Since you are a business owner, one of the most important things you should learn is how to retain your customers. It is more challenging than attracting new customers, but it greatly benefits the business in the grand scheme. This strategy is prevalent if your business is unique and you are trying to build your brand name. Being a business owner, you would like to look after every customer who purchases from your online store because you need to establish a base of loyal customers to thrive.
Customer retention is an art that every business owner should master because it adds to your online presence. In addition, when you retain customers regularly, your marketing efforts are long-lasting.
If you have opened a business for the first time, you may think customer retention strategies shouldn't be your utmost priority. Suppose you are ticking all the boxes related to your business plans. You may not need to implement customer retention strategies because your business products and services will retain customers automatically. However, this is only true for some businesses, and you shouldn't live in a world of assumptions. After all, miscalculations and assumptions are two of the biggest reasons why businesses decline drastically.
Relevant Customer Retention Strategies Today
1) Set Realistic Expectations
If you want to retain customers regularly, setting realistic expectations for yourself and your business structure would be best. It can impact your business's ability to retain customers.
For example, if we talk about shipping times, we usually think about Amazon. Unfortunately, nowadays, many online stores need help to compete with Amazon regarding shipping times. However, you can identify an alternative and ensure that you keep your customers informed.
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If your customers have ordered a product from your online store and have to wait for a few days to be delivered to their doorstep, it can be down to the following reasons:
- They don't know how long the shipping takes. Hence, the frustration increases daily if they haven't received their product.
- They understand that shipping will take time from the beginning, so they give the business owner a time limit of two weeks. Now, it's the responsibility of the business to be in line with their expectations.
If the objective is to retain customers, you would like to go with the second reason mentioned above. You can display transparent shipping information on your eCommerce website. Furthermore, you can email your customers and inform them if the order has been received, the order was processed, or the order was dispatched.
When you set expectations regarding your business, it goes way beyond just shipping. Being a business owner, you must build accurate product descriptions and ensure there aren't any surprise fees in the checkout process.
2) Create a Loyalty Program
When you retain customers, a customer loyalty program should be an essential part of your plans. These programs are beneficial to the customers as they provide them with incentives that they can use to return to your store and make further purchases.
Once your customers consider your loyalty program, make them feel privileged by hooking them up with offers. For example, you can give them a sneak peek into new products or offer exclusive deals. This behavior would make your customers feel that you care about them deeply.
There is also an option to give customers loyalty benefits before they have opted for your program. For example, you can offer your customers a discount code in their confirmation email. Don't demand anything related to the subscription fee from them. Just give them the discount immediately.
If you offer value to your customers without any cloaked agendas after they have bought products from your store, it can become one of your best ways to retain customers.
3) Pay Attention to Questions
There comes a time when you need more than two eyes to edit your content because a single person can ignore typos. The same concept applies when you build an online store. You have established the customer journey, made the eCommerce product pages, and set the product prices. Simply put, you understand everything about your store because you invented it.
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Although you know everything about your store, it isn't necessarily an advantage because it may bring the risk of negligence. Since you are a business owner, you cannot figure out the mistakes in your store the same way as your customers.
If you pay attention to online questions, you can retain customers efficiently. For example, if a customer asks an obvious question, it can be a clue that isn't necessarily so obvious. If customers request a question you have already answered, it may indicate that you haven't explained your answer clearly. The easier you make your customers feel while asking questions, the higher your customer retention rate will be.
The essential thing is that customer retention depends on the customer satisfaction score. If your customers don't like the customer service you provide, there is no way that they will come back to your online store. Hence, every complaint received looks like a customer satisfaction survey. Therefore, you must use these complaints to retain customers efficiently.
4) Be Active on Social Media
You cannot retain customers by posting on your social media platforms once in a while. If customers forget about your existence, you simply cannot keep them.
If being social is part of your customer retention strategy, blend it into the customer journey. For example, you can put social media buttons in your footer, checkout page, and contact page.
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If customers compliment your online store on social media, thank them for their kind words and share their positive reviews with the rest of your followers. Hence, you can generate a great buzz about yourself.
5) Target Customers on Social
Social media can help retain customers by letting your target audience buy your products. For example, if you are active on Facebook and Twitter, you can create a target audience based on their visiting pages.
When it comes to customer segmentation, most of the targeting done by business owners is down to guesswork. However, they have educated guesses because they are based on gender, interests, hobbies, and location.
When you use social media to target previous buyers, it takes away all the guesswork. You know that the people who will receive your ads have already purchased products from your store, which makes social targeting a valuable tool for your customer retention strategy.
If you gain expertise in social targeting, it will only be a matter of time before you generate many results for your business.
6) Conduct Email Marketing
Every email you send to your customers helps you to retain customers efficiently. Even if your intention isn't to retain customers, your emails will play a role in one way or the other.
We talked earlier about how important it is to set your expectations. Interestingly, your emails can be part of your marketing plan. The emails that can play a role in your expectations are as follows:
- Order confirmation
- Shipment confirmation (when the order is received)
- Follow-up thank you
You can use these emails to set expectations, engage with your customers, and increase customer retention. Once your customers convert into email subscribers, you can prioritize segmentation. For example, you can create segments based on specific products purchased by the customers, the amount of money they spend, their discount codes, and so on.
It feels like emails aren't as popular today as they were previously. Due to the emergence of different social media platforms, emails have become less intrusive. However, they are still relevant across various industries, and people still use emails to generate business leads.
Retain Customers Through Your Strikingly Website
Let's assume that you want to implement the practices of retaining your customers. In that case, you must create a professional website that doesn't just display your products and services and keeps attracting your customers regularly.
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On Strikingly, our users have quickly developed exquisite and responsive websites with the help of a user-friendly website editor. Strikingly is a professional website builder full of innovative tools which allow you to build and develop a website without investing in experienced web developers. We provide our users with a compilation of responsive templates and the drag-and-drop feature so they can easily upload and modify their content. Strikingly also allows you to send newsletters out to your subscribers efficiently.
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Once registered on our platform, you will come under our free plan and be allowed to create an essential website suited to your business plan. You can contact us through the live chat feature if you are experiencing any problems building your website. You can start your career on Strikingly today by creating a professional website, implementing marketing strategies to retain customers, and increasing online sales.
Nowadays, many entrepreneurs are focusing on how to attract new customers. Although new customers are necessary for every business today, nurturing your existing customer base is also essential.
Being a business owner, you shouldn't invest all your marketing budget in attracting new customers. Instead, you should allocate some money to improving relationships with previous buyers. These people know your brand and will be delighted to see you focusing on them, even though they have made their first purchase from your store.