Ecommerce Expertise / How To Sell Online

5 Ways To Build Customer Loyalty

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I just got back from UserConf in NYC. The conference is all about creating better customer experiences, which in turn leads to more loyal customers. Here are five tips for how you can build customer loyalty.

1. Go where your customers interact.
If you want to create customer evangelists, you need to engage with them where they already are. If they are on Pinterest and Facebook, you better have an active presence there. If they are on a wildly popular bird feeding forum, start contributing to the discussion on there (in a non-spammy way of course.)

2. Strive to empower and educate your customers.
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Empower your customers to be self-sufficient. When done well, this produces a happier experience for everyone. In my opinion, nobody does this better than MailChimp. If you submit a support ticket, one of their support agents will coach you through solving the issue. By coaching clients, MailChimp has built up an extensive knowledgebase and external resources. All to help clients get the help they need faster.

3. Invest in a self service channel.
To go right along with my previous point, create a knowledgebase or FAQ section of common questions and problems that your customers may run into. Then you can direct them to that particular article as opposed to answering the same question 50 times a week.

4. Encourage your employees to do right by the customer (and give them the tools to do it).
Empower whoever is supporting your customers to do right by the customer. This may mean giving the occasional refund when you mess up, or an hour-long conversation to proactively manage expectations.

They may need additional tools to do this, like Zendesk.

While this might involve some upfront costs, having happy, empowered employees tends to lead to better customer experiences for everyone.

5. Make customer retention a priority.
Lastly, it costs 6x more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Spend as much time if not more building loyalty with your existing customers than you spend on acquiring new ones.

After all, what’s the point of acquiring 100 new customers if 90 of them buy one small order and never return? That’s just not scalable. So, how do you retain customers? In the vast majority of cases, customers just want to feel heard. Simply picking up the phone and talking with your customers can go a long way. Additional suggestions would be to send out surveys after key customer touchpoints to gauge their overall experience as well as creating a loyalty program.

Learn more about building an effective loyalty program: How to Set Up an Ecommerce Customer Loyalty Program

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