Easy Strategies to Build Online Loyal Customers

Date published: 2020-05-20   — by John Ocampos

Finding the right customer for your brand is not an easy task. You may be wondering how some brands, particularly in the e-commerce industry, attracted large customer bases. One great factor of this is building customer loyalty.

Attracting new customers is much more difficult than turning existing ones into loyal customers. Once you’ve gotten them to purchase, it only takes a few simple things to keep them.

What does it take to build consumer loyalty? Here are some ways you can build your loyal online customers:

1. Provide Top of the Line Customer Service

Make sure to make customer service a priority for your business and an essential part of your business strategy. This may sound obvious but this strategy does not fail to secure a connection between you and your customers.

Even if you have a unique product that’s amazing, if you fail to provide great customer service, most of your audience will only make a transaction with you once. If you blew your first chance to wow them with your customer service, if they’re looking to make a repeat purchase, chances are they will  look for another company or brand that can give them that warm fuzzy feeling when they buy. The way you treat your customers can determine if your business can thrive and be a success.

This leads to the next point: always be prompt in answering your customers. Whether it’s through social media, email, phone call or in any other form of communication, make sure that you are available. Do not be afraid to do follow-ups and check on your how your product or service is delivering. Your customer may give negative feedback at times but it will also make them feel like you are thinking about them and looking after their interests.

2. Make Your Business Flow 

With the use of technology where almost everything is automated, customers have now developed very little patience. It is easy for them to abandon searches for products or to look for another brand or company.

Think of ways to lessen your audience’s inconveniences as early as possible. Making it easy to navigate and contact you on your site. Make it incredibly simple to make purchases. Acknowledge returns as fast as you would process a new order. Be clear on your site how customers can return unwanted goods or defective products. Communicate with customers whether they are eligible for item replacement or refunds and let them know when these items will be processed or dispatched so they can anticipate their arrival accordingly.

3. Strengthen Connections Through Social Media

Social media is proven to be a great tool to make connections to your existing and potential clients. Encouraging your customers to visit and follow you on your social media channels can open a deeper connection with them and create a more personal relationship.

As customers’ behaviour has dramatically shifted to personalisation over the years, social media is a great avenue to make your brand have a human element that will make your personalisation tactic effective. Aside from being a great place to easily inform your customers about new product launches and promotions, it can give you an opportunity to directly converse with your customers. Social media also helps your brand perception if you include fun, interactive post like polls, surveys, live streaming, stories, tutorials, and short clip videos, all that can help boost engagement with your audience, existing clients and potential customers.

Your website and social media can work together to help your customer base grow faster. Make sure you urge your customers to follow you and connect with you especially after making their first purchase. Do not forget to provide your social media accounts’ link to make it easy for them and go out of your way to send them a welcome or a thank you message when they make a social media connection.

4. Encourage Your Customers to Provide Feedback

If you want your business to succeed online, you should take customer feedback seriously. Many business experts say that feedbacks given by customers can play an important role in the success of any online business. Information gathered from these feedbacks can provide you a lot of insights regarding your business and most importantly can help you retain your customers.

Your customers will not only give you return on investment but they can also let you know if your business strategies are working or not. It’s smart to bank this feedback to juice out information to improve your products and services while letting you know more you about your clients that can improve on how you tailor your business to their needs.

5. Continuous Communication

Always stay near the top of your customers’ minds by communicating with them on a consistent basis. Find effective ways to continually reach for your customers. Update your website and make sure to think of your customer experience when you do. Add a blog or news section on your site. It will not only improve your online presence in terms of SEO strategies but will also give another reason to visit your website frequently.

Do not forget to encourage your clients to sign up for your email newsletters. This has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to establish relationships with your customers. Furthermore, sending out personalised emails can help boost your revenue. Make use of chatbots in your messenger and chat box tools that can help address any customers that have simple and immediate concerns at any time of the day. Listen to what people are saying about you on social media and respond to posts tagging you business.

6. Reward your Existing Customers

Your customers are the bloodline of your company and they deserve recognition. This is especially the case if they have been with you for some time or if they have made several repeat orders.

Ideas include:

  • offering onset rewards on their next purchase
  • creating an exclusive discount for customers registered for your newsletter
  • give a special discount code for members of your social media groups
  • or create a loyalty program that can help in build customer loyalty further

Loyalty programs can help you stand out amidst competition and help you make your customers stick around. If your budget and time permits, you can also launch a referral program that can work hand-in-hand with your existing loyalty programs. This not only helps in strengthen your loyal customer base but can also widen your reach and can give you opportunity for lead generation.

7. Deliver On Your Promises

Lastly, always deliver what you have promised to your customers. Make sure that what they see on your website, and what they have decided to purchase, will be the exact same thing that they will receive. Also be true to the delivery schedule you have provided to them when they checked out.

In case of an issue in their order like delays or accidentally running out of stock, keep your customers informed by telling them immediately. Take full responsibility for the situation and do not pass the blame to other people, like your suppliers. Go out of your way to give your customers an option to refund their purchase or give them a little incentive like a special discount on their next purchase to make up for the inconvenience.

Final Note

A strong online presence is key to making your online business a success. Alongside this, interacting with your customers will help you to encourage loyalty. Gaining loyal customers is not always easy. It will require effort, budget and, most importantly, knowledge of who your customers are. You will need a schedule to keep your online efforts consistent or you could easily descend into chaos if you don’t manage your time properly

With all the online noise clouding our ears and eyeballs, it’s easy for your service to get lost.  If you have already built a strong, loyal customer base, this, more than anything, will help you stand out.

John Ocampos is an Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Digital Marketing has also always been his forte. He is the Founder of SEO Guru, and the Managing Director of John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in and Softvire New Zealand.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

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Tags: customer feedback | customer rewards | customer service | email marketing | online business | online business strategies | online customers | SMEs | social media | startups | z-syndicate

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