Unless you still operate from one of those quaint, last-decade entities called a ‘shop,’ your customers are online and on the move.
Your relationship with them is essentially an impersonal one. No real people dealing with real people and exchanging such real things as smiles and handshakes. No face-to-face opportunities to show them what lovely people you are. Somehow you have to convey your sincerity, professionalism and all round loveliness down a coaxial cable. Here are a few ways to be a real player in the virtual world.
Be a good corporate citizen
Hungry Jacks have just announced they will transition to 100% cage-free eggs 16 months earlier than planned. Their customers asked for it. They pledged to do it and now they’ve met that pledge well ahead of time. That’s how to keep customers and gain new ones. Any company that is vehemently and publicly ethical in their approach to business covers all their products and services in a warm glow no discount voucher or two-for-one deal can compete with long term.
Reward loyal customers
Make very customer feel like they’re your only customer or they soon will be. So personalise the relationship any way you can in ways that are both commercial and comforting. Loyalty programs and points systems can still create enough carrots to keep customers shopping.
Give stuff away
And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean products. It means information, advice and insights. A well constructed online content program is one of the best ways to keep customers coming back to your site. The more you enlighten them with free information, the more indebted they’ll become. When they are in the market for something you sell, chances are you’ll be the virtual shop door they open.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts
Giveaways don’t have to be weekends in Hawaii to wow your customers. Even the smallest unexpected gesture can surprise simply because it’s a gesture and it’s unexpected. For as little as 10 cents you can give someone a moment of unanticipated pleasure and leave a lasting impression.
Show there is safety in numbers
One of the best ways to keep customers and get them buying online is to show them everyone else. In other words flaunt your numbers. ‘15,000 already and growing!’ ‘20,000 people just like you already swear by this product!’ None of us wants to be a sheep, but when it comes to buying decisions, we certainly are!
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