Today, there is a virtual war going on between hundreds and thousands of e-commerce stores that are fighting to attract more customers, sales and subsequently profits. However, many of these businesses fail to build their most important weapon - customer satisfaction and loyalty. So, if you are an online retail store owner and thinking of ways to bring in more customers and sales for your e-commerce business, here are four sure-shot ways to win your customers' loyalty, repeat business and referrals.
1. Let 'the customer is king' be your guiding principle
Ideally, this dictum should be burned into your brain before you even start looking for investors. To follow and act on the principle that you work for your customer will yield results that will keep you in business for a long time. It's your key to building customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. All you need to do is to keep yourself in the shoes of your customers and anticipate their needs when they come to your e-commerce store. Do this well, and you'll win a loyal customer base.
2. Conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys
As an e-commerce business owner, you should have your finger on the pulse of your customer at all times. And you can do this by regularly conducting surveys which measure the satisfaction level of your customer base. This will enable you to get regular information about shopping patterns and trends. Many free online survey tools are easily available, making for a cost-effective way to gather required stats on your customers. On the basis of the results, you will know what's working and what's not and make necessary tweaks where necessary. It's always a good idea to supplement surveys with the smart utilisation of many popular social media platforms -- they can help you keep track of the positive and negative mentions of your store. Building a community forum from where you can get a fair idea of what your customers want, and also a dedicated customer support channel to address their needs are also worthwhile investments of effort.
3. Never ignore customer feedback
While customer surveys, forums and social media engagement will give you the feedback you need, what next? You should never make the mistake of ignoring or minimising critiques. Go through all the feedback and reviews given by your customers and thereby zero in on the issues and problems that they face while shopping on your online store. When you fix these problems, customers are sure to take notice and appreciate your responsiveness.
Customer loyalty programmes
It's a good idea to bolster your relationship with your customers by introducing loyalty programmes as further incentives to use your e-store. There are a number of ways of doing this - exclusive discount vouchers, complimentary gifts on certain occasions and so on. You can even go a step further by giving your customers a chance to sell their home-made or personalised products through your online store. Such initiatives will enable you to be always in touch with your customers and will go a long way in retaining their custom.
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