls for it. The customer will appreciate it. You might have to give a small gift or extend a discount to appease the customer. Make it easy for customers remain loyal by providing high quality products and top-of-the line customer service.
Reward your customers
Learn how customer loyalty programs can be used more effectively. There are researches conducted about loyalty programs, with consumers choosing about 80% of retailers who use them. But it is not enough to institute loyalty programs. Reward redemption should not be complicated. There are several rewards to use, such as contests, free shipping, loyalty points for specific shopping actions and email coupons. Rewards should be unique and genuine. The reward you give to a first-time customer should be different to the rewards you give for loyalty.
Use social media
Presence in social media sites is also a way to boost customer loyalty, as it is a platform where customers share their experiences with various online shopping sites. It also helps to keep your homepage fresh with new offerings as well as news. It is a way to help your search engine ranking.
If will cost you very little to improve your customer service, which will pay great dividends. You’ll have a very healthy bottom line and a long list of loyal customers. Technological innovations, a human touch and great understanding of the customers’ psyche will go a long way in making your business a success.