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A significant part of our everyday lives is now spent online. The Internet has become unavoidable. We use it for work, socializing, and entertainment. With the Internet becoming more accessible and affordable, online shopping has become easy and convenient. Starting an online business doesn't seem to be a problem thanks to no entry barriers. E-commerce has completely changed the consumer market. The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted e-commerce sales. New e-commerce companies are sprouting up everywhere. No entry barriers are also the reason why E-commerce competition is so strong. But there’s still a chance to win.
Customer loyalty is the answer. It is one of those advantages any ecommerce business owner wants to gain in today’s overly competitive world. Nowadays, the quality of a brand’s customer base determines its success and there are numbers to back it up.
Loyalty creates customers that will buy from your e-commerce store repeatedly. Any e-commerce store owner should value its repeat customers. There are several reasons for that:
- They spend more money
- Selling to them is easier
- They will recommend you to their friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues
That’s why you should always think about your customers first. Understanding their needs is one of the most important factors for business success. You should remember you are there to listen. When you pay attention to their needs you create products that meet their needs. Besides, you can gain their loyalty and trust.
So of course, frequent buyers are great, but how do you encourage them to buy more? Here are 5 hacks that help you create true customer loyalty.
1. Under Promise and Over Deliver
You are all aware of the concept of “underpromising and over-delivering.” To make your customers feel appreciated you can use this customer service concept. The more you focus on it, the happier they will feel. And happy customers are more likely to be your loyal customers.
These days, customers have higher expectations when it comes to product delivery. To exceed their expectations you need to deliver your goods earlier than promised. You should deliver your brand promise if you say the item will ship in 24 hours. Want to outdo yourself? Deliver faster than you advertise. You really want to shine in your customer’s eyes. So, don’t keep your customers waiting! When delivery times are too slow, 85% of customers look elsewhere for better options. You should exceed the expectations of your clients. A faster delivery speed can increase sales and improve your customer’s loyalty.
2. You are There to Listen
Listening to your customers is more important than ever. Customers have a louder voice thanks to social media. They are quick and often merciless. And you don't want to have them talking about their negative experience on social media. People spend a lot of time on social media. Some of them tend to trust other customers more than the businesses they’re buying from. Some negative reviews may look suspicious. So, you need to know how to determine fake competitor reviews. That’s why it is important to be present on social media. Your unsatisfied customers can damage your brand and profitability. You should always prioritize your clients. Why is it important to listen to them? There are several reasons for that. Some customers know exactly what they want. Just like girls that want Dyson or guys that want PS5. Gathering customer feedback also may prove beneficial to your online business. By focusing your questions on their experiences, you can see what works or what's not. To turn your customers into loyal ones, you must make sure they are happy throughout their purchase journey. Customer feedback helps you measure their level of satisfaction. What’s more, it is essential for customer loyalty. When your customers feel heard, they want to continue to do business with you.
3. Find the Most Effective Communication Channels
“Don’t try to tell the customer what he wants. If you want to be smart, be smart in the shower. Then get out, go to work, and serve the customer!”
I love this quote because it is real. If you want to know what your customers want, talk to them. Find out what they want, what makes them happy, and what you may do to improve.
Effective customer communication can result in higher sales, repeat business, and referrals. There are many ways to start a conversation with a consumer. It's up to you to decide which one works best for you.
Effective E-commerce Email Communication
Yes, email communication definitely matters for ecommerce customers. People still prefer commerce companies to reach out to them via email. Online customer interaction is becoming more and more important.
In the morning, more than half of millennials between the ages of 18 and 24 check their email while still in bed. 43% of those between the ages of 25 and 34 do the same thing.
As you can see, email remains a popular method of communication for both businesses and customers.
Using Social Media to Communicate with Customers
Social media platforms can help you build customer loyalty. When you engage with your customers on social media you encourage them to interact more. Responding to your customers on social media is important because it shows that you value them. Besides, it can be effective in fostering community on social media.
For example, you can use Instagram’s direct messaging to chat with your customers. You can also reply to their comments on your Instagram or Facebook posts. While it’s not necessary to reply to each comment, you can like their comments. Let the customers know that you have read them.
Communicating with Customers Over the Live Chat
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. This communication channel provides immediate support and that’s why people love it. Another reason, why live chat is so popular is because of the ease of use.
Phone Calls are Your Secret Weapon for Customer Loyalty
Despite all the technologies we have now, the self-service era hasn't come yet. You cannot underestimate the power of a phone conversation. Especially when you have an experienced employee doing the job. It's also a great opportunity to build an emotional connection with your customer. A good phone conversation can deepen the trust in you and your business. You can solve many customer issues in a single call and get some valuable insights. It will help your company to deliver better service, deepen customer loyalty, and improve brand awareness. According to studies, millennials are more inclined to settle their disputes over the phone than through other channels like live chat, social media, or email. Their trust and loyalty will be easier to gain if they can talk to you immediately.
4. Show Customers Social Proof
People prefer to act like they are independent thinkers. But the reality is different. We are social beings. Family and friends still influence our buying decisions. Positive comments from real customers are the most common form of social proof. When you have positive reviews on your e-commerce website it shows that your company is legit.
There are several methods to use social proof as leverage. You can use it through case studies, recommendations, reviews, and media mentions. Social proof can be a strong driver for loyalty. It saves money and improves the customer journey. Social proof should be timely, targeted, and trusted. When used right, you can boost your conversion rate and build trust.
5. Improving the Employee Experience to Build Customer Loyalty
There’s a link between customer loyalty and employee experience. The more satisfied your employees are, the more efficient they become. Happy employees are more likely to assist clients in a kind manner. We all love a good deal, and a good bargain but we are more than willing to pay more for a friendly customer experience. Saying rude words to customers is never acceptable. As a customer, you should never tolerate such behavior. As an e-commerce business owner, you should listen to your employees, too. Talk to them; ask for advice on how to improve the working environment. When an employee shows results, openly acknowledge his or her achievements. Celebrate it in the group meetings. It’s crucial to maintain employees’ positive attitudes toward the company and their work. Use such metrics as employee surveys and exit interviews to gauge and monitor employee satisfaction and retention. The way you treat your staff has a direct impact on customer service. Happy employees = Happy customers.
There’s nothing more important to a company than its customer loyalty. It is everything in today’s overly competitive digital world. Investing in customer loyalty will make your business grow. If you want to keep your customers coming back, these hacks will help you do that. When you put the needs of your customers first, it will make your business stronger. But first, you need to listen to your customers and employees.