Customers are the most important part of your business: how could a business survive without them? Many companies focus on growth, on getting new leads, and acquiring new customers (which obviously sounds great!) but what happens after a customer is won? Do we just forget about it?
We can’t assume that once a person buys our product or service, the work is done. It is a big step, yes, but definitely not the end of the road! After that, you want them to purchase from you again, you want them to feel a connection with your brand, you want them to promote your product to their friends, family, and followers.
The only way to achieve this is by working on customer engagement and loyalty, and it is as important as getting new customers. If you don’t put some effort on strengthen your brand loyalty, all the time and money you invested in acquiring new customers could be lost. Once you get new customers you want them to stay and be loyal to your brand as long as possible!
A happy customer is more likely to spend higher amounts of money on your business and will definitely promote your brand with their relatives.
According to a study by Harvard Business School, retaining an existing customer is around 5 to 25 times cheaper than winning a new one. Also, existing customers are 40 to 60% more likely to buy from you than new customers. And that’s not all: companies that boost customer retention by 5% can see profits increase by at least 25% and up to 95% in some cases!
So, the numbers talk by themselves: customer loyalty definitely increases profits.
After analyzing those interesting numbers I’m sure you will want to try some tactics to work on your own clients, so let’s walk through some ideas!
1) Offer outstanding customer service.
Invest time in training a customer service person (or team!) that’s in charge of your customers. This means, being able to answer all of their questions, doubts and also resolving issues. A lot of customers switch brands because of poor customer service, so you want to pay attention to what your customers have to say – whether it’s good or bad – to prevent them from churning.
If you find it difficult to keep up with all the messages, you can speed up the process by adding a chatbot to your website. Even if it’s not the same as talking with a real person, most of the questions are similar and can probably be answered by a bot. This is a great option to do some “filtering” and attend only to the most important matters.
Remember that customers expect quick solutions to their questions and problems, so you can’t make them wait several days for a simple answer just because you don’t have enough time.
2) Engage with your customers, build a community.
You don’t have to wait for them to come and talk to you, try engaging with them on social media to create a bond. Offer spaces for them to talk about your product or service and share valuable information with other customers. You can also start conversations by yourself. And of course, make sure you reply to every message and comment that you get on your public platforms.
If you have or are planning to use several social media platforms, working with a company like Delight Chat it’s a great option. Delight Chat is a unified platform for managing all support queries and chat marketing in the same place. This will allow you to have omnichannel support and reply across all channels with all the information from your store on the same page, you won’t make mistakes! (Plus, they also provide a live chat tool!)
3) Reward your top fans.
Launching offers and promotions to get new customers is great, but don’t forget about your loyal fans. Invest in discounts for recurring purchases among your own customers too! You can offer online discounts, give away coupons, free shipping, access to unreleased products, and more! The options are endless.
Also, if you want to do something more special, you could send them a package on a given occasion with a personalized letter. It could be for their birthdays, or maybe the end of the year. Whatever the motive you want to celebrate, show them why they are important and valuable for the business.
4) Launch a loyalty program.
This is an interesting option where your customers can accumulate points (or miles, or however you want to call them!) and then exchange them for a prize. This encourages them to keep buying from you to achieve a goal. So, when customers take consistent action with your brand, why not recognize and reward them to continue that relationship?
5) Find brand advocates or influencers.
This is a popular tactic nowadays, being social media the number one place where people search for recommendations.
A brand advocate is a person who’s already a fan of your product and does public recommendations about it. An influencer is a person who has a large social media audience that believes and consumes anything that person does or recommends.
Advocates will most likely talk freely about your product or service, but why not approach them and offer them free samples or products in exchange for publicity?
Influencers can be fond of your products/services or not, but they will usually promote your brand in exchange for products or money. Be careful when choosing an influencer and make sure her/his audience matches your target!
You can entice influencers to feature you by using an affiliate program on your website, using one of the apps ShopThemeDetector suggests 😉
6) Ask for feedback and ideas.
This could be something really simple but your customers will find it priceless: knowing that their thoughts and ideas are listened to and considered.
If you want a customer to be loyal, ask them how they think you could improve your product or service. This will not only generate a bond between the person and the company but can be in fact a great source of information for your business! Listening to your own customers will always lead to improvements and new ideas to apply.
You can collect valuable data by:
Sending email surveys directly to your customers.
Embedding a pop-up survey on your site.
Paying attention to social media.
Reviewing chatbot and live chat transcripts.
Asking for ratings or reviews.
No matter which tactic you implement for your business, there are some common guidelines that apply to all:
✅ Always promote dialogue between your company and your customers.
✅ Facilitate participation, create spaces (online or offline) where customers can reach you and let you know what they think.
✅ Be as authentic as possible.
✅ Show them you care!
✅ Stay relevant to the market trends and try to adapt to the new communication channels.
✅ Keep your promises! Never tell your customer something you can’t fulfill.
And, remember that the customer engagement must be worked online AND offline. Don’t forget about offline strategies as well. Your goal is that users feel and act positively towards your brand in any environment, not only social media.
What’s your experience with customer engagement? Are there any other tactics you’d like to recommend? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!