10 Ways to Nurture Customer Loyalty
When it comes to customer loyalty, the ongoing relationship between you and your customer is yours to win or lose. As an entrepreneur, strengthening the trust between your business and your clients is key to your company’s growth and to surviving the competition in today’s crowded marketplace.
It seems obvious but these days, business owners can get caught up in casting a wider net and growing leads, rather than lead conversions. As a web development agency, we often focus on customer lead generation because that’s our job; but for business owners, it’s converting the leads into revenue that should be an ongoing priority.
Dive into the value of relationship-building and find out how you can nurture single-pay customers who’ve tried out your services but haven’t returned… Yet!
Connect One on One
From a simple “thank-you” email after a transaction to using an individual’s name in communications, being aware of your customers as humans first can go a long way. People spending their money online and offline for goods and services want to be seen and understood. Customer service is and always will be a way to show that you will go the extra mile and get to know them, and their needs, to help make their lives a little easier both now and repeatedly. Don’t be afraid to follow-up afterwards. A genuine show of interest in feedback can give you all kinds of insights into why your customers aren’t coming back for more.
Find out why they aren’t returning. Use surveys, phone calls, email follow-ups, and any other method of non-intrusive communication* to touch base and encourage customer engagement for valuable feedback.
* Knocking on their door unannounced might be taking things a bit far. But the point is to ask the hard questions and don’t be afraid to hear the truth, in fact, document it, save it, honour it with highlights and all caps. Knowing your weaknesses will help you grow; both your business and your customer opportunities.
Solve Problems… For Free
Just because they haven’t returned doesn’t mean they won’t, you just need to target their issues and problems to further develop customer loyalty. If you’ve followed step two to figure out why your customers aren’t returning, then you already have inspiration for blog posts, emails, newsletters, or topics for forums in special “customer-only” Facebook groups or online support channels that can encourage engagement and position you as a creative thought leader. It doesn’t just have to be behind the scenes either; get out in your community. Give talks, be a media contact, and share your offline expertise, event presentations, and news clippings to your target audience as a way to consistently offer solutions.
Listen & Respond with Email Automations
Personalized autoresponders can be triggered by actions taken on your website; from welcome emails or following up with additional information after a client downloads a PDF (use Google Tag Manager to track these actions and trigger responses), to follow-ups, one-time promotions or additional training services, and event invites, there are plenty of ways to incorporate custom automation into client interactions.
Campaign for a Win
Taking the email automation one step further, drip campaigns can be highly effective in showing clients the value of an ongoing relationship with you and your business. Create an in-depth series of newsletter-style email campaigns that can attract your one-time customers from all sides and perspectives. If you can connect with a need, and offer a way to meet it, the chances are that a customer will reach out to ask for help. Be sure to segment your email lists; provide targeted information targeted to specific audiences so that you appear to know exactly what your customers need and want, rather than sending them information that isn’t relevant to them. For example, you don’t want to send your long term clients information on payment options for first-time purchases. Know your audience, and market accordingly.
Get Flexible with Payment Options
Often times, a lack of customer engagement has to do with finances and budgets. If you’re offering a free trial, for example, but the payment for services is too great you’ll lose the opportunity to retrain the customer. But if you have flexible payment plans or packages, there is more opportunity to tailor your offerings. One of the biggest changes in the online retail world over the last few years is the advancement of automated and secure installment payment plans. This allows shoppers to pay by installments over time, and maybe an option if you’re finding your service costs are a barrier to purchases.
Provide Customized Support
From the moment a new customer signs on for your services to the final goodbye and subsequent follow-up, offering support is a great way to show you care about your client’s needs over your bottom line. Whether it’s regular newsletter updates through Campaign Monitor or MailChimp, your personalized information can help inspire customers to make their first purchase or find additional products and services. Being there for your clients, big or small, will leave a lasting impression that can lead to return business or referrals.
Develop Your Content Formats
Look for ways to engage your clients with different content formats from interactive videos to infographics or podcasts. According to SEMRush, “Humans are visual learners: 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual.” Make sure you’re catering to all your audiences with a variety of content for visual learners, readers, listeners, other languages and more to connect in new and relatable ways.
Get Together Off-Line
Invite your one-time clients for a training or information session or in-office Q&A. Hold a company summit, or special event, and meet your potential long-term customers face to face. There’s plenty of opportunity in a group setting to get to know people, their needs, their concerns, their barriers to purchase and to address those with your knowledgeable, friendly staff in an informal, fun and engaging atmosphere.
Be Creative with Customer Service
We might all be a bit tired of the cliché “think outside the box,” but it’s universal and timeless when it comes to answering the question of how to keep your customers interested. In a world where every idea is taken and redundant content, services, and products are high, finding a fresh new way to get to know your customers will always win you points that could be a key factor in returning to you for further business. From personalized gifts, to open houses, community partnerships, volunteer engagements and office lunch and learns there’s no shortage of ways that you can step outside the norm and bring the above and beyond to your own style of customer service.
In need of more information or want to hone in on one or more areas for your own business? Let us know. We’ll work with you to tailor a customer loyalty campaign unique to your conversion goals.