7 Tips to Keep Customers Come Back Several Times without Begging Them
Table of contents:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Start a long-lasting relationship with customers
- Build a strong brand that sticks in customers’ minds
To grow sustainably, acquiring new customers is not enough. For life-long value, you need a plan to keep customers coming back to you and increase customer retention rates.
- 5% increase in customer retention rate can lift 25%- 95% profits.
- Retaining an existing customer is 7x more expensive than acquiring a new one.
Customer retention rate is the fundamental metric that reflects how good the relationship between your brand and your customers is.
That means, to have more returning customers, you need to build and maintain a strong, long-lasting relationship with your customers.
This guide is made with 7 most effective ways to enhance your relationship with customers and keep them coming back without begging them.
At the end of this post, you will find an execution plan we’ve made to help you keep track of your customer’s retention strategy. We categorize 7 tips into 3 key components that help you build a strong relationship with customers:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Provide excellent customer service
- Show your appreciation to your customers
- Improve customer experience
- Start a long-lasting relationship with customers
- Build a fruitful loyalty program
- Create a subscription service for your products
- Build a strong brand that sticks in customers’ minds
- Position your brand as a trusted resource
- Have shared values with your customers
Now, let’s dive in.
Improve customer satisfaction
Therefore the first thing you should focus on is customer satisfaction. Make sure everyone is satisfied when they shop with you.
Provide excellent customer service
Besides product quality, customer service has the biggest impact on customer satisfaction. Bad customer service can push away 71% of your customers. That makes customer support department the first place you want to put your efforts. Here are our few tips to deliver excellent customer service:
Rapid response time can immediately improve your customer service. According to Customer Think, 40% of customers think faster response time would bring them higher satisfaction
Do your best to help customers
If you are there when customers need most, they will stay with you for life. Let’s look back at Trader Joe’s story.
In 2009, during a winter storm, Trader Joe’s received a food delivery request. It’s for an 89-year-old man who was running out of food.
All other groceries stores had refused. But Trade Joe’s made an exception that day and delivered food to the old man… for free!
By helping people when they need most, Trader Joe’s has earned loyalty from the old man’s family for life.
The story then was posted on a Reddit community and went viral. Thousands of people showed their respect to Trader Joe’s.
If you can help customers with what they can’t find elsewhere, you will earn their loyalty for life.
Show your appreciation to your customers
To make customers satisfied, excellent customer service is not enough.
You need to go the extra mile and show them your appreciation. When customers feel appreciated and see how important they are to you, they would be more loyal to your brand.
Say thanks with sincere
The first and simple step you can take to show your appreciation to your customers is to say thanks. But to delight them, you need some creative ideas, such as:
- Send a well-designed or handwritten thankyou note
- Insert a free gift to the package (product samples for example)
- Offer a post-purchase discount.
A post-purchase offer will show up when customers complete their orders and give the customers a discount code. The code can be used for the next order. You can create one for your store using Boost Convert app
Do a customer spotlight
People love to be heard and seen. You can frequently post positive feedback on your social media channels and mention the customers.
This small action would make customers feel special and noticed. Hence they would want to come back and shop with you.
ASOS had a viral campaign on Instagram with the hashtag #asseenonme. It encouraged customers to take photos of them wearing ASOS items and post on Instagram using the hashtag. The customers might get featured on ASOS’s page.
Improve customer experience
If you want customers to shop with you frequently, you should make the shopping process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Create a shortcut to checkout
More and more online stores use one-page checkout to minimize friction. With one-page checkout, the checkout process only takes less than 1 minute to complete.
Amazon even reduces the purchasing time down to 1 click only. They made 1-Click Checkout button so that customers can immediately pay with pre-saved information
Design great store UX
Online shopping has totally reshaped the shopping experience. Since you don’t meet customers in person, the experience they have with you doesn’t depend on the way you talk or serve them. Instead, it depends mostly on the way you design your store and how you let it speak for you.
A good store UX must be able to tell customers everything they need to know without causing frustration or inconvenience.
Most online sellers are not UX experts, but you can always learn the best UX tips from an expert.
Protest’s navigation bar is the best example. It allows customers to skim through all of its categories without having to think much.
Start a long-lasting relationship with customers
When you’re confident with your customer support quality, it’s time to move to advanced tips. The 2 tips we are going to talk about are more scalable and measurable. If implemented right, they can bring a significant boost in your retention rate.
Build a fruitful loyalty program
A loyalty program is old but gold. It can be considered as a must when it comes to retaining customers.
Here are the reasons why a loyalty program is so powerful to keep customers coming back:
- You can use rewards to motivate customers to shop more.
- It allows you to track, and manage thousands of customers account at a time and evaluate the result more precisely.
- Rewards and benefits will increase over time that makes customers get attached to your loyalty program.
- Those who earn your exclusive perks would feel they are more important and special.
Things to keep in mind when you start a loyalty program:
Create a way to indicate the loyalty level
The most common and simplest way is offering a fixed number of points for a certain amount of dollars spent. Customers then can trade points for discounts or other incentives.
By tracking the number of points each customer has, you can measure their “loyalty level”, hence be able to offer different tiered rewards for them. (we will talk about this so soon in tip #5)
For instance, if you visit H&M, you will see their loyalty point program where for each dollar spent, customers will earn 1 point.
It even develops a mobile app to help customers keep track of all points and exclusive offers they have.
In mortar-and-brick stores, loyalty points are only given based on transactions. But in online stores, you can reward customers for other actions like signing up, social sharing, etc. to increase engagement.
Offer rewards to motivate customers to come back
Customers will decide to join your program or not based on the rewards you offer. There are 3 types of offers that are mostly used:
- Allow customers to credit loyalty points on their future orders
- Set up a tired program and offer different incentives for each level
- Unlock exclusive perks such as birthday gifts, access to limited products, private sales for high-level members.
To better motivate customers to buy more often, E.L.F created a loyalty program with tier rewards, in which customers can get special benefits as they move up the ladder.
They show exactly how many points customers will need to reach a higher tier and what perks they will get at each stage.
Promote your loyalty program
No matter how big your rewards for loyal customers are, customers may easily forget it. Therefore, it’s important to continuously promote your loyalty program
The most effective ways you should use to promote your loyalty program are:
- Email announcement: if you first launch your loyalty program, send a newsletter and inform your existing customers about it.
- Show how many loyalty points customers can earn for each product: this tactic is not only to motivate them to make a purchase but also remind them about your loyalty program.
Sephora does this really well by categorizing products by the number of points they value.
Promote it on your home page: Homepage is your highest exposure page so that you should take advantage of it to promote your loyalty program.
Starbucks exposure its loyalty program on the home page and even header bar.
- Post on social media channels: it’d be a huge mistake if social media is not listed here. You can easily reach your existing followers without any difficulties. More importantly, social media always has better engagement compared to other channels.
Create a subscription service for your products
Another good way to maintain your lifelong relationship with customers is by offering subscription service for your products.
If you’re selling products that customers can buy in a frequency of weeks or months (like shampoos, food, tampons, etc.) you can create a subscription plan. When customers subscribe, products will be delivered in a pre-set schedule without having to manually order from time to time.
An example from Dollar Shave Club subscription box: Customers are able to pick/remove items in their boxes and change the date to receive the box monthly
This works because:
- People can buy products at better prices.
- Consumers never have to worry if they are running out of the product at home
- When your customers rest assured that they will get what they need on time, they won’t think about switching to your competitors
- Subscription services form habits in customers’ lives. The more they get used to using your products, the less they are willing to change to an alternative.
In case your products are high-end or can’t be bought again frequently. You can offer subscriptions for additional services.
Let’s say you’re selling shoes. Of course, people won’t buy the same pair of shoes every month. But you can offer shoe care service or shoe spa monthly. It’s also a good way to increase customer lifetime value.
Build a strong brand that sticks in customers’ minds
Once customers know about you, never let them forget. A strong brand will make customers remember and always be on top of customers’ minds. Your competitors will hardly have a chance to get in the middle of you and your customers.
Position your brand as a trusted knowledge center
If you’re an expert in your field, help your customers learn something new.
You will not only gain customers’ trust but also become a reliable resource when they seek help. With your deep understanding of customers’ needs, people can rely on and follow your instructions.
As a result, they also trust the product and service you provide.
Moosejaw Mountaineering is a famous outdoor retailer. They have executed this strategy so well by hosting many free training classes of outdoor activities such as climbing, backpacking.
Another example from Nike, a legendary brand: Nike Running Club mobile application. This app is developed for self-coached runners. With this app, users can find many useful guides from experts or athletes and even a personalized training program for themselves.
Nike built the app not to drive sales but to make its way to become an essential part of customer’s training program.
Create shared values with customers
Is it about the product quality, the excellent design, or something else that makes people crazy every time Apple releases a new product?
Apple doesn’t even have a loyalty program, but it creates such strong loyalty in customers that no other brand can do.
We believe customers keep getting back to Apple due to the shared values they have with Apple. It’s about innovation.
Apple attracts designers, programmers, editors, who are obsessed with the innovation and those who love the feeling of owning the most innovative product in the world.
This value has been expressed consistently in every single Apple product. Now, it becomes a symbol of innovation that never fails to hook its users to surround their lives with Apple ecosystem.
Moosejaw Mountaineering is also applying this method well. They are not as big as Apple but they did great in build their brand as an active member of the outdoor community. They don’t just sell things, but they sell an active & energetic lifestyle.
So our advice here is:
Choose a specific style or value for your brand to connect with your customers and stick with it.
Consistently express your style/value in each message you send out to your audience. Be patient since it may take years to stick your brand in customers’ minds
Over to you
The first time customers shop with you, they risk their money.
The second time, they trust you.
From the third time, they’re loyal to you.
People can risk their money but they never risk their trust and loyalty.
To earn customers’ trust and loyalty, you have to dedicate so much time and effort. It’s not an easy task that you can expect magical peak in revenue immediately. That’s why customer retention strategy is not for one-off businesses.
We hope that our 7 ways to keep customers coming back are helpful for you to build up your current strategy. You can start with whichever tip that fits your business growth stage with our checklist here
Let’s share with us your thoughts about these strategies and how you are currently doing to retain your customers.
Source: Beeketing Blog