So, you have seen an influx of new customers over the past few weeks… lucky, lucky you! It’s a great position to be in right now, but if you are anything like me, you will be thinking “will people stay?”. Let’s explore the things that you can be doing right now, to help you keep these new customers when normality eventually sets back in.
Give good customer service? Ground-breaking, right?
It’s useful to bear in mind that consumers have more time to browse and compare products more than ever, and how useful your website is (or your handy live chat function), may be what sets you apart from competitors.
Set realistic expectations for your customers. If delivery times are affected by you being busy right now, remember to update that everywhere you need to. When you think you’re done, tell people again and apologise. Accepting a delivery is an isolated homeworker’s highlight of the day, so let people know when it’s coming.
Book time in to answer emails, requests and tweets – especially on social media as this shows publicly that you care and want to help answer questions.
This great customer service won’t be forgotten, and poor service won’t be taken lightly. We are back to that increased browsing time for consumers.
Tell Your Story
Create a loop between your website and your social media. Both should show your story, how the business started, who you are and why you are brilliant at what you do. Social proof like testimonials have always been important but now more than ever, people want to see the whites of your eyes.
On social media, you may be able to afford to be less salesy than normal. If you are busy right now, customers won’t just be looking for a promo code. Experiment with more human content; behind the scenes in design and creation of your product, how you get prepped for the day on your morning jog, a time-lapse of picking and packing. The most time-consuming element of this is the ideas – think about the content that you are consuming on social media right now. Chances are that it’s positive, helps you escape for a moment and would be something that you would tag a friend or a colleague in. That’s our benchmark right now. Again, these are the little things that customers will be remember for the long term.
Keep in mind the benefit of user generated content and don’t be afraid to reach out to loyal customers and ask them to share a video review of your product or service. For new customers, be clear on your confirmations what you want them to do. Think about “follow us for tips on how to use our products best” or “sign up to our newsletters for a tutorial every Tuesday”.
Consumers want to support small, local businesses so don’t shy away from being boutique. Shout about your local area, post something people will recognise and tell people about your great staff. You may be asking a lot of your staff now in a busy period, so a shout out on your social media channels would also help their morale.
Going Above And Beyond
We have already mentioned tips to use the products or tutorials but think about how this could apply to you. It’s likely that a customer could find the same items from a competitor, but what can set you apart. So far, I have seen; videos to pick the right shade of hair dye, tutorials on how to use skincare products in the right way and recipes from farm shops on how to make the most of seasonal produce. This is absolutely giving something extra, but you are more likely to have happy customers if they are using your products in the right way.
Brands are also doing great things with their profits, like Gousto donating food to the Trussell Trust, a UK charity coordinating food banks for those in need. If you are a small business, this can just be a gesture and makes a lovely campaign for your social media channels.
Your Secret Weapon
Finally, your customer retention secret weapon is email marketing. All of those lovely new customers need to be funnelled into your CRM system and try to allocate as much information to them as possible.
Take the time to create (or invest in help in making) these key templates.
1/ A Welcome Email – thank them for picking you, tell them your story and set those expectations. Direct customers to your social media and tell them why they should follow you there.
2/ Review Please – give your customers some time to road test their new purchase and then reach out for a review. Signpost them to where you would like the review – Facebook, Google or Feefo – and perhaps provide an incentive.
3/ Would You Recommend – creating a promo-code may be easier than you think, and this would be a great way of asking your customers to refer you. A review from a third part is always so much more sincere too!
4/ Running Low Emails – whether you are selling skincare, pasta or vitamin C, you will have a rough idea of when their supply will run out. When someone buys a particular product, set up an automated alert for when you imagine that will be nearly running out.
Take some time out of your busy week to plan in some of these ideas – implementing just one might help you retain those new customers you have now found. Remember to always wear your customers shoes and pay more attention to what you enjoy on social media or good email marketing. Write down any ideas you have somewhere handy; your diary, the notes on your phone or make a spreadsheet – inspiration can strike at any point and you need to grab it. When you sit down to do your content planning you will have a list to start you off.
If you need help with any of the above, SocialB are always here to give guidance or flexible support to your business, just give us a call.
It’s tempting to get caught up in day to day work when times are busy but thinking long term could turn this crisis into a positive and sustainable future for your business.