Building up loyal and returning customers can help any company reach sales goals. Why go through the extra effort of convincing all new customers to purchase from your company when you have already convinced existing customers. Of course, I’m not saying to not target new potential customers, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% more likely compared to new customers. Here are 5 tips to creating return customers.
Capture Their Email Address
Without some way of contacting your customers, you rely solely on the customer’s decision to come back and make purchases. However, if you obtain their email address, you are now in a position to put your products and services in front of these customers. Mass emails can become quite annoying and can end up in spam or quickly deleted if you don’t use them properly. Use these emails to offer deals, tips, and news to your customers. You want to be sure that your content and frequency is effective, or people will either unsubscribe or not open your email at all. Use newsletter sign ups and birthday clubs as creative ways to capture emails.
A note on CAN-SPAM laws: Be sure that you don’t send mass emails to all of your customers simply based on the email address they provided during checkout. If you’d like to use your checkout page as way for enrolling them into your email list, be sure that you include an opt-in check box for that purpose. Otherwise, you are breaking CAN-SPAM rules and risk being blacklisted. ProductCart makes it easy to add such a check box and stay within the rules. Under Settings | Store Settings | Checkout Options, there is a section where you can update your “Newsletter Settings” by adding a check box on checkout or customer registration (or both) and customizing the message displayed there.
Loyalty programs, when used correctly, can have customers frequently shopping at your store. Make it really simple to sign up for your loyalty program. Is it really necessary that you need their address or telephone number? Unless other circumstances occur, a name and email address should suffice. The more effort that customers have to make, the less results you will see. Here is an image of a quick and easy sign up.
Consider using Reward Points to create loyalty. ProductCart has a built-in Reward Points system that allows customers to build up “credit” based on purchase levels.
Personalize Their Experience
When you shop at big box stores, it is unlikely that you will receive a personalized experience. Make your company stand out by not only offering great products, but a great experience as well.
Try including personalized notes with the packages that you ship out. A simple thank you or suggested use can increase the likelihood that the customer will shop at your store again. If customers feel that they don’t matter to the store, they might take their business elsewhere. Try including a special coupon or promo code for a product or brand related to their purchase.
Consider updating the text of your automatic emails that get sent out during the purchase process (Order received, Order Processed, Order Shipped, etc.). Does the text reflect the character and personality of your business and speak to your target customer? Are there ways you can make the “standard” messages you send sound more unique and engaging?
Great Customer Service
An easy one to encourage repeat business is great customer service. 89% of customers who have a bad experience with a company will start doing business with competitors. Make sure you are responding to customers and handling any complaints or issues they have. Word of Mouth is also really effective for marketing. You want people talking about the great experience they had with your company, not a bad one. You can never say “Thank you” enough.
Use social media as a way to interact and get to know your customers. Use social media as a way to offer useful tips and contest to engage customers. After a customer makes a purchase with your company follow them on Twitter and Google+. If it is a business, Like their page on Facebook. This not only shows positive interaction, but also encourages them to reciprocate and helps build up your social media platforms.
Finally, here is a little equation for you to see how much sales repeat customers can bring in. Let’s say that just one out of every 4 customers makes a repeat purchase. Take your total 2013 sales and multiple by .25 for an estimate of how much sales you could be missing if you aren’t targeting your current customers.