5 Tips for Building Strong Customer Relationships Online
The internet is a very crucial element of business today. People use it to find products and services, provide feedback, share their opinions and generally learn what is going on in the world. Businesses should therefore make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for, while providing a pleasant user experience. Companies can build strong relationships with their customers by implementing customer-centric tactics that build brand awareness, drive engagement and elevate the customer experience.
Here are 5 steps for nurturing better online relationships with your customers:
1. Offer different service options
Your customers have different preferences for online shopping. While some prefer to shop online by themselves, others would want the assistance of customer service staff when making an order. To meet the expectations of all your customers, you need to offer different service and shopping options. For those who prefer a DIY approach, create a self-service site where customers can find whatever they need quickly. This site should provide information such as pricing, history, delivery status and punch-out catalogs.
For customers that require more personalized assistance, offer a full-service option. Provide contacts of customer service reps or salespeople that can develop custom proposals, offer product recommendations, answer questions and place orders for buyers. Customers can communicate with the CSR or salesperson via tools such as email messaging, online chat or click to call.
2. Personalize their visits
To personalize your customers’ experience on your site, regularly analyze their purchasing and search history. You can use web analytics tools to see what products or services they have been looking at, and thus get a good idea of their buying patterns. With this information, you can run promotions of sales and clearance items on your site, and develop a cross-selling and up-selling tactic to recommend related products, components and accessories. Customers will appreciate it when your company takes time to understand them and their needs.
3. Engage on social media
Use social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to engage with customers, promote your company and products, and post industry updates and news. Be sure to respond quickly to customer inquiries and feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. This will help build trust and a strong connection.
4. Create loyalty programs
To cultivate relationships and boost revenue, consider developing a loyalty program for past and current customers. Offer incentives such as coupons or discounts to motivate customers to sign up for the program. There should also be additional benefits based on repeat purchases. Another great idea for showing appreciation is by sending messages or personalized photo gifts during birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
5. Learn from customers
Customer expectations and needs are very dynamic. Be sure to keep up by regularly requesting for their suggestions and feedback. For instance, you could send out random surveys with a specific queries related to your customer service, website functionality, product offerings and more. The feedback will give you a clue about what is working and what isn’t. In addition, you could ask customers for a post-purchase review to get feedback on their buying experience.
Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C and SaaS companies. He has worked with brands such as GetResponse, Neil Patel, Shopify, 99 Designs, Oberlo, Salesforce and Condor. Check out his portfolio and connect on LinkedIn.