Savvy small business owners and operators understand that achieving a high level of customer loyalty pays the bills and then some. You know about the golden rule of business: twenty percent of your customers generate 80% of your revenue. Repeat customers are the heart and soul of most businesses, from the local pub down the street to a franchised hardware store operating in a large shopping centre. Did you know that repeat customers spend on average 68% more than what infrequent customers spend on your products and services?
With ecommerce marketing the new internet sensation, let’s review a few tips that help you learn how to create customer loyalty online.
If you want to impress your customers, be sure to return their email messages as quickly as possible. This tip especially applies to customer complaints, as another golden rule of business is customers do not want to wait long for the resolution of service and/or product issues. Install an automatic message tool on your email program to stay on top of customer electronic messages sent throughout the day. If handled properly, you can turn unhappy online customers into lifelong patrons of your small business.
Implementing a rewards program represents an effective way to build customer loyalty. Customer loyalty programs award points that customers accumulate over time for the purchase of a product or service. Another popular customer loyalty program involves discounting a bulk purchase that exceeds a designated price. An online customer loyalty program is another facet of ecommerce marketing.
Customer Appreciation Days
Notice the use of the plural for “days.” You should plan several customer appreciation days throughout the year. Almost every business does something for customers around the winter holidays. Show your appreciation in the middle of the summer by inviting loyal customers to attend an online sales event held by your business. You can conduct a one hour sale that saves customers money or be creative and give away one of your products and services.
Use Social Media Wisely
Social media marketing has changed the way you attract loyal customers online. It used to be the case that creating a small business website was all you needed to help potential customers solve problems. With Facebook and Twitter, you can send messages in real time to customers that have opted in to receiving social media updates from your business. The tweets or posts can include news about a limited-time discount event at the shop, as well as information about an upcoming product release. Social media platforms have emerged as the most popular way for customers interact with your business online.
Deliver Superior Customer Service
We like this timeless saying from the restaurant industry, “Good service can save a bad meal, but a good meal cannot save poor customer service.” If you asked 10 different business owners about their definitions of superior customer service, you would probably receive 10 different answers. At the core of superior customer service is friendly and attentive employees who help customers make the right purchase decisions. Superior customer service does not include hard upselling or haggling over price; it involves hiring people-first service professionals who know how to engage customers online.
Upload “How to…” Videos
The key to starting on the path for developing customer loyalty online is to earn the trust of customer prospects. Customers trust businesses that give them insight on how to best use a product or discover how to fix issues, such as worn tire tread or a soufflé that has imploded. For example, if you own a salon, upload a video that teaches how to best dye your hair, or how to best create a certain style.
Ask for Customer Testimonials
Customers want businesses to make them feel important. Perhaps no better way to achieve the feeling of customer importance is by requesting customer testimonials. Yes, asking for the support of your customers is good for business, but it also is good for the mind-set of customers who think “They really think a lot of me by asking for a testimonial.” If you enjoy being sales-driven by frequent customers, turn those frequent customers into devoted patrons of your business that never think of shopping anywhere else online.
Customer loyalty is the most important thing a small business can accomplish. Once you grow into a business that welcomes hundreds of loyal customers online, you have achieved a significant goal.