Today consumers are constantly surrounded by advertising on social media, out-of-home and through digital communications such as email. So, a well thought-out customer retention strategy is paramount to business success. In fact, did you know that, according to research from Marketing Metrics, eConsultancy and Adobe, loyal customers are five-to-nine times more likely to become repeat customers than first-time shoppers?
To help you create loyalty, and in turn gain repeat customers, here are five handy steps to get you started.
1. Clear details on the product description page
Customers want information to be presented to them in a clear and easy format so it can be digested quickly. So make sure your product description page displays the shipping methods available and the estimated date of delivery.
Customer confidence increases when they feel in control and in the know about their purchase. Indeed, 58% of customers will likely become repeat purchasers at a company that sticks to their delivery promises.
2. Provide exemplary customer service
Consumers expect excellent customer service so go one step further and invest in tools to make contacting you even easier. Having live chat or a help desk is the best way to engage with customers and provide them with the immediate response they are looking for.
These tools allow you to communicate clearly with a customer and if they do have a complaint, you can come to a resolution quickly. Indeed, an effectively resolved problem can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal, repeat one.
3. Communicate regularly post-purchase
One of the most damaging things for a customer-retailer relationship is a lack of communication post-purchase. We’re all familiar with that feeling of excitement when you’ve bought a new outfit and can’t wait to receive it; customers expect to know the details of their order and when it will be arriving. Even more importantly, they want to be able to track their order step-by-step and let the delivery driver know where to leave it if they’re not home.
Impressing a customer with your post-purchase communications and giving them the choice of how to receive them (e.g. SMS, Whatsapp, email) will instil trust in your business, which is essential when it comes to retaining customers.
4. Create exclusive discount or loyalty programs for repeat customers
Offering a discount code post-purchase not only encourages customers to buy from you again but also shows that you value their continued business. Giving more than the standard 10% will actively inspire customers to use the code and according to Market Wired, once a customer makes a second purchase they are 54% more likely to do so again – this small investment can reap big rewards for a business!
Or go one step further and start a customer loyalty program. A report by Bond Brand Loyalty found that 80% of those surveyed said they are more likely to use a business that has a loyalty program and 70% said they actually make purchases to maximise points. In fact, loyalty program members generate 12 to 18% more revenue per year than non-members, according to Accenture.
5. Create a stress-free returns policy
As customers shop online more and more, the need for a simple and stress-free returns policy is greater than ever. Research shows that 67% of US shoppers look at a site’s returns policy before buying, so spending some time perfecting yours will go a long way in creating lasting relationships with customers.
Take a look at our handy article on what your returns policy needs to help you get started. In short, invest in making the returns experience low effort for the customer and ensure you are regularly communicating with them on the status along the way.
For most businesses, it’s easier to retain customers than gain new ones – and more profitable too! So by taking into account these handy tips, you’ll be well on the way to making the most out of your customer retention strategy.