According to Zendesk, 82% of shoppers (first-time and loyal) have stopped doing business with a company entirely because of poor customer experience. There’s no way to right a wrong, or improve customer experience without communication. That is just one of the many reasons that engaging customers after each transaction is a good idea. Knowing that you SHOULD engage your loyal customers after each new purchase, and knowing HOW to engage them are two very different things. It’s really important to engage with your customers after each purchase, in order to establish that loyalty that every business needs. Knowing just what to do and how to engage them can be pretty tricky, so we’ve compiled some of the best advice to help make the engagement aspect a bit easier for you:
Don’t Forget the Thank-You
Everyone loves someone who is friendly, and has good manners. Your business is no exception! After you have completed a service for a customer, or they have made a purchase, follow up by thanking them! You can send them a quick text message just to let them know that you appreciate their business, and you hope they were happy with your service. Not only is it polite, but it does go a long way in creating those valuable relationships with your customers. It’s not common for businesses to follow-up just to thank someone after a service is complete. Because of this, people appreciate it more and feel much more valued. When someone feels that they are valued, they are more likely to refer your business to family members and friends. It never hurts to be nice and go the extra mile!
Offer a Follow-Up Reward
When you send out your thank-you message, you are in the perfect position to set up that next appointment with your customer. Setting up the second appointment is absolutely necessary in creating a loyal customer for yourself. The best way to get someone to make that leap is by offering them some sort of reward. Include an incentive in your thank-you message for them that will make it so they WANT to come back. Offer your customer 10% off their next purchase, or $15 off their next service. They will be much more likely to come back to you once they know you offer great work, and you’re willing to give them an awesome deal.
According to CreditDonkey, over 60% of customers say the availability of a coupon influenced whether they made the purchase. Don’t shy away from offering such a reward to your first-time customers in order to make the loyal. The amount you lose on giving them a discount is very minimal compared to the revenue that comes in from them being a loyal customer to you.
Request a Mention
If you provided awesome customer service and outstanding work, why not request a positive online review for it? There’s nothing wrong with following up with a customer and asking them to help you out after you helped them. If you word your messaging the right way, it’s very likely that you could see that positive review pop up shortly after! Once someone leaves a review for your business, you are not only reaping the benefits of the new customers who will see it, but you’re also one step closer to making them loyal to your business! For example, you could send out a quick text message or email saying, “Thank you so much for using Jessica’s Carpet Cleaning. We appreciate your business, and would like to offer you $15 off your next cleaning. We would love it if you would help us out by leaving us a review about your good experience with us, on our Google or Facebook page! Thank you!” (Don’t forget to include links to your pages. People are less likely to follow through if they have to search the web to find the correct Google or Facebook page for you.)
If you’ve worded your messaging this way, you’ve already softened them up by thanking them, and offering a future discount. Don’t forget to let them know that they would really be helping you out if they left you a review. People are much more likely to do something when they feel it will be appreciated. It’s also important to note that Google and Facebook don’t allow businesses to “buy” reviews, so don’t offer your follow-up reward in exchange for a review. Instead, use the follow-up reward as an incentive to come back, and the review request as their way of helping a small business grow!
Provide a Helpful Suggestion
One way to gain the trust of your customers is to provide them with helpful information that they might not already know about. Who doesn’t love hearing tips from the experts? This is something you could provide instead of that follow-up reward or discount, if your business really isn’t in a place to offer that. If you are a carpet cleaner, and you want to send a tip instead of a discount, your message might read like this, “Thank you for using Billy’s Carpet Cleaning! Remember you’ll need your carpet professionally cleaned again in about 6 months. In the meantime, vacuum your carpet 1-2 times each week to keep it looking its best!” That way you are looking out for them and providing them with helpful tips, while also reminding them they need to schedule their next appointment.
When you provide someone with a helpful suggestion, you are providing them a bit of a service for free. After all, you are the expert and your knowledge is valuable!
Make Technology Work for You
According to SalesForce, 91% of consumers check their email everyday. In addition, Time.com suggests that the average American is looking at their phone 46 times each day. When you know the numbers are so high, how could you not be utilizing text messaging and emailing as ways to contact your customers. In today’s world, there’s no reason businesses shouldn’t be on social media and utilizing text messaging and emailing. Making technology work for you means that you are contacting your customers, after each purchase, in the best way you can. Sending those follow-up messages through text and/or email means that your customer will see it and will be more likely to come back.
Be sure you’re engaging with your loyal customers after each new purchase, and follow these simple tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of each communication.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!