The Customer Experience has replaced customer service as the number one focus for eCommerce businesses. When you don’t have the opportunity to meet your customers face to face, you need to get savvy online and craft meaningful connections in different ways.
Luckily, eCommerce websites and social media platforms make it easy to cultivate brand loyalty while meeting customer needs. Responding to customer feedback and offering customer support is easier than ever.
Why is Customer Loyalty Important for eCommerce?
In a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you have the benefit of literally always being there. Even if the store isn’t open, it becomes a familiar anchor in potential and current customers’ minds. They pass by your doors, see your signs, and admire your window displays on their way to work or class.
For eCommerce stores, the experience looks much different. You spend countless hours developing touchpoints that spark customer’s interest. You research and collect data on your intended demographic to find out what they need and where they find it. You determine how to make the Customer Journey as smooth as possible, and you do it all through Customer Experience Management.
When so many hours are invested in research and planning, the last thing you want to do is fall short of customer expectations. Customer loyalty is the ultimate goal of Customer Experience because it means all your hard work has paid off. Your products are reaching the hands of the exact people you’d hope for, and you’re building meaningful relationships based on trust and service.
Regular Customer Loyalty Has Become Less Effective
Understanding customer loyalty trends is an important step in discovering what your brand can do to avoid losing out to the competition. Just because a customer returns to your store to purchase a product, doesn’t mean they’re truly loyal to you as a brand. They could begrudgingly purchase your products because you’re the cheapest on the market NOT because you’ve connected with them and demonstrated personal value.
If you don’t connect with your customers on a personal level, your competitors eventually will. The key is finding a way to make customers recognize that you are all they need.
Create Brand Ambassadors
A major hurdle eCommerce businesses must overcome is establishing trust. If a customer’s perception of your business isn’t rooted in trust, they’ll have a hard time placing an order.
When you thoughtfully tap into the Customer Experience to alleviate concerns, you encourage your customers to trust you with confidence. The more they trust you, the more they’ll recommend you to family and friends, becoming brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors market your business for you. Better yet, they present your brand in the voice you use to the very people you want to attract.
To create opportunities for brand ambassadors to advocate for you, you can extend referral discounts, encourage customer interactions through reviews, and reward social media posts.
Engage on Social Media
One of the best ways for your customers to advocate for your brand is by engaging with them on social media. So many people use social media to fulfill their need for human connection. If your brand and products add value to your customer’s lives, you can bet they’re going to tell people about it on social media.
If you have an active social media presence that focuses on customer-centric rather than product-centric posts, you’ll notice an improvement in overall customer experience. Let your customers know they’re the reason your business thrives by rewarding customer engagement. Retweet, comment, or share posts that express gratitude for your products and shine that light right back on the customer.
You can also reward loyal customers for sharing your content to create a good customer experience without customers having to make a purchase. Create incentives for social media likes and shares that give them a discount along with a sense of community.
Celebrate Customers’ Special Occasions
When you do want customers to return to your store, you can celebrate their own special occasions by offering discounts or freebies. Birthday promotions are the perfect way to solidify a positive experience in your customer’s mind when they think of your brand. If they get an email every year wishing them a happy birthday and offering a worthwhile discount, they’re much more likely to remain loyal.
A high level of customer satisfaction will always lead to customer loyalty. Make sure your Customer Experience strategy is focused on how you can foster meaningful relationships that encourage brand advocacy and repeat customers.