How To Turn One-Time Buyers into Loyal Customers
January 29, 2013 2 Comments
An ever increasing number of people are using the Internet to buy their goods and some have claimed that this was one of the reasons for the recent demise of Comet – a large electrical retail outlet that once had over 150 stores. With competition increasing on the internet it is important to make the most of every customer who decides to make a purchase from you by persuading them into repeat purchases from you. Here are some tips on how you can go about doing this:
Give Great Customer Service
We can’t greet our customers with a big smile and a cheerful hello when they enter our website, so giving great customer service is one way to ensure that your customer feels welcome and taken care of. Instead of making the customer feel welcome with a physical greeting, we can create a visually appealing website and remove frustration by creating a site that is easy to navigate through and use. When it comes to using technology, people never want to blame themselves. If they are unable to use a particular piece of technology, they simply blame the technology. If your website is pleasant and easy to use then your customer is more likely to want to use it again when they need to purchase another product.
Keep Them in the Loop
Once your customer has made a purchase, it is crucial that the product makes its way to the customer as described and when they are expecting it. Once they have made a purchase, create a confirmation page thanking them for their purchase, reminding them how long the delivery is expected to take and also generate a unique order number for them which they can use to track their order. Create an area on your site which the user can enter their order number into in order to check the progress made. At this point, it goes without saying that if you’re going to create such a page then it needs to be kept up to date as well.
The pleasant service that your customer receives before and up to delivery is something that they are likely to remember and this experience can lead to a repeat purchase, so make sure you inform them as much as possible about the whereabouts of their product.
Find Out What Made them Convert
Determine what made your customer want to make a purchase from your site rather than from the competitor’s site by tracking what pages they viewed before converting. You can do this using tools such as web analytics and call tracking software.
Most businesses track online conversions with web analytics but not t phone conversions which can be tracked using call tracking technology Visitor level call tracking technology can show which pages were viewed before, during and after making a call as well as how the customer came through to your site such as via organic search or via a PPC advert. Once you know what areas of your site convert well and which key words generate phone call conversions you can use this information to further improve the content of your site and increase conversions.
Create a Mailing List
Create a mailing list which features some of your products, special offers and latest business developments. Once your customer makes a purchase, ask them whether they would like to be kept up to date with the latest offers by joining your mailing list. The important point here is to get permission first, if a customer thinks they have been signed up to a mailing list without their consent, this could reduce the chances of your customer making a repeat purchase.
How often you send out your newsletters will depend on how fast your industry is developing and how often you have special offers but a monthly or quarterly newsletter is normally sufficient. Sending out a newsletter too often with little to no useful information can be seen as spam which may result in your customer removing themselves from your mailing list.
Make Them A Part of Your ‘Club’
One way that small retail shops compete with larger retail stores is by giving their customers that homely, localised service by using names and talking about the latest local events for example. This makes the customers feel welcome and they feel a part of a community which cares about them.
To translate this strategy into the online sphere, you could create a social media account, such as Facebook and replying to any comments that your followers make helps to imitate the same feeling of ‘belonging’ that the customer gets when they shop at a small retail store.
Amongst other jobs, I have a business on eBay and the number of times I’ve been given positive feedback just because the product I sold was packaged well is astonishing. A good chunk of the customers who gave me positive feedback mentioned nothing about the actual product that they had purchased or the condition it was in (which is not to say that I sold them a poor product) but they always seem to have good things to say about the packaging.
The reason for this is because the packaging shows that you care about the product, you value it and have now passed it onto the customer which, on a subconscious level, makes the customer feel privileged to own it.
Share your own strategies on retaining customers in our comments section!
The preceding tips on turning one time purchases into loyal customers were written by Rashed Khan on behalf of call tracking experts ResponseTap.