You’ve probably already read somewhere that getting new customers costs five times as much as investing in your existing ones. Moreover, research shows that growing customer retention rates by 5% holds the potential of boosting profits by 25% to 95%. For anyone running a business, this is a clear sign of just how big of a deal customer loyalty is.
And the best part is that your website plays a significant role in encouraging and building meaningful relationships with your audience. Whether you’re working with a minimal budget, or you have the means to improve and expand, there are several ways you can use your website to enhance customer loyalty.
So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, here are the small and big ways you can make the most of your online presence.
Prioritize customer experience
The key to becoming the go-to in your niche is making sure that people have a great time shopping with you. For the most part, this will mean two things.
First, look for ways to improve your website’s UX. Optimize for mobile, minimize page loading times, and look for ways to make the shopping process intuitive. Navigation and shopping cart functionalities play an essential role in encouraging conversions, as do your product pages. Sometimes, as small of a change as improving product images or brushing up your copy can lead to great results.
Second, understand that for buyers to come back, they have to have a great experience shopping with you. So make your customer service a key selling point. Furthermore, know how big of an impact a variety of customer service platforms can have. Offer more than one way for people to get in touch, and do your best to meet their needs efficiently. For the best results, combine on-page chat with telephone, email, and social media support so that all your bases are covered no matter what.
Once you’ve taken active steps to make it appealing and beneficial for people to shop with you, it’s time to start working on becoming a household name.
Engagement, for example, will play a big role in retaining buyers. After all, it’s the single best way to build meaningful relationships, making it so that you remain at the forefront of people’s minds.
When it comes to your website, a great way to inspire engagement is to add social media share buttons to your posts, to include testimonials on your homepage or product pages.
For example, financial loan company Cubefunder prominently features multiple video testimonials of their customers on their homepage with a specific jump link to the section. This can be easily shared by others through the various social media channels.
From here, you can take things a step further on your social media profiles. There you can start up and maintain conversations that address individual people’s questions, giving every one of your customers a personalized experience.
For example, the SaaS company Aura has a dedicated Facebook group for its users with over 11,000 Amazon resellers, and 200+ posts per month sharing tips and tricks on how to get the best results in the ever-growing marketplace.
Alternatively, those companies whose products are highly visual can use activity on Instagram and Pinterest. Sharing user-generated content on your website is a successful strategy employed by some of the world’s biggest brands, like Crocs.
Use the potential of email marketing
One of the most cost-effective ways to work on customer loyalty and retention is through email marketing campaigns. And getting started is super easy, even for those with minimal experience.
Services like Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Zoho all offer easy-to-use software solutions for creating and sending out newsletters. As your focus is building loyalty, you already have a leads database that you can use to reach out to people who have shopped with you before.
Effective ways to increase lifetime customer value through email include sending out promo codes, personalized recommendations, or limited offers. You can use email to share relevant resources or call for your subscribers to engage on your social media posts. You can also leverage user-generated content and reviews, as these are both effective at encouraging loyalty and driving sales.
Offer value through content
A great way to work on customer retention is to ensure that the value of your products goes further than the physical merchandise or service.
One of the best ways to maximize satisfaction and ensure that people keep coming back for more is to use a content marketing strategy that focuses on engaging, educational text, video, and audio, giving users more bang for their buck.
One great example comes from Bulletproof. The company’s content marketing strategy includes a podcast that offers health and fitness advice from industry leaders, giving existing customers valuable resources, all the while maximizing its potential reach to new buyers.
Of course, if you’re not interested in starting a podcast or YouTube channel, you can also use your company blog. This type of website feature has limitless potential and can grow into absolutely anything you want it to be.
Set up a loyalty program
Most resources will tell you that your customer retention strategy should include a loyalty program. And the simple reason behind this is that these programs work. No matter what you sell – products or services – know that offering even small perks will drive people to come back.
Now, for those with brick and mortar businesses, this is a bit easier to set up. When it comes to your website, however, you’ll have to provide some advanced functionalities. If you don’t have the means to create an entire gamified system like large chains, consider going with simpler solutions.
You can give out unique discount codes, create limited-access special offers, or include free goodies to anyone who purchases over a certain amount. Hard Rock Cafe, for example, sends out special offers to subscribers who have a birthday coming up, giving them up to 50% off on select products.
Create subscription-based services
One of the best ways of growing customer loyalty is to create a subscription plan that offers both savings and convenience.
Not only does this type of solution allow you greater control over your cash flow, but even more, it promotes customer retention with a minimal amount of effort on your audience’s part. There are many great examples of subscription-based services. Most are offered by companies in the personal care industry, like The Bam & Boo or Native.
However, before you set such a system up, make sure to allow buyers control over their spending. Give them the chance to adjust their subscription, offer different delivery methods and frequencies, and don’t make it difficult to cancel a service. While this type of flexibility does take more effort on your part, it will prevent frustration and dissatisfaction, which could be fatal to your customer loyalty.
Bottom line: always follow up!
Finally, don’t forget that the single best way to keep people coming back is to go back to the basics. And that means following up after every single sale you make.
Parts of the follow-up process can be automated (like retargeting ads, sending out emails about shipment status, or reminding people to leave a review), but don’t underestimate the benefits of a personal touch. Whether you choose to send people an email or give them a call, make sure that you listen to what they have to say.
Moreover, follow-ups are a great way to keep an eye out on customer satisfaction and could prove to be the key to improving your service. And, ultimately, that’s what your buyers want: they want to spend their money on products and services that are worth the investment, and which they can rely on to be consistent in quality.
Even if you find that some people’s experience wasn’t satisfactory, keep in mind that you can always use the information to improve. In the end, that’s what’ll allow you to build a solid base of patrons, and what will keep them coming back to you.