How to communicate during the customer journey and increase customer loyalty
The ideal customer journey is much less linear these days than it used to be. More like a cycle in which customers return to the store again and again - ideally, at least. For this reason, customer retention is just as important (if not more so) as new customer acquisition. According to Bain and Company, one of the world's largest management consultancies, increasing customer loyalty by just 5 percent can boost a company's profitability by a full 75 percent.
For online retailers, it is therefore more important than ever to keep their customers happy and satisfied. The challenge here is that in today's networked world, customer expectations are high: retailers must always be available for concerns and questions and actually respond immediately. Tolerance for mistakes, on the other hand, is low.
Customers want proactive communication
An often overlooked way to improve the customer journey is through proactive, regular and honest communication. Customers want to be informed every step of the way. Whether it's finding the right product to returning it if the garment they ordered doesn't fit.
And this is exactly where retailers have the opportunity to show their customers how much they care that they have a good shopping experience. That they feel valued, cared for and accompanied.
Reliability is the be-all and end-all
Today's consumers expect reliability, authenticity and transparency, which in turn makes proactive communication essential for retailers. When customers get exactly the information they need and want at that particular time, you can boost trust in your brand -and ultimately the loyalty of your customers- tremendously.
Use every single touchpoint!
There are several touchpoints where you can communicate with your customers and keep them informed. Let's go through each touchpoint and see how retailers can use them for their communication:
- Awareness: Product and service offerings should be clearly communicated. This makes it easier to be found and leads the best customers to your store.
- Consideration:The first customer contact is important! Customers are continuously confronted with products, services and brands. It must therefore be very clear what distinguishes its own brand from the competition.
- Purchase: Provide the customer with a smooth shopping experience. Be transparent and let the customer clearly see what to expect during and after the purchase.
- Shipment & Delivery: Inform your customers where their orders are currently, when and where they will arrive, and if there are any delays or other disruptions. Good shipping information makes customers happy.
- Returns: Customers feel more comfortable when return options are clearly communicated up front. Also important: Customers want to be informed when their return has successfully arrived back at the retailer.
More tips in our checklist
This brief overview has shown: You really can (and should) use every single touchpoint of the customer journey to communicate with your customers. For more tips on how to make the shopping experience even better for your customers, check out our checklist for mail order companies:
###10 tips for brand loyalty and customer retention.
Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.