Returning customers are the cornerstone of all successful businesses. Loyal customers who make regular purchases are far more valuable than one-off customers who only buy one or two products. Taking steps to keep your customers coming back is crucial for increasing profits, reducing advertising costs and improving your reputation.
Joel Devidal has acted as founder and CEO of two internet retailers growing them from ideas in need of investment, to businesses other companies compete to buy. Over 30 years, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge in the business space. Below, Mr. Devidal shares six ways to keep your customers coming back:
Simplify the Buying Process
Make it easy for customers to find and buy the products they want. Poorly-designed websites that are difficult to navigate and complicated checkout procedures can frustrate the buyer, leading to abandoned shopping carts and negative experiences. Simplify your store, checkout process and general buying experience to make it easier for the customer.
Offer Additional Options
Allowing buyers to customize products and providing additional purchasing options will give you an advantage over your competitors. Consider offering extra services, such as gift wrapping, personalization options or a choice of delivery dates. You could also consider offering discounts or free delivery for large orders.
Choose Your Delivery Service Carefully
The delivery service you use reflects on your business. Using a cheap delivery service in an attempt to reduce costs can be counterproductive, as late deliveries, damaged products, and unpleasant drivers can annoy the customer and lead them to shop elsewhere. Do plenty of research before choosing your delivery service. Try sending a selection of fragile packages to your address to test the service and see how the company performs.
Exceed Customer Expectations
“Customers remember businesses that go the extra mile and provide exceptional service, so look for ways to exceed their expectations,” stated Mr. Devidal. Small details can make a big difference in customer perception. For example, if you are selling cosmetics and personal grooming products, you could make your business stand out from the crowd by adding decorative items to make the package look more attractive.
Resolve Complaints Straight Away
Complaints are an unavoidable part of any business. No matter how hard you try, there will always be unhappy customers. Finding a quick resolution is the key to preventing an escalation of the problem. Even if you disagree with the customer’s point of view, offering a refund or exchange is often the best option, as it helps to resolve the situation quickly and reduces the risk of negative publicity.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Lousy customer service is one of the main reasons that businesses lose their customers. Always be professional when dealing with customers and take the time to address their concerns. You should also provide a range of contact options, such as email, web forms, social media, telephone or even a postal address option. Make it easy for customers to get in touch.
Returning customers are valuable assets for businesses, so it’s important to keep your customers happy. Encourage customers to keep coming back by simplifying the buying process, offering additional options, choosing your delivery service carefully, exceeding customer expectations, resolving complaints straight away and providing excellent customer service.
About Joel Devidal:
Joel Devidal has acted as founder and CEO of two internet retailers growing them from ideas in need of investment, to businesses other companies compete to buy. Over 30 years, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge in the business space and isn’t shy about sharing it with others.
Beyond business, Joel enjoys supporting local arts by donating to the theatre groups. When work is done, you can find him working on short game at the golf course, enjoying a meal or catching up with his friends.
Joel Devidal around the web: