Without your customers, you would very quickly go out of business. As a retailer, whether online or not, having happy and positive customers will boost your success a hundred-fold, whereas unhappy customers can ruin your business completely. Therefore, taking care of the people that are paying for your products is not only a good idea, but also essential. So how do you go about building up trust and loyalty in your brand and store? There are a number of things to think about when it comes to strengthening your relationship with customers so read on for our best ideas.
ApproachabilityNothing beats speaking face-to-face with a store owner when purchasing something. Of course, that’s not possible or feasible online, especially as you’re likely to be dealing with many more customers than you would be in a real store. But that doesn’t mean you can’t appear approachable and give those customers a way to get in touch with you if they have any questions. This can be via your website with query forms and live chats, or over social media direct messages. As well as this, consider showcasing the human side of your business and brand, with a meet-the-team page to better help buyers connect with your company emotionally. This will help them to make the decision to choose your online store over a competitor.
Get To Know Your CustomersWhen people get the feeling that a brand knows what they want, it’s much easier to trust that brand over others. Whilst they’ll know that you predominantly are set on the goal of turning a profit, it’s not unheard of for businesses to genuinely care about their customers and their happiness. Whilst it does ultimately benefit you to have those people be happy and spread the word about your great products, it’s equally uplifting for you and your team to know that you’re improved someone’s day. This will be reflected in your and your team’s work, as positive feedback rolls in. Nurture a friendly and caring attitude into your staff so it shines through at all possible times. This, in turn, can only come from a well looked after team. Treat your staff right with flexible working and positive reinforcement, and that morale boost will be passed on in their treatment of your customers.
Transparency When Showcasing ProductsBeing unable to handle physical products before purchasing can be off-putting when shopping online. Whilst you can’t exactly rectify this issue, there are some ways in which you can improve the experience so that people can be sure they’re buying the right things. When viewing a product with little to no information, let alone a good quality image, it’s easy to get the feeling that the vendor isn’t being truthful about the item. The general buyer can even spot discrepancies such as altered colors and edited imagery.
The right pictures for your products and in your marketing materials such as social media posts and blogs should help to increase your conversions—or in layman’s terms, the chance of getting someone to react to your call-to-action such as clicking through to that product page or even adding an item to a cart. Creating product images that convert and ultimately boost your sales are incredibly important. You should identify the right ways in which you can boost the success of this imagery and consider even hiring professional help for the marketing of your products and store.
Going Above And BeyondCertain large retail organizations have managed to build an environment that is wholly customer-centric, solidifying themselves as some of the best companies to buy from in the world. Freely offering discounts and benefits to unhappy customers no matter how unrealistic the complaints, can work for these larger businesses as they’ll even lay out swathes of their budgets for these exact issues. But as a smaller business, offering a discount to everyone that complains isn’t always an economically sound tactic. However, encouraging your team to do everything they possibly can for your customers, without giving things away if they can help it, is the ideal situation to be in. A customer can sense when the person on the other end of the phone is watching the clock and dragging their heels. Whilst complaints can be incredibly frustrating, some are entirely warranted, so it’s best to try to treat all of them with equal levels of decorum and kindness. This will help to build a reputation of helpfulness, further increasing trust and a culture of positivity around your brand.
Encourage FeedbackGetting feedback, both positive and negative, is incredibly helpful and necessary for building a good loyalty and trust in your store. Positive reviews on reviewing websites will ultimately drive more people your way as they’ll feel more comfortable when it comes to buying from you. Comments on everything from fast deliveries to happy customer service can all be used in marketing materials too. Negative reviews, whilst preferable to avoid, can be converted into positive outreach too. Delivering a helpful and caring response and following up on the problem that a customer had in a public setting will show that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to fix a problem.
Of course, sometimes it’s unavoidable to get those bad reviews from people that just don’t want the problem to be fixed because they’re hoping for some freebies. Remain stoic and heartfelt, but don’t get into the habit of fixing your problems with discounts and harming your profits, as mentioned before, unless there really is a justification for it. Instead, focus on showing that you’ve rectified a problem and move on from there.
Reward Your Dedicated CustomersShowing your regulars what their custom means to you is a brilliant way of growing trust and bringing more people in as frequent visitors to your store, as opposed to being a one-time buyer. Showcase some great benefits to shopping with you regularly, such as prizes and free additions to purchases. You could even add VIP sections where those loyal customers can have an early pick of your rare or new stock. There are so many possibilities here, so get creative. Finding a new way of enticing people to remain loyal to you and your brand that nobody else has done before will also show how much thought you’ve put into that system.