Getting website traffic and sales simply isn’t enough in this day and age. Both e-commerce and brick and mortar stores need to be doing everything they can to create an experience that leads to customers who aren’t only happy, but loyal. You’re looking for customers who will shop from you again and again while also recommending you to their friends and family.
Today we have some easy, concrete ways you can create those loyal customers, and it won’t even take that much extra work!
1. Think About Your Own Loyalty
What brands and businesses are you loyal to, and why? Is it the quality of their product? How does the company treat you? Last time you had a problem with the service, what did the company do about it? Go even farther by thinking about what you wish companies would do for you. Take notes, because this is exactly what you want to be doing for your own customers.
2. Show What Your Company Stands For
Customers aren’t necessarily loyal to brands only for what they offer in terms of products and services, but for what those brands stand for and believe in. This doesn’t mean you have to take a strong political stance, it simply means you must show that your brand stands for something.
Airbnb focuses on the experiences of hosts and guests all across the world, helping people find ways to integrate themselves into the local communities of places they visit. Burt’s Bees offers natural care products that promote healthy living, while also showcasing its dedication to sustainability. Make sure customers know what your company cares about to build a loyal following.
3. Have a Positive Response to Negative Customer Feedback
It is impossible to make every single customer happy, but you can still create a satisfied customer by having the right attitude when you receive negative feedback. Don’t allow yourself to respond to your customer with an emotional, knee-jerk reaction.
Acknowledge the anger from the customer in a professional manner, being sure to avoid accusatory language. Offer an item exchange or discount when applicable. Outweigh the cost of losing them as a customer, along with their negative feedback to their friends and family, versus taking a temporary financial hit to see what is feasible.
4. Use an Engaging, Achievable Loyalty Program
Signing customers up for loyalty programs certainly isn’t a new concept, but it is one that is often misused, resulting in a waste of time and resources and a lack of customer loyalty. You should absolutely create some sort of loyalty program, but you need to do it in a way that actually inspires loyalty.
You’ll want to set a clear, simple goal for customers for this loyalty program. You need to provide a clear finish line to keep customers motivated. Many coffee shops offer a free drink after a certain number of beverage purchases, and it works very well. Figure out how you can use your unique products to create a reward that customers will love.
5. Be Patient
Nothing turns a customer off more than a representative who seems in a rush to end a conversation. Maybe you’re simply in a bad mood or maybe you are overwhelmed by tasks, but you should give every customer the same, unrushed attention.
If you called in with a question about the shipping of your product, you’d be pretty irritated if the representative you spoke to gave you a corporate answer in a two minute phone call. You may choose not to shop with them again. Don’t let this happen.
6. Make Communication Easy
Your customers shouldn’t have to go on an epic quest to find contact information. This information should be both easy to find and convenient for your customer. Automated phone lines are very unpopular, so if you need to have one make it simple. Offer live chat or even video chat when you can. And don’t forget to respond to social media messages.
You always want to pay attention to your customer service hours. If your phone lines are only open during business hours, it’s going to be difficult for many customers to get in contact with you. If customers do have to email or leave a message, make sure you get back to them as soon as possible.
7. Be Consistent
Whether you’re dealing with long-time customers or brand new prospective ones, the experience should be consistently excellent for each person.
You should take strides to ensure the same levels of service across all aspects of your company, including customer service, returns, communication, and storefronts. If a customer has a fantastic experience chatting online with a staff member only to be told something different over a phone call, they’re less likely to remain loyal.
8. Pay Attention to Details
The little things really do matter when it comes to customer service. There’s tons of small details you can use to impress your customers, at very little or no cost to you. Including a handwritten note in a shipment, offering free coffee at a brick-and-mortar store, and checking in with customers during the buying process can all leave customers feeling valued and appreciated.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing and think about what your customers want. Once you’ve done that, find ways to stand out with details your competitors aren’t using.
9. Get Personal
It is easier than ever to personalize a person’s shopping experience through email, mobile alerts, and more. Customers want to feel like you care about them, and there’s no better way to do that than to acknowledge your repeat customers.
There are a few ways you can do this; acknowledge how many times a visitor has shopped with you, offer suggestions of products based on items they’ve already bought, give them a coupon based on previous purchases…there’s tons of ways to make your customer feel valued!
10. Never Break a Promise
Never promise something that you can’t deliver. If you promise something and don’t deliver, customers are not going to be happy. If a customer is unhappy they’re likely to tell friends and family about the bad experience they’ve had.
In fact, you should try to over-deliver on your promises when you can. When you exceed expectations customers are likely to tell you about friends and family for good reasons.
We hope that ShippingSupply.com is implementing these strategies for you! Please feel free to contact us with feedback!