Ask an online store owner his ecommerce marketing goal. He would most likely answer lead acquisition to make more sales. There’s nothing necessarily wrong wanting the same thing. But, what about those who previously brought from you. Will you leave them in the dark? You need customer retention strategies.
Repeat customers are important
Don’t be coldhearted. They are still valuable, more so than new leads. There is a higher probability (60%-70%) of making a sale from previous customers than new prospects. If that isn’t compelling enough, they also bring more money. You only need 20% of your loyal customers to bring you as much as 80% of your future revenue. You can make more money with existing customers. But what if you are on a very tight marketing budget?
Don’t worry. You will spend less when reaching out to old clients. Meanwhile, lead acquisitions can leave a dent in your wallet. Take a look at your Facebook ads expenses. How much is your daily budget? You spend as 16 times more to make a new lead a loyal customer. Now that you are aware of the advantages of customer retention. Are you ready to start? Let’s break down several customer retention strategies to win back lost customers and make them loyal fans of your brand.
Improve your customer service
Do you want to scare buyers away? Then, make customer service a top priority. Doesn’t sound alarming enough? How about 82% of United States customers will never buy again from you. Worst, they will switch sides and order from your arch-nemesis.
By improving your after-sales support, 70% of customers will make a repeat purchase. Even when the decision is not in their favor, they will choose you and buy again. For example, a client wants a refund because the device doesn’t work. But, after close inspection, you find out that there is water damage. This voids their refund claim. So, instead of ignoring them, you share your findings.
You can improve customer service by having a reasonable return policy. Adding a warranty or return claim within 30 days from the order date. You can add some exceptions, especially for customers who received their orders damaged. Consider a full refund or send them a replacement free of charge.
Responding to complaints, inquiries, and other concerns can be great too. You should have a customer support team available 24/7. Even chat support representatives will do. Train them properly so they can provide quality support even for angry customers.
If that is not possible, you can set-up a chatbot from your website or Facebook page. Chatbots operate 24/7. They will interact with the buyer when you are AFK. They don’t send random words. The text you input in the chat flow will be sent out. Some even have real-time notifications via email. ManyChat and Intercom are two chatbot providers that you can choose from.
Send out targeted and segmented emails
Emails are not only for announcing updates or exclusive promotions. You can also use it to lure existing customers back into your sales funnel. But, don’t send them the same message you usually would in your entire email list. They won’t appreciate it. It just shows that you’ve already forgotten about them.
What you should do is prepare a separate campaign for them. For instance, a previous customer bought a pair of running shoes. You wouldn’t send him a message about pet supply and other items in your store. You need to offer a relevant product to his previous purchase. Since he bought running shoes, you can give valuable and related content. You can share a few tips and tricks about keeping shoes clean during inclement weather. You can also upsell other items like a professional shoe cleaning kit. Add a special discount to make it more appealing. This personalized experience can equate to repeat business according to a study.
Have a brand loyalty program
Customers remain loyal if they feel and assured that they are not any other buyers out there. In a nutshell, you need to show that you value and cherish the buyer-customer relationship. How? By rewarding them with freebies. Customers can’t get enough of them that they prefer brands with such offerings over those who do not.
Exclusive loyalty and rewards programs can make anyone feel important and valued. Many airlines have it. Every time you travel, they will add miles to your account. When you accumulate enough points, you can score a free flight. Sweet!
Other companies’ memberships provide exclusive deals and discounts before they announce their promos. Some offer priority shipping. You can set-up a program that converts money spent into reward points. For example, every $50 spent equates to 10% reward points. They can collect these points and use them in the future. Validity is, of course, within a year so that they can collect more. For you, this means more business. You should consider giving away more points during special holidays and low-peak seasons.
Understand your customers
If you don’t ask, then you wouldn’t know why customers never purchased again and vanished. Conducting surveys is a great way to get the bottom of it. You may find out that they are struggling with the payment procedure and warranty claim. There might be product quality lapse too.
But, don’t make your survey super long that it would become a nuisance. Keep your survey short, simple, and, most importantly, be direct to the point. No one wants to spend more than five minutes answering a questionnaire. More so, if they don’t get something in return. If you want to get more participants, offer a discount or a gift card. Ask yourself, when was the last time you answered a form that is three pages long and comes with a text box for you to fill?
Try answering your own survey. If it takes more than three minutes, then it’s more likely to long. Focus on multiple-choice questions since it is more convenient for respondents. Creating a survey isn’t difficult. If you go to Google Drive, you will find Google Forms. You can custom-made forms and have access to real-time answers. There’s no need to compute as well because it can analyze data too.
Surveys are not for data collection only. You need to take action too. Once you have all the insight that you need, make sure to put in place those concerns. First, you can prepare one-off emails. Thank them for their honest feedback. Don’t forget to share your plan to address and resolve their problems. This will make customers new and existing at ease and valued. Participants should have at least an incentive. It can be an automatic brand membership or a simple gift card.
It’s not all about acquiring new leads all the time. Any ecommerce shop can recognize the importance of reaching out to old clients as well. They might have the product they need, it doesn’t mean that they won’t buy again. They will only turn-away if you don’t value or show you care. With the right customer retention strategies, you can make repeat business daily. Use our top four customer retention strategies and find out!