Keep Customers Coming Back
We discussed in a recent post how daily deal sites help drive both customers and business, but the real challenge is getting those new customers to remain customers and keep coming back. If you’re an online business it’s up to you to provide not only a great first impression, but continued positive experiences that will keep your clientele loyal.
Below are just a few ideas to help get you started. We’ve tried to include things that are fairly inexpensive (keeping costs down is a big priority when you’re a small business on a budget, or you’re just getting started, or you’re hesitant to spend a lot on an idea that’s unproven). Keep in mind that many times it’s a matter of trial-and-error, and what’s going to work best for your business may not necessarily work for someone else’s.
Tailor Customer Communication & Support
When a customer makes his or her first purchase, it’s not a bad idea to follow-up with a phone call and/or email to offer up help or answer any outstanding questions. Keep track of your customers (the date of their first purchase, the types of products they are buying, how frequently they make purchases, how often they need assistance) and check in with them periodically. Schedule your outreach for times that make sense – when you unveil a new product, our on the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase.
Ask some of your more loyal customers if you can feature them in a “customer spotlight,” which you’ll post on your site, across social media, and maybe even in an email newsletter. There are many different ways that this can be done- in a Q&A format, video submission, or blog post. Sweeten the deal and reward them for their help. Begin slowly, with one or two spotlights a month. We guarantee that within time your customers will begin asking you to be included (instead of you reaching out to them).
Loyalty and referral programs are great to get customers to stick with you because there is something in it for them. This is going to vary from business to business, but create an incentive program that works with what you’re selling. Buy nine, get the tenth one free, tiered discounts, and/or freebies will all encourage repeat purchases. Tweak these based on your different customers (see “tailor customer communication & support” above).
Social Media & Email
Stay active and engaged both on social media and on email. Post frequently and give updates, send out weekly/bi-weekly/monthly email newsletters. Vary your content so that you’re not repeating the same things over and over again – conduct polls, asks questions, run little contests and giveaways. Respond quickly to questions and feedback. Let you’re customers know that you’re there for them!
These are just a few of many tips that your business can use to keep customers coming back.