Happy Valentine’s Day! Four Ideas for Loving the Customers You’ve Already Got
Many businesses obsess over attracting new customers - but retaining the customers you’ve already got is just as important to your profitability.
You can boost your profits up to 95% by improving customer retention by just 5%, says global consulting firm Bain & Company. It’s time to light the candles, open the wine and get cosy with your customers.
1. Love them the same, but different
Great relationships thrive on that magical blend of comfortable familiarity and the occasional surprise. In multi-channel retailing this translates into giving your customers a consistent experience while retaining an unpredictable edge.
However they buy, whether online, on the high street or via mail order, your customers want to know what to expect along the way. But they enjoy the pleasant surprise of discovering, or being offered, something new or special.
You might offer unexpected love gifts such as a special discount, a promotional bundle or free p&p. Packaged as a sign of your appreciation, these little presents leave a warm glow and customers will keep coming back for more.
2. Love is about allowing choice
Strong relationships allow lots of freedom to choose. Your customers want to be in control of how and when they approach you, and by making that as easy as possible, you’ll win and retain their favour.
They also want you to help them make purchasing decisions. This means providing the information when they need it, such as product descriptions, reviews and price breaks.
You can help them choose by providing outstanding search tools on your website. Customers who search are more valuable than those who don’t, so show them lots of love with search histories, search alternatives and fantastic search results pages. And don’t forget to put your search box where they can’t miss it.
3. Keeping the love convenient
Even the deepest relationships struggle when they become hard to maintain. The average business loses up to a third of its customers every year. Relationships break down for lots of reasons but you can reduce your losses by being really easy to get along with.
In multi-channel retail, convenience is about offering the right product in the right place at the right price. To find out which of these isn’t working, study your analytics to spot where customers are dropping out of the process.
Think about when your customers want to buy and maximise the opportunity, rather than trying to persuade them to purchase outside of the season. Show yourself some love, too, by getting rid of those products that cause you the most inconvenience by having high return rates. That’s a cost you don’t need.
4. Show the love in everything you do
Great lovers keep them coming back for more. By giving your customers exceptional customer service at every touch point in the relationship, you’re making it harder for them to leave you.
Make a real effort with new customers, because what you really want is their second order. Develop a programme specifically for them, telling them how much you appreciate their choosing you for that first purchase, and keep loving them until they come back for more.
There’s no end of ways for multi-channel retailers to show love to their customers, and it doesn’t just have to be on Valentine’s Day.