A customer goes to your store. What’s the first thing you do?
Ask them what they need? Show them a few choices that are in trend? Let them check out the store before contacting them?
The question is: why?
Why should you contact your customers and understand their needs?
Showing interest in your customer’s needs makes them feel valued and important. And that’s how every customer will feel when they walk into a store. It is this sense of belonging to a brand that makes customers come back and buy something again.
But how would you react to the situation if you started an e-commerce business? How do you build relationships with your customers online?
It may seem like a difficult question, but it is not. There are so many ways you can build relationships with your customers online.
Here are a few tips to help you build and maintain a relationship with online customers.
How e-commerce companies build relationships with customers
1. Direct engagement on social media
Every business needs to be on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. They are some of the most important online marketing tools that companies can use to advertise product offerings, advertise the company, share industry news and connect with customers.
On social media, you can create a page and fill it with content about your product. Potential customers will drop their comments and you can respond and start conversations with them. When you get along with them, they will be convinced to trust you. The trust you build with them makes them buy your goods or services.
Aside from building trust, communicating with customers makes them feel safe and important. By talking to customers, you give them your business contact and guarantee of high quality service. Other leads may also review your social media conversations and decide to support you.
When you have direct conversations with your customers, you build personal connections and also make them see how responsive you can be to their questions and feedback.
Once a customer has made a purchase, follow-up is important. It may be ideal to call or send personal emails, but you may not have enough time. You can use automated messaging and email strategies to personalize your messages and make them more personal.
For a hassle-free process, create a basic template and after each purchase, personalize it and contact the customer to make sure they got their product in good condition and if they are happy with the experience.
In this way, you will gather valuable feedback from customers that will help improve the experience for future customers. You can even use automation to include the customer’s name and other relevant information in the email.
3. E-mail communication
You need to create an email list if you intend to stay in touch with customers. And make sure the emails you send out are not sales-y. Every email sent to a customer must contain relevant content that can help them solve a problem. That way, you will establish a connection with your customer and improve your online relationship.
Apart from this, you need to have an email strategy: When do you plan to send emails to your customers? What do you want to achieve via emails? Which USPs do you want to promote via emails?
Another reason to send emails to your customers is to capture their feedback. Whether a customer is using your service or buying a product through your website, it is important to send out surveys and get an insight into their overall shopping experience. This way, you know if you need to improve your customer journey and what is preventing you from delivering a great customer experience.
4. Creation / host of events
Inviting your customers to a promotional event or product launch allows you to socialize and improve your relationships. The invitees will know more about your brand from the event, while giving you the chance to meet with your customers in person, create a strong impression and build trust.
Let’s say you run an online clothing and accessories brand. You can e.g. Invite your online customers to attend a fashion show so you get an idea of the audience you are targeting and they will take a closer look at your products.
5. Excellent customer support
Your customer service should be top notch, as there is only a moment of two-way communication between your company and customers in the e-commerce world. Therefore, they should count a few times.
You have many options to choose from because online customer support has been steadily improving over the last few years. You can use frequently asked questions, customer forums, searchable knowledge bases and many other methods of providing information. Some companies use self-service support, but if you are determined to maintain long-term online relationships, live chat and phone support are your two best bets.
This is because these support channels provide a direct line of communication between your business team and customers. If your support team communicates directly with customers, they will be able to understand the customer’s needs perfectly and improve their experience. Here are some ways you can deliver the best support experience to your customers:
- Let support be your competitive advantage: Your customer base will increase if you are able to provide excellent support. You can use it as an advantage over competitors offering the same service and products.
- Let customers get personal attention: When providing live chat to your customers, support staff can take care of multiple customer issues at once.
- Listen: Because of how many customer complaints they respond to, support teams may just support the first solution they think of. In order for customers to have a better experience, representatives need to break down a bit and listen so that they can offer the best solution.
- Equipment support agents: Your customers will have a bad experience if you keep pushing them from one team of agents to another. Equip your support team with the restraint needed to quickly and easily resolve genuine customer issues.
6. Customer loyalty programs
Another strategy to improve customer relationships and increase revenue is to create a loyalty program for the benefit of both old and current customers. They can be lured with discounts or coupons so they can sign up for the program. You can also provide additional benefits to those who buy repeatedly.
Also show gratitude by celebrating with your customers on birthdays, holidays and anniversaries with personalized messages.
E-commerce companies can also improve customer relationships by using applications to make it easy for them. Whichever method is used, any online business should aim to build strong customer relationships.
From creating insightful surveys to offering customer support around the clock, these tips will help you build a long-lasting relationship with your customer base.