You’ve put in so much effort to create in-demand products, promote your business, and deliver better customer service than the rest. You’ve plenty of new customers dropping by to make their first purchase. Now it’s time for the difficult second sale, and the third and well, you get the picture. You have lots of options at your disposal for boosting the chances of a return visit from loyal customers. Social media should be right up there with your top tools to build that crucial relationship.
1. Deliver great customer service on Twitter and Facebook
It may feel like opening up a can of worms, but you’d be surprised how rewarding it can be to handle both everyday queries and complaints in style in front of such a massive social media audience. Take a look at how major retailers respond when customers tweet or post about them. It’s about being prompt, showing you are interested in talking to the public and, where difficult conversations arise, moving the conversation to your usual response channels offline to work through the detail at the earliest opportunity. Take your lead from the best in your industry or sector and use social media to retain your customers by delivering memorably excellent customer service that dazzles – direct to their newsfeeds.
2. Get to know each other – it’s what social networks were invented for
People always talk about how shops used to be in the old days:
- Knowing customers by name
- Being able to spend time getting to know local people
- Being seen as a trusted business that’s truly part of the community
Social media is bringing out the ‘local grocer’ in us all as business people. Create a regular yet unobtrusive presence on Facebook and Twitter. Post about what’s going on behind the scenes of your business, who are the people making it tick? Request and share customer stories about the difference your product has made to their lives. Thank them for their custom. Get them involved.
3. Promote your existing loyalty schemes and offers for regular customers
This is where you may be tempted to start when you begin to use social media to retain your customers. Studies continue to find that customers are most likely to defect to other suppliers when your customer service isn’t up to scratch or the business disregards what is important to them. Focus on being responsive and helpful as a priority. Your followers on the likes of Facebook or Twitter will then be at their most receptive when you pitch your latest offer or product range. Make them feel special by creating exclusive loyalty bonuses as a thank you for their continued custom.
You might be thinking that this sounds like a full time job – and in lots of ways this interactive opportunity is worth dedicating time to. We’re not necessarily talking about hiring in a full time marketer or web consultant – although getting great ongoing training and advice is paramount. Begin to identify the most customer focussed people in your salesforce who could start working their magic through your Facebook and Twitter company pages. This will keep the level of service your customers are used to offline consistent as you begin to use social media accounts for customer retention purposes.