Years ago, most businesses built relationships with their customers based on face-to-face interactions with the staff. Now however, many transactions take place online which means the way businesses develop relationships with their customers has changed. Since face to face strategies are out of the question, business owners and even digital marketing agencies are presented with a challenge. Here are a few things we can do to build customer loyalty and trust online.
Social media is a great way to connect and interact with customers. Whether a consumer is vetting a company or finding out what people have to say about a particular company, more people are reaching businesses through social media. According to a study from Deloitte, 75% of online Americans say product information found on social channels influences their shopping behavior and enhances brand loyalty. If your business is on social media, be sure it is properly managed either by an in-house team or by a marketing agency that offers social media management. Poorly managed social media accounts can scare away potential customers.
A study by Nielsen found that 76% of North American consumers are more likely to choose retailers that offer loyalty programs. There are a variety of ways to implement a loyalty program online for customers such as email coupons, loyalty points and shipping perks. Most of all, make sure your loyalty program is easy to use. If your program is confusing and frustrating to use, it wouldn’t create any trust or loyalty.
Customer reviews are important for any potential customer vetting a product or service online. Reviews are especially valuable since that potential customer can’t physically hold the product or try out the service before they buy it. Business owners should take advantage of their loyal customers by encouraging them to write up reviews and use this information to help boost the confidence in online shoppers. This strategy can even help build loyalty and many times these customers who write reviews then become brand ambassadors.
It’s important to always be listening to your customers. One great way to do this is to review yourself constantly either by emailing or calling a group of customers after they’ve received your product or service. This allows you to generate feedback and find out what you can improve upon. Contacting customers also gives you an opportunity to talk about other services you offer and/or any specials you might have.
When mistakes happen (and they will) make sure they are corrected quickly. People appreciate a call and apology because it shows accountability. Also, be sure your staff is all on the same page that if one customer is unhappy, it’s not one persons problem, it is everyones problem. Don’t be critical of each other. Focus on taking down your competitors, not your coworkers.
The new marketplace present challenges for both business owners and marketing agencies alike. They must create great experiences for all users. If these challenges are met head on and worked out there is huge ROI potential. Is your business ready for the new marketplace?