Five ways to keep your online customers loyal

Attracting new customers costs much more (in fact almost eight times more!) than retaining existing ones, so understanding how to do so can be the difference between business failure and success. Of course, having a great product or service with competitive pricing are fundamental in keeping online customers, but here are five basic pointers aimed at helping you encourage customer loyalty online.

1. Keep your customers informed

Throughout the entire order process, keep your customers up-to-date and informed. A confirmation email, dispatch notification and an accurate delivery day/time are all important.

If any mistakes happen or if there are any delays, ensure the customer is kept informed, then correct it promptly. A discount on their next order could help the situation.

2. Be personal

The web is very impersonal, so take every opportunity to personalise your service. One example could be birthday/event email marketing, creating a customer database with their birthdays, so when it comes to the date you can send a little gift – an offer, discount or freebie.

3. Stay fresh

Change the homepage of your website frequently with fresh offerings and news. This reassures customers that your service will be fresh too, and it’s also helps SEO rankings.

4. Reward your customers

If a customer has used your services for a long time, let them know how much you value them. It can be annoying for loyal customers if first-time buyers are getting an equal or better offer than they are. For the long run, loyalty programmes are great. Especially if the rewards are unique and personal to each customer.

5. Don’t be complacent

Continually review your service by contacting a selection of customers after delivery, to check that they are satisfied. If not, you can resolve any problems and learn from the mistakes made. Also, contacting customers for valuable feedback on your products and services gives you the opportunity to tell them about your other products and services, or perhaps any current offers.

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How to get reviews from your customers

Businesses these days have more and more competitors. So it’s increasingly important to have online reviews to stand out and make you more valuable. People want proof of how great your products and services are; unfortunately your word for it isn’t enough.

Having positive reviews and testimonials plays a big part in persuading prospects to choose you. There are a growing number of places where people can leave online reviews now – Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and more.

But, getting your customers to spend their time writing reviews for you can sometimes be tricky. Here are a few tips on how to get your customers to do so.

1. Asking in person

The best way to get a review is ultimately by asking in person. The right time to ask is when you have established a connection and the client is happy with your service. It should be asked by the person who conducted the sale or service. The customer will feel more inclined to than if they were asked by another person in the business, e.g. the owner.

The perfect time to ask for a review is just when they have thanked you for your service or product. All you need to do then is ask them to put what they have just said in writing for other people to read.

2. Asking via email

It isn’t always possible to ask in person – you may not have much face-to-face interaction with your customers. The email should come from a personal email address and from someone the customer is familiar with. Make it as personable as possible.

3. Make it easy

Customers won’t be as inclined to leave a review if they think you’re expecting pages detailing how wonderful you are. If you want a short and snappy review then that is fine. For a review more than a paragraph long, provide your customers with a few questions that they can easily answer, so you can put the testimonial together.

If you want them to leave a review on a certain website like your Facebook page or Yelp, give them the link to the exact page. It’s all about making it as easy as possible for the customer.

4. Provide an incentive

Sometimes, even your most loyal and happy customers need a little incentive to spend their time on writing a review for you. Offering a prize to a random winner who writes a review can be an effective way to get lots of reviews. Just make sure that your offer is for writing a review in general and not for a good one. Don’t give people the impression that you are paying for good reviews.

Now it’s time to start asking! For more information on how we can help your business develop an effective website and online marketing campaign, as well as generate great reviews, get in touch with us.

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5 ways to attract potential customers in 2014 with no cost

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