Monday 14 April 2014

6 Areas To Improve Customer Retention

Customer acquisition and customer retention are vital for business growth. SEO (search engine optimisation) primarily deals with customer acquisition, but in this blog post we're going to focus on retention. Customer retention is all about getting the most out of the leads or clients you already have, converting them from one time buyers to loyal customers and brand advocates.

The aim is simple, to do more with your traffic by increasing conversion and retention.

1. Get the delivery right

They want it now. Customers are naturally impatient, if they’ve paid for something they want to start using it straight away. For this reason the speed and reliability of your delivery service is of upmost importance. You must offer fast delivery options for those who really do want their product now and ensure that your standard delivery service arrives on time or early. In addition, keeping customers informed on the progress of their order will keep their minds at ease making the whole buying process more enjoyable for them. Under promise, over deliver makes for happy customers.

2. Use registration to make repeat purchases speedy

Online registration enables the customer to store their own information, so that they don’t have to keep on filling it in every time they wish to place an order. It is also a great way to get customers to sign up for your email updates.

Websites that use registration to take all of the hassle out of making a second order can see a large increase in the number of repeat purchases. Amazon is a great example, they offer registered users one click payment.

3. Make password retrieval easy

We are all busy people with lots of things floating around filling our heads – which makes remembering passwords difficult! The last thing you want is for a 'ready to buy' customer to put off their purchase because they can’t remember their password. Setting up security questions which allow customers to reset their password quickly will allow them to continue with their order.

4. Have an easy to understand and free returns policy

Confidence in the quality and effectiveness of your product is freeing. Offering easy and free returns can encourage repeat business because the customer sees that you are confident in your product and if they know that they can return then they will more easily be persuaded to buy because it’s less of a commitment.

5. Make customers feel looked after with personal emails

Personalised emails saying a genuine thank you once a customer has made a purchase will make them feel appreciated. And if you have online registrations you will know the birthday of your customer, sending a birthday message with a coupon of some kind is another nice touch.

If you have goals and tracking set up in Google Analytics you’ll have access to information on shoppers who have abandoned during checkout. There are many reasons why they might have abandoned; one of them is that they might not have had enough information on the product. A friendly personal email saying: “we noticed you recently abandoned your checkout, is there anything we can help you with?”

6. Value loyal customers with rewards

There are all types of rewards, for referral, for loyalty or for first time buyers. It is really important to reward your long term customers and not just use rewards as a way to get new customers.

These six things can all be summed up in two principles: streamlining the purchase process and standing out from your competitors for exceptional customer service.

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