In continuing last week’s article on Keeping the Conversation Going After Customers Leave, I’ll continue sharing Nicole Leinbach Reyhle’s views on this topic with my input so that we can fit these ideas into our Asian experiences. If you’d like to read the original article, you can find it here in the Shopify Blog .
As the saying goes, sharing is caring – so why not get your customers to share more of their brand loyalty and disposable income with your business?
Your customers will only do so if they believe that YOU care for them – and the way to do it is to show that you really do.
From sending them thank you notes, to engaging with them on social media, every interaction you have must be genuine and real. This means that you’ll consider their feedback and share some of their insights when you email them – even if you’re using an email marketing platform when you do so.
For instance, a unique suggestion that someone you’ve engaged with on social media can be shared in your email marketing as coming from the person, and how you’ve rewarded that person – which you should – while implementing their suggestion.
This results in 2 things happening:
- Firstly, the person who you’ve engaged with on social media feels both recognized and appreciated, and
- Secondly, your email list subscribers will be inspired to be more participatory.
In both cases, these people will want to share the good news with others – the person you’ve engaged with will tell other people about his/her good fortune in receiving a reward, and the your email list subscribers will seek to engage you on social media in hopes of a reward as well.
Does the reward have to be costly?
Of course not!
Remember, while the ideas on how to connect with customers post-purchase are endless, the primary goal is to give them a reason to return to your store.
You already know that the Thank-you notes alone won’t do the trick. So apply ideas for communications that can help increase customer engagement, and you’re good to go:
- Incentives. Make your customers feel like VIPs with special “friends and family” discount pricing, additional discounts exclusively for customers on your email list, and promotions that specifically encourage shoppers to visit your store again (i.e. 15% off merchandise online and 20% off in store this weekend only).
- Promotions to share with friends and family. As aforementioned, creating highly shareable promos is a great way to keep communications open with your current customers and attract some new ones. This word-of-mouth marketing technique incentivizes previous shoppers to pass on discounts to their friends and family.
It doesn’t end there – if your engagement doesn’t result in an idea that you can implement and reward for, it’s still worth to inspire interaction in other ways.
Promotions that are shared as a reward can still be shared in your email distribution list – a good example is offering $10 off for every newly referred customer who makes a purchase. You can distribute unique referral codes online or offer printed referral cards in store to track such referrals. As a result, previous one-time shoppers are encouraged to come back to redeem their discount and recruit new customers in the process – whether for themselves or for their friends.
Another way to cultivate an emotional bond (and loyalty) with your customers is to help them make the most of their purchase. Nurture your relationship with advice tailored to maximize their buy. For example, a customer buying a new car may receive a message from you on how to ensure fuel efficiency or websites they can refer to for tips and tricks on how to maximise the value of their purchase.
My favorite way of course, is to make the customer feel special – giving your customers a heads up about upcoming sales, new inventory arrivals, and any relevant news about your business makes them feel like they’re getting to know something before everyone else, and that they’re part of your ‘secret’.
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the founder of Retail Minded and co-founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. In addition to helping small businesses and retailers build their businesses, she’s also served as spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014.