How to earn the loyalty of your online customers
Do you understand what it takes to keep your online customers coming back for more? Whatever your answer, the following five strategies are designed to ensure you deliver a brand experience that surpasses your customers’ expectations and guarantees their loyalty.
Make customers your number one priority
The number one reason your customers might migrate to your competitors is if they deem your business “too difficult to deal with.” In fact, 88% of customers identify this as the reason they would shop elsewhere in the future, according to the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report.
So, what do your customers really want from their online experience?
- A website that can be easily navigated using any device.
- The ability to access their account information an order history.
- A streamlined support service that won’t give them the run around.
Pave the way with personalisation
Personal data is valuable, and many of your consumers will be aware of this. They also, ideally, want to benefit from the insights this data offers to improve their online experience, and not just your bottom line.
Research shows that 49% of customers look forward to receiving customised offers, and almost as many look forward to receiving relevant marketing content. Imagine how great it would feel to walk into your local takeaway and be greeted by name by a server who already knows your order. The same goes for your online customers. For the most part, they want you to understand what they like, which of your latest release items they’re keen on, their preferred method of checkout and delivery, and so on. Such pre-emptive knowledge demonstrates that you value your consumer base.
Plus, 63% of customers opt for a support service that can access their prior search activity and purchase history. They believe such access will help customer support solve their queries faster, and avoid confusion, lengthy explanations, and the risk of repeating themselves.
Customers want to be able to reach you whenever it suits, but their preferred method of communication might surprise you. Chatting via the phone is the top choice for 53% of consumers while 33% opt for face-to-face interaction.
Offering consumers various ways to communicate with you ensures they will be more likely to engage and feel more comfortable doing so. Every time your support team successfully solves a customer issue, it counts for another plus mark in your loyalty column.
In other words, multiple channels matter. Ideally, if a consumer lodges an inquiry, via your website or one of the social media channels that you operate, you should be responding with a tailored message and hopefully a follow-up phone call. The personal touch is vital as is the listing of your company or organisation’s contact details and physical address on your website. This assures your customers that you are for real; reliable and trustworthy.
Remain fresh in their thoughts
Maintaining a consistent digital presence is essential to keeping consumers engaged with your brand. Advertising tailored to reflect a customer’s online behaviour allows you to give the customer a nudge by ensuring he/she continually sees adverts for the product or service in which he/she has previously shown an interest.
Automated reminder emails which have been customised to a consumer’s interests also ensure you remain fresh in his/her thoughts. Such emails could be triggered when a customer has abandoned his/her cart, to promote a limited-edition product or service discount, or to remind the customer that he/she made a purchase – possibly a gift? – this time last year and should perhaps be repeating the behaviour.
Position yourself as the expert
There are many mediums you can use to share information with consumers online. These include videos, blogs, interactive websites, social media platforms, even virtual reality.
The general rule of thumb is to take advantage of every opportunity to show customers what you’re all about. Demonstrate how your product or service adds value with an explainer video or vlog (video blog). Host your own version of a TED talk during which you offer real-life tips. Use social media to propagate relevant industry knowledge. Build connections by sharing information from other sources. And ultimately, position your company or organisation as the expert in its field.
This idea ties in with the previous point. By actively reminding consumers that you exist, and why you exist, you will eventually become part of the fabric of their lives. They are attending your events, referring colleagues – or friends and family – to your webinars, receiving your emails or looking forward to your next social media post. In essence, they have become invested in the longevity of your company or organisation. And when it comes to deciding where to spend their hard-earned cash, you will be foremost on their minds.
Want to learn more about how to secure the loyalty of your online customers? SMART Business Solutions can team with you to develop and implement a viable strategy for ensuring your online presence meets your consumers’ needs and continues to keep pace with digital advancements.
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