In our previous discussion, we talked about seven ways to best retain your loyal customers.
I’d like to continue that discussion today with seven additional things you can do in your business to make your web site “sticky” (as in hard to let go of) and to keep your prospects and buying customers happy with your business to the point they want to continue their relationship with you.
When you think about it, online customers have a nearly unlimited choice of options in almost ever niche.
For you to gain a paying customer and then let that person “go” because their is nothing new or exciting at your site, is not smart business.
It’s much better to actually focus on the needs of your loyal and best customers, possibly even to the extent of giving new customers less attention.
Here are eight additional strategies that will help you to keep your customers coming back:
8. Develop a blog or news component of your web site. Every niche site should have “latest news” capability in the niche. You may not call it news, or a blog, but the idea is to keep your returning customers at the site a little longer so that you can build your relationship with each one. If you do a good job of offering fresh, up-to-the-minute news or dialogue, your customers are more likely to bookmark your site and visit it daily or weekly rather than the site of a competitor. And if they are coming back to your site regularly, they will buy from you regularly as well.
9. Reward your customers each time they make a purchase. You can easily extend a 15% off on your next purchase discount when a customer buys from you. Such rewards will mean you make slightly less per sale; however, many studies have shown that this sacrifice will mean extra dollars to you because the chances are very good that your customer will return to use the coupon where otherwise a followup sale may not occur.
10. Be sure to make the navigation and usability of your web site very simple, efficient, and easy for the customer. The term most often used is “intuitive.” Your customer should be able to easily figure out how to get from one page to the next at your site. If your navigation system is confusing or hard to figure, your visitor will become frustrated and leave very quickly. So have said that any page should be accessible in 2 clicks of the mouse or less. I’m not sure that’s always possible if you have a complex site, but it is a goal to shoot for.
11. Don’t neglect the idea of capturing customer or visitor contact information. So many web sites don’t have an email capturing component even though it would help them to grow a customer list that could be contacted over and over again. It’s unthinkable almost. Offer some type of “freebie” or good content in exchange for the prospect’s contact information. Then use that contact point to send great content to the person in order to get them to return to your site. Many owners have suggested that it takes seven exposures to information before a person finally will take action to do something. They must be engaged in an on-going dialogue of some type in order to get to the point of finally take that action.
12. Provide multi-media experiences on your web site. It’s not difficult to add audio and video to a web site these days. YouTube videos can be embedded quite easily. The idea is to enrich the customer experience so that she has a reason to return again and again. We have already mentioned other incentives to coming back to the site like games, forums, puzzles, surveys, and other types of “non narrative content.”
13. Over deliver on what you give your customers. It’s never a good idea to promise something then go back on what is expected of you. “Under promise and over-deliver” is an Internet business slogan that you will hear quite often. Of course, the idea is to provide the customer with a surprise – an unexpected treat – that will get them thinking positively about what you are giving them. It is easy to do and makes good business sense!
14. One last suggestion: work toward becoming an “authority” site. What that means is try to make your web site the authority in your niche – the one best place for targeted, trusted, truthful and professional information on your topic. There are a whole bunch of benefits to doing this like increased traffic, increased links coming to your site from other sites in your niche, greater trust from your customers, greater search engine ranking, and more credibility for your business compared to others in your niche. You build an authority site by having more and better information and relationships with your customers than they can get at your other competitor’s sites.
15. Always respond to customer service questions and issues immediately, regardless of how difficult or questionable the request may be. Treat your customers like that is your sole reason for being in business – to cater to the needs of your members.
All these suggestions are for the purpose of developing your business into a place where your customers will want to keep returning time after time after time. If you are able to build that type of quality web site, your revenues will increase significantly.
To your online business success,