A crucial ingredient when it comes to business success today is to master and increase customer loyalty. Converting someone from a website viewer into a paying customer is only half of the battle; you then need to make sure they keep coming back for more. A loyal customer is worth its weight in gold. Not only do they make repeat purchases, but they bring in business through referrals too.
However, harvesting loyal relationships with customers online is not easy. There are no shortcuts or magic formulas. Blatant self-promotion and constant sales pitches will only get you so far. With that being said, let’s take a look at some key strategies that can help you to build customer loyalty online…
Build an engaged community on social media
You should employ social channels so that you can cultivate a loyal community around your company. Most business owners recognise the importance of social media today but they are not using the platform effectively.
Firstly, you need to make sure you have a presence on the correct social media platforms. Being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none is ill-effective. You need to establish yourself on a couple of platforms, and you need to make sure that these are the platforms your customers are using. This will involve research on social media demographics. For example, Pinterest is more popular with female users, as opposed to male users. Moreover, Facebook is the only social media platform whereby a large percentage of low-income users are present.
Once you have established your business on social media, you need to use it in the right way. Social media is not a platform for an endless string of promotional messages. You need to tell your story on a daily basis using posts, images, videos, articles, and comments. You should also hold social media contests to offer rewards and attract user-generated content.
Aside from this, you need to listen carefully and interact with your customers around-the-clock. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality; this is recommended. You won’t foster loyal relationships if you come across as a robot.
You should also use social media monitoring tools so that you can pick up any mentions of your brand and react promptly.
Provide a great user experience
You can’t expect to harvest loyal relationships with customers online if you do not provide a great user experience. If your website is slow to load or difficult to use, even loyal customers will start to get frustrated and look elsewhere.
Creating and maintaining loyalty starts with providing a quality service. Therefore, you need to make sure your website is firing on all cylinders. It also needs to be secure. You can use security badges to put people’s minds at ease, as well as implementing a number of identification and payment security tools.
Your choice of web host will have a significant impact on the experience your website provides, especially when it comes to the speed of your site. Hostinger is a high-performing web host. Other popular hosts include BlueHost and SiteGround.
Aside from this, you need to make sure that navigation is intuitive. Contact details should be readily available too, and your website should be fully optimised for use on smaller devices.
You will need to collect feedback regarding your site’s performance to ensuring you are providing an amazing user experience. This is something that needs continual attention.
Customer service is the key to customer satisfaction
You can’t breed loyalty without good customer service, right? Take the time to view your company from your customers’ standpoint. If you’re struggling to do this objectively, enlist the help of some friends.
There are some quick things you can look at now. How easy is it for people to contact you? Make sure accurate contact information is readily available. You also need to respond quickly too. Most customers expect brands to get back to them within four hours. Of course, this is not always easy, however, implementing chatbots is a great tactic in overcoming this.
You also need to look at the way you deal with negative comments online. A lot of companies ignore them. There are then those who try to argue back. Neither approach is recommended. Instead, you should get in touch with the consumer privately and try to come to a resolution, for example, offering a refund or a special deal. You should then contact the consumer again in the near future and ask if they would be happy to amend their review with an update on your most recent correspondence. Don’t ask them to delete the comment and don’t pester them if they say ‘no’ or they don’t respond. Another option is to leave your own comment, politely apologising and stating that you have since been in touch to try and resolve the issue. You could even turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one.
Some other ways to harvest consumer loyalty online
Aside from the suggestions that have already been mentioned, there are several other ways you can go about creating a loyal consumer base online. This includes:
Embrace responsibility and transparency
Assemble a strong team
Talk to your customers (and actually listen to them!)
Collect actionable feedback
Reward your customers
Personalise your experiences with your customers
So there you have it: three of the most critical elements when harvesting loyal relationships with customers online, as well as some other useful tips to help you along the way. We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Kerry is an experienced content writer, with a First Class Hons Degree in Multimedia Journalism. She currently works for UK Web Host Review, providing content on SEO, web hosting, web performance, UX, web security, web design, and much more.