To create loyal repeat customers you have to not only think of them as customers but also as a friendship. Friendships take time and involve nurturing with time and attention.
I own and run my own business and my stats are as detailed with no paid advertising to get me there. 76k on FB in 4 years, Instagram is at 67k and Pinterest at 235k. We had just over 15,000 newsletter subscribers within our first 18 months and this just kept rising.
We have built a community that supports us on and off line, they spread the word because they want too and because they genuinely are happy to recommend my business. They know they are helping a friend in doing so ..
I have 3 key points I have stuck too and they have served us at DTLL well. Everyone knows what to expect and no one gets treated any differently.
- RESPECT –They say ‘the customer is always right’. I actually disagree however if they are wrong we do not need to disrespect them by telling them so in a less than polite manner. The customer can simply be corrected a rational explanation and without pointing the finger of blame.You have all heard the saying ‘kill them with kindness’. No matter how irate or rude a customer is regarding any aspect of our business or stores on the site we refuse to bite back.
It is only human nature to want to put someone who is rude in their place. We like to go against that and come back with rational and empathetic responses (whether you feel them or not). This has you taking the higher ground and usually makes them soften in their attitude and produces an amicable outcome.
- SERVICE –Your customers need to feel that you go above and beyond for them. That you offer a service better than others in your field.This obviously comes from quality product/ service, prompt delivery, great customer service but also is showing that you care about them and what they have to say.
I have a policy, whenever a technical question is asked on the site by a customer, I note it down and each month I look at them to see if I could make platform any more simple. The user experience is the best feedback we can get as everyone works differently and you want your website to work for ALL visitors.
My Customer Service response time is impeccable. Why? because even if I can’t look into something that exact second I ensure my business responds immediately, so they know their email has been seen and will be attended to ASAP.
- OFFER MORE –I have touched on offering a better service than others but now I am talking about added extras, a reason for them to be loyal to your brand because they feel a connection with you.I do this via a few methods and each works for different styles of customers.
Social Media is a key area. We are active across Instagram , Facebook, Pinterest and can get useful feedback via these channels regarding which products they love, what they feel is too expensive or great value alike.
Newsletters are weekly but I don’t just make them all hard sell. I provide links to fab things that connect with our brand ethos and ethics that we are sharing for no other reason than we know our customers may like them too.
Lastly, Giveaways. It’s a nice way to say Thank you to our customers by just allowing them the chance to win something for free. It works for the brand to showcase certain products and possibly drives new traffic but really we just do it to consolidate that sense of community.
Customers will return again and again, even telling others to do so if they feel they are valued, when they know they will always be looked after and feel they have a real connection with your brand. These things can only be created by you and they take time, consistency and standards.