Posts Tagged ‘customer loyalty’
Once you have set up your business website with e-commerce capability, you need to be able measure some returns. Why is it that browsers mill about your website and then bail as soon as they need to make a decision? What can you do to get them to subscribe to you, purchase from you, and give you their information?
There are several things you can do to convert more customers. WSI Marketing has some great tips on their website on how to increase your credibility and provide a positive online experience for your customers, which will undoubtedly increase your conversion rate and your online business’s ROI.
Improve your business credibility
Is your website professional? According to WSI Marketing, “consumers can be skittish, especially online. The slightest sign of impropriety can send them back to their search engine results to find another site, which may have a more professional and trustworthy appearance, even if it means paying a little more for the same product or service.”
You can make very simple improvements to your website to increase your credibility in the minds of your consumers. Some of these improvements include:
- Consistently display contact information like telephone numbers for your business.
- Post genuine testimonials and case studies of customers that are happy with your product.
- Have an organized and easy to navigate website design, nothing too flashy or distracting from your main objective.
- Have complete product information.
- Double check all of your links and make sure they are working.
Have control of your website
If your web hosting service requires a fee every time you want to make a change, it can detract from the effectiveness of your website. It’s extremely important to have a content management system that allows you to have total control over your website content. You need to be continuously updating your content as you discover issues that your customers are having.
If you notice that you are getting a solid amount of website traffic but people simply aren’t buying, you need to have access to your content in order to make improvements to solve that problem. Also, if customers are asking the same questions (such as what is your warranty policy?), you should have the answer readily available on your website.
The key is to be adaptive. Be aware of what your customers want to know and need to know before making a purchase. Continuously updating the content on your site is the best way to convert browsers into buyers.
Having good customer service is absolutely critical for the success of your online business. You may have a great product and a strong customer base, but being able to solve customers’ problems as they come up can be the key to your success. Many businesses rely on computerized systems to deal with inquiries and the like, but this can actually prevent you from providing effective customer service.
It is preached to the point of overkill, but customer service is really just a waste of time if you aren’t personally dealing with the customer. Developing a personal relationship with customers is important because of the amount of purchase hesitancy that is involved with online businesses.
If a customer ever has an issue, and inquiry, or a complaint, you as the business owner should invest some time into solving their problem. When people see individuals higher up on the ladder investing time in their consumer base, it sends a really strong message – that of a company that actually cares about the product they’re providing people.
Many consumers distrust online businesses because of the amount of scams out there. It’s easy for a business to set up shop online, make a transaction, and virtually disappear if that buying customer ever has any issues with the product.
Make Customer Service Unnecessary
While developing relationships out of your customer inquiries may sound like a lot of work, there are ways you can minimize the amount of customer coddling you’ll actually need to do. If your website is functional, simple, and informative, customers will be able to answer their questions themselves.
Your website should be well designed with easy-to-understand descriptions of the product, price, size, shopping carts, and anything else a customer might need to know during a purchase, like return policy or warranty information.
Your reputation is at stake when it comes to customer service. Consumers are quick to judge and often judge harshly. By demonstrating the willingness and ability to provide customers the answer they need, your brand reputation will be enhanced and consumers will affectionately recommend your brand to their peers.
Do you want people to bookmark your website? By that I mean do you want your website to be a site your customers visit everyday, just to see if anything new has been added? Read on if you are interested in improving your business’s website to have more loyal customers and gain new ones.
Entrepreneur.com agrees with me in that blogging everyday should be a no-brainer. If you feel that your homepage should stay the way it is for a while and you have nothing additional you need to add, you absolutely should be blogging everyday. Posting something new and fresh each day will give people incentive to visit your website at frequent intervals. However, you won’t get returning browsers unless you offer something new and exciting with each post. The content you create with blogging and updates should be dynamic, unique, entertaining, valuable, and easy to understand.
Try highlighting a customer every week. Interview them, get some feedback, and then write a post on how your product is continuing to help them. Or talk about how your product got started, what mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve fixed them. There are so many different angles you can take to keep driving customers to your website.
Create a community
If you have dabbled in social media marketing, you understand how important it is to the success of any online location to build a community. Communities have a certain language, people within a community provide information to each other and engage in conversations about certain products and brands. If you encourage a sense of community around your website, you will increase your customer loyalty and provide a sense of belonging to new customers who are considering your product.
Encourage discussion and devote time to ask for feedback and provide answers to those who ask questions. Source people who give you feedback as often as possible. You can even provide an opportunity for customers to submit ideas or designs for your next event or campaign. If you make your customers feel like they are a part of your brand, your customer base will stay strong and continue to grow.
There’s plenty of advice out there about how to build customer loyalty but it all basically comes down to one basic fact. The customer is the most important part of your business. As long as you do what it takes to satisfy your customer and keep him or her returning to your business, you have done your job.
I was recently asked the tricky question: “do you believe the customer is always right?” It took me a while to muster up a good answer. Truthfully I believe it’s a sign of a good company if they believe in putting the customer first. The customer should always come before anything, including you as a small business owner.
Here are a few tips according to smallbusiness.com about how to build customer loyalty:
1. Be true to yourself.
You must have a good sense of what your business is about and how you fit into your market or industry before you can articulate that to others. Your selling point should reflect your passion. If you’re a restaurant owner interested in gourmet food, for instance, concentrate more on providing superior quality than speedy service or discount dinners.
2. Know your niche
Understand why you are successful today, what makes you different, and what brings repeat customers back over and over again. Is it exceptional quality, consummate convenience or great bargains? Even if you try to provide a little bit of all of that, you can’t be the best at everything. Focus on the thing that makes you successful — and make it better all the time.
3. Deliver what you promise.
Guarantee your products and services. Respect time constraints and budgets. After the sale, stay connected by inquiring about the success of the delivery and/or implementation. If something goes wrong, react quickly and compensate customers for any inconvenience. Solve problems before they are brought to your attention. Remember, most customers aren’t likely to complain to you – they’ll just complain to everyone they know.