Customer service is of the highest important. But so is customer retention. It is a fact that a high customer retention rate contributes to a business’ sustainability and profitability. Research has proven that customer acquisition costs a company more than customer retention. But the way a business goes about its customer retention strategy also depends on the business’ type. E-commerce businesses cater to online customers who have a particular set of expectations different from customers who purchase from physical stores.
With all the distractions that online customers face in the online world, not to forget the very competitive nature of the e-commerce industry, getting your customers to repeatedly buy from you is easier said than done. But this is not to say that retaining your online customers is impossible. These are five proven ways to help you retain your online customers.
1. Under-promise and over-deliver
Any customer wants to be impressed, and this is one of the proven ways to do it. Promising your online customers a 1 week shipping time, but delivering their order in a day or two will surely encourage them to order from you again. You do two things when you under-promise and over-deliver: one, you prove that you are a reliable business, and two, you go the extra mile for their happiness.
2. Craft a customer-centric loyalty program
Of course, a predecessor to this step is to know your customers very well. This goes beyond knowing their name and shipping information, but knowing why they became your customer in the first place, their preferences and frustrations. Only then can you come up with a loyalty program that they will appreciate and sign up for. Many online businesses have loyalty programs that use customer referrals or e-newsletter subscriptions for discount vouchers. Some offer discounts for successfully installing their website’s app on a device. The key here is to focus on rewarding the customer for being a customer in the first place, and keep the rewards, tailored to their tastes, coming their way.
3. Be transparent
Communication is a key ingredient for any relationship, be it personal or professional, to flourish. To retain your online customers, you must always communicate with them. Always keep them posted of the status of their product delivery. Make the effort to update them of your new products, new contact details or new policies on returns and exchanges. Never leave them in the dark regarding any changes that will affect them or their relationship with you. This honest-to-goodness transparency shows your commitment to their well-being and draws them to remain loyal to you.
4. Personalize their service
You may not know exactly how your online customers look like, but you have to remember that they are still people who love receiving personalized service. Whether it be a handwritten thank-you card, a birthday greeting or including free samples of products you know your customers will love, every little effort goes a long way in making them feel special, and making you stand out from your competitors. A personalized customer service shows you value and view your customers as persons, not currency signs. This gives your online customers more reason to transact with you again in the near future, and confidently share your business to their contacts.
5. Serve with quality and speed
Research has shown online customers value excellent customer service over quick support. Make sure that you place an emphasis on correctly answering their questions and resolving their concerns as much, or more than responding to them quickly.
Experts say applying these five ways can help retain your online customers and boost your online business’ growth.
*Learn more simple strategies from Magellan Solutions – a top BPO company in the Philippines helping small and medium enterprises: