The best way to make sure that you have a successful online business is to keep your customers happy. If they’re happy, then you’ll be happy because they will continue to support your products and/or services. Providing quality products and services is already a given, but customer retention should be given equal importance if you want to ensure continued patronage from your customers.
So whether you’re a start-up or an established company already, here are 6 customer retention tips for your e-commerce site:
Tip #1: Provide Excellent Customer Service
Once customers purchase a sale or avail of your services, your business should be ready for any and all feedback, questions, issues or concerns that will be coming your way. Provide every available avenue for your customers to easily contact you. Your site should have a "Contact Us” page providing all your contact details. You may also consider setting up a 24/7 hotline or live customer chat.
Most importantly, train your customer service staff well. They should be very knowledgeable of your products and services. They should be courteous and patient towards clients at all times – no exceptions! Lastly, your customer service personnel must work fast and efficiently when addressing a customer’s problem or query.
Tip #2: Engage Customers with an After Sales Follow-Up
A few days after making a purchase, make it a habit to follow up with your customers in whatever mode most convenient for your business (whether via email, phone or what have you). Express appreciation and ask your clients if they are satisfied with the product they purchased or if they are satisfied with the service they availed of. This gesture shows how much you care for your clients. It also shows how much you value and take pride in the quality of your products and/or services.
In addition, you will also be able to get insightful feedback when you engage customers through an after sales follow-up. Treat that as valuable information to further improve your business.
Tip #3: Connect with Customers through Social Media
For businesses with social network accounts such as Facebook or Twitter, people like your page or follow you because they like your brand, product or service. There is also a high probability that these people have been your customers at one time or another. So connect with your fans or followers by replying to comments or tweets and posting content that would be interesting to them.
You might want to consider employing a social media specialist who will oversee your social media activities on a daily basis.
Tip #4: Reward Loyal Customers
Initiate a loyalty program for customers by offering incentives once they sign up for a membership and continue to avail of your products and services. For example, you can offer a discount or free shipping on succeeding purchases.
Offering a loyalty program will involve inviting clients to sign up a customer account. As a business owner, you have to be aware that some customers have an aversion to signing up and prefer checking out as a guest. Be sure to make the process as simple and easy as possible so as not to turn off and drive away your customers.
Tip #5: Personalize a Surprise!
Everybody loves a pleasant surprise! You don’t have to offer something expensive. The goal is to make your customers feel important with a simple inexpensive gift as a token of gratitude for their loyalty and support.
Go a step further and accompany that gift with a note as an added personal touch.
Tip #6: Keep Your Customers Updated
Send out newsletters to customers via email on a regular basis (at least once a month). Give updates about your products and/or services and also announce what customers can look forward to from your business in the coming days ahead. This is yet another way of making your customers feel valued and important, because they will be the first ones to know about the latest happenings from your business or online store.
There you have it, folks! We have just presented 6 helpful tips to help keep your customers happy and hopefully ensure that they will continue supporting your online business. If you have other customer retention tips to share, please post your ideas on the comments below.