We have all heard of the idiom “like a needle in a haystack” to describe something that is extremely difficult to find.
Think about your online business website as that needle competing with all the other needles in the same haystack called the digital world. What can you do to make your business stand out from your competitors?
Start with Your Customers
You might have heard that it is easier to retain a current customer than acquire a new one.
Why is that? One of the main reasons is that if your customer has already had a good experience with your company, is loyal to your brand, and trusts you, they are more likely to buy more from you.
Whereas a new customer doesn’t know you, your brand, or what kind of customer experience you provide so you have to start from scratch.
Loyal customer are much more than just valuable. Research has shown that loyal customers are worth up to ten times the value of their first purchase.
What this means for businesses is that they need to do everything they can to make sure their current customers are happy, satisfied, and loyal.
Get Them to Trust You
The first step in retaining a customer is to gain their trust. If they don’t trust you, not only will they not be loyal, they will leave.
The best way to gain their trust is to make sure their experience with your company, especially your customer service department, is a positive one. Some of the best ways to provide outstanding customer service are:
- Understand their needs, concerns, problems, and issues
- Know who they are, where they are coming from, and what products or services they purchase
- Always treat them professionally and with respect
- When they have an issue, make sure you address it quickly and correctly
- Send them a survey or questionnaire to find out how their experience was with your company
Establish a Customer Loyalty Program
When customers are rewarded for their loyalty by your company, they will know that you appreciate their business. Think about their buying patterns and behaviors.
Would you be more likely to buy something from a company that offered you gifts, discounts, and exclusive offers? According to SEO for Dentists expert, Justin Morgan at The Dental Marketing Guy, Most people will return for further business if they are already satisfied with a company and can buy more for less.
Studies have shown that 72% of men and 76% of women are more likely to buy something from a company that offers them participation in their loyalty program. Customers feel appreciated and special when they are rewarded.
Honesty is the Best Policy
As soon as your customer senses that you are either not being honest, or worse, too pushy to get them to buy more from your company, you will have lost their trust and loyalty.
Just because one of your customers has repeatedly purchased a particular product from your company doesn’t mean that they have a need or even want another product. If you annoy them to buy something else, they will get irritated, and with good reason.
Don’t forget one of the ways to get them to trust you is to know what their needs are and what products they buy. If you try to persuade them to purchase something they don’t need or want, not only are you being pushy, you are letting them know that you really don’t know or care about their needs.
When you show your customer that you are more interested in their loyalty than selling more products, it will only have a positive impact on their loyalty.
If You Make a Mistake, Own up to it
The worst thing you can do as a business owner is react unprofessionally and defensive when presented with an error your company has made.
A customer will have more respect and appreciation for companies that admit when they have made an error, apologise to the customer, and do what they can to remedy the situation or make it up to them.
According to the US Department of Consumer Affairs, customers whose issue or problem has been resolved quickly, correctly, and positively, are more likely to share their good experience with an additional 4-6 people. Satisfied and loyal customers will refer your business to others.
There is no way any business in today’s highly competitive digital age can be successful without using technology to be efficient, decrease redundancy, and improve productivity.
However, your customers do not have a relationship of trust, respect, and loyalty with any of your automated processes. Make sure your customers can talk to a human being on the other end of a phone line, chat box, or email whenever possible.
Recordings, automated chats, and canned emails cannot replace the understanding tone of voice your customers need to hear.
In addition to the suggestions above, make sure when you do speak with a customer, use the opportunity to make a human connection. If you don’t show and tell your customers how much you appreciate your business, they are not going to assume that you do.
Take the time to establish and nurture a positive relationship with your customers. Make sure they know by what you say and what rewards they receive from you, how important their business is and how much you appreciate them.
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