For most businesses, trying to retain customers is a no-brainer. Everyone knows that it is much more expensive, and requires far more effort, to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones; it is much easier to encourage customers to buy from you again than to encourage people to part with their money for the first time. Your focus on customer retention, of course, depends entirely on the goods you sell. If you own a coffee shop or clothing store, for example, you will focus more on customer retention than a vehicle trader or appliances. Here are some top tips on how to increase your customer retention!
1. Have a social media login option
If you give the option, most people will check out as a guest – very few people want to fill out the potentially lengthy forms to register. By giving them to option to check out and make a quick account using their Facebook or Google login, they will be more likely to opt for this, which will also give you the chance to run retargeting ads on their social media feed, and therefore more likely to become a return customer.
2. Avoid promising too much
Many businesses, especially when they are first starting out, can sometimes raise customers' expectations too high. "Make sure you keep in mind that customers only know what you tell them", says Lauren H. Morgan, retention manager at EliteAssignmentHelp and Paper Fellows. "Promising them the world and then completely under-delivering is a sure-fire way to lose customers. Keep everything as accurate as possible so expectations are aligned with reality".
3. Customer service is paramount
Having an effective customer service policy allows you to communicate with customers, and help you retain customers both before and after sales. An instant service such as live chat, as well as a strong social media presence, will allow you to quickly and efficiently resolve customers' issues, and can very easily transform a disgruntled customer into a happy, repeat one.
4. Don't underestimate loyalty schemes
Loyalty schemes have been used for years, and for good reason. They are an invaluable way of encouraging repeat custom and inciting people to return more frequently to get better rewards. It becomes beneficial for both you and your customers, as you receive their repeat business, and they get more rewards each time they shop with you. Capture new customers by offering a scheme such as double welcome points, encouraging people to spend their money with you and potentially return in the future. A VIP programme can also be enticing for those who sign up for emails; offering them early access to sales, discounts on special occasions etc. can be invaluable in encouraging customers to spend more money on your business.
5. Send out engaging content
This is probably the most important aspect of retaining customers, as it allows you to curate a relationship with your customers after they have bought from you. However, it is vital that each email you send out adds something to that relationship, rather than just being an annoying presence in their inbox, and eventually banished to the spam folder! Email is the highest converting method – data has shown that most conversions on days such as Black Friday come via email, so it is worth investing a lot of energy into this!
6. Offer a special discount
Discounting products all the time is a no-go, as it creates an environment where customers believe prices should always be discounted, creating a loss of revenue for your business - and if prices aren't dropped, they may go somewhere else! However, for a first-time buyer, giving them a 10% (or, if you can afford to, 20%) discount can be massively beneficial, as it can be a brilliant way to entice them back!
7. Keep testing your strategy
Keep tailoring and altering your email strategy to make them personal to your individual customers. Use the data you already have on them, such as what they have searched for or bought, to create personalized emails. Additionally, keep testing incentives and competitions, mix up your content and subject lines to see what generates the most custom and increases customer engagement.
8. Honesty is the best policy
Businesses that build their reputations on honesty with their customers have been proven to have the best customer retention rates. Be upfront about what you do with their data, give them the option to opt out, unsubscribe from emails, and delete accounts. "Make sure you have a comprehensive FAQ section, and cover all bases from refunds and returns, to data protection", says Vickie M. Baldwin, sales manager at OXEssays and UKTopWriters. "Try and send out surveys, too, to create a conversation with customers about ideas and show that you are willing to be honest and open with your clientele!"
9. Generate a brand community
People want to feel like they are a part of something. This is what you can offer them as a brand. Make sure you highlight this at every possible opportunity! Great ways to do this are including buyer testimony on your website, linking with social media by creating hashtags, or adding customers' pictures. It will make people far more likely to buy from you again if they feel they are buying into a community, rather than just a brand or a product.
Retaining customers is an important thing in the e-commerce world. Not only is it much cheaper on average than getting a new customer but it's also crucial for building loyalty and a community that will keep returning to your products. Follow these tips to increase customer retention!
Grace Carter is a content manager at Assignment Help and Australian Reviewer services. She curates a team of writers, manages marketing strategies. Also, Grace creates courses on content writing at UK Writings, academic service.