Attracting new customers is often the main focus of marketing efforts. This is incredibly important to the growth and success of your business, but it’s also important that you don’t overlook your current customer-base. Retaining their loyalty is also key to growth, so you must stay in touch once the sale is complete.
In a time where consumers have so many brands to choose from, standing out for your integrity and excellent service will help you to stay ahead of the competition. If the consumer feels that they connect and resonate with your business, then they’re more likely to return than to try out another brand where they aren’t so sure they’ll receive the same standards of care.
So, how can you establish this kind of brand-loyalty once the sale is complete and keep your customers happy and returning for more? Here are our top tips for staying in touch with customers post-sale:
Stay in touch on social media
Getting involved with your customer’s online presence is a great way to keep your brand at the front of their minds and to encourage them to post about your brand.. Not only will you have a better insight into what your customer is getting up to, but you’ll also demonstrate that they are valued to you and incite them to engage with your own online content.
A great example of this is Daniel Wellington, who every day repost on Instagram a user-generated, customer post that features their products using #DWPickoftheDay.
An email newsletter is pretty common practice when it comes to marketing. However, why not use it as a platform to share customer content? Ensure the content of the newsletter reaches out and interests both your customer base and prospective customers.
You could include offers in the content that are exclusive to those on your mailing list, or other items that you feel the recipients would find of interest or value. Focus your newsletter on helping those on your mailing list, rather than just promoting news and triumphs of your business.
Creating a personable connection with your customer is important to make them feel valued. A good example of a popular personalised marketing technique is to send a letter or offer on a customer’s birthday to remind them they’re a valued customer and give them a reason to buy. They will feel important to your organisation and in turn develop a relationship with you and your brand, encouraging them to stay loyal and make subsequent purchases. The more you stay in touch on a personal level, the more you will be at the forefront of the customer’s mind and the more memorable your brand will be.
Another way to make your customer base feel valued is to offer them sneak-peek previews to new products or services your are going to be bringing in to your offering, before anyone else is aware of them. This will make your customers feel special and part of something exclusive, whilst giving you a chance to promote the new offering and get an idea of how successful it will be when it is fully introduced.
Here’s an example of retailer TKMaxx doing just that:
Take some time to assure your customers that their feedback is of great value to you and make use of the comments they give. Displaying testimonials makes the customer understand that their opinion is worth a lot to you and it also gives prospective customers the opportunity to see how your current customer base feel about your products or services.
Seeking out testimonials is also a great way to stay in touch with customers and build your relationship with them, asking them for input on how your product or service is working for them and giving you a chance to make it right if they aren’t satisfied.
Give them something
Of course, building relationships with your customer isn’t totally one-sided, you do eventually want to make further sales to them, but don’t rush in to repeat selling. Take some time to earn their loyalty by giving them something to make them feel appreciated. This can be something tangible, like a free sample of a product or a short trial of a service you’re thinking about offering in the future.
You could also provide them with a discount code for their next purchase, or a loyalty incentive scheme where they will eventually gain something free of charge for giving you repeat custom. Giving and not just asking for them to spend their hard-earned cash is a great way to establish a connection. It’s a two-way street, and you can’t expect to build any kind of valuable relationship if your sole focus is what will benefit YOU.
Hosting an event? Your customer-base should be first on your guest list, if it is relevant to them. Holding an event or workshop with your customers in mind, with a focus on how they can get the maximum benefit out of your product or service will show that you are willing to further help your customers, even after they have already parted with their cash.
You could also use these types of in-store event as a platform to gain meaningful, not just gratuitous, feedback straight from the mouth of your much valued customer. Post-event, you’re sure to feel better placed to promote your product or service to your prospective customers. You could also offer them some free training if this is relevant to the product or service that you provide.
This is mainly relevant if your offering is a tangible product. You can create added value through the use of packaging inserts to increase customer loyalty – thus promoting them to spend further. This is an easy, low-cost way to keep your customer engaged with your brand. As the sale has already been made, your further marketing efforts are guaranteed to reach your customer.
Add offers and discount codes, provide samples of other products you think may appeal to them, give them a small gift that could perhaps enhance the use of your product, leave a thank you note or personal message and of course provide detailed care instructions.
In the care instructions, add further value to your customer by offering to help maintain the product at no extra cost, so that if something is to go wrong, you will be the one to fix it instead of letting them take their custom elsewhere. Exceed the expectations of your customer with some extra added value and you will be sure to retain their repeat custom.
Below is an example of a packaging insert from Jo Malone, inviting the customer to an exclusive event – linking both of the above ideas together.
Last but certainly not least, ensure your customer service efforts are of the highest standard possible. Good customer service keeps people coming back for more as they know they can trust who they’re dealing with. Monitor online reviews, respond to as many as you can, if not all, accordingly and take the support you provide seriously.
Depending on the size of your organisation, a dedicated post-sale team could really help you to stay in touch with the customer and ensure that you are meeting their needs. Make sure that all problems are dealt with speedily and that the customer won’t be passed from pillar to post to find the resolution that they seek. Keep it simple, keep it consistent and keep it customer-focused and you’re sure to gain their loyalty.
There are a variety of ways to keep in touch with customers post-sale, to incentive return shopping. Using the tips we’ve mentioned in this guide, along with any great ideas of your own, you can begin to build some really good customer relationships, which will encourage their repeat custom and also attract new customers when word inevitably spreads about your great attitude to service.
Applying these strategies will take time and effort, but can in turn provide great results and amp up the amount your customers spend. Think you may need help to get started? At Alphagraphics we specialise in creating bespoke marketing materials and strategies for retail businesses. Give us a call on 0191 5800915 or email us at email@example.com