Building up client relationships is key to a successful ecommerce business. Not only does it give customers a good impression of your brand, their good impression also shapes the overall public image of the whole company. The more positive customer experiences you provide, the more positive talk there is surrounding your name. Building and retaining these kinds of business to customer relationships can be difficult, especially when you will never actually meet these people and a company is much more than just one person. But there are things that can be done to make customers feel a little more connected to your online store.
It is important when building customer relationships that they are kept in mind at all times. Whatever a company does it must not only benefit themselves. Adapt and model your ecommerce store around what they want. Keep track of how the store is used and make changes to to suit the usage patterns that appear. If some content is heavily visited, make it more prominent or better yet create more of it, similarly if content is rarely used or complained about remove it, even if it took hours to create. This can be done for their whole shopping experience, from the page they land on when they first get to the site all the way to checkout. Add and remove things as applicable and most importantly give you customers what they want, ask them if you need to or check through any complaints that come through for possible changes. This level of customisation will show customers that you care about their experience whilst boosting your own website’s efficiency.
As well as making their shopping experience as convenient as possible give them something else to look at. Keeping them hooked on the site even after purchasing will help to embed your company in their mind. Do this by starting a blog, offering tutorials and product videos anything that contributes to the quality of the website whilst entertaining its visitors as long as it doesn’t involve heavy advertising or lead to some kind of payment. This is because the beauty of this extra content is that it gives customers the feeling that they can interact with your company without having to be sold to, they can get to know you and your brand without having to part with their hard earned cash. Not all forms of engagement needs to involve a sale as this would focus on building not only brand relationships but also awareness if the content is worthwhile.
Once you have them visiting your site regularly interaction is bound to occur such as comments on blog posts or reactions to videos and other things. This is a good chance to show your customers that you’re not simply a logo on the internet and that your brand does have a personality. Keep in mind how you would expect to be treated by an organisation such as yours and in effect treat them how you would like to be treated. Be honest if they ask questions and don’t withhold information as they are less likely to place trust in you if they feel they are being pushed aside or fed false information. Always offer information and advice if they ask for it and generally keep up a high standard of communication. Let them know you are there and let them know you are helpful.
Whilst communicating and offering your helping hand do not forget that these comments and interactions are coming from real people, not just numbers on a screen. Act in an appropriate manner and keep things light hearted. Make them feel like a friend, use their name if they provide it and acknowledge them as an individual. Express interest in their input whether it be positive or negative. Act quickly to join them on light hearted conversation and respond to any issues offering a solution and showing your efficiency. This will remind them again that there are people behind this brand and make them feel cared about and appreciated, as well as dealing with any unwanted bad publicity as it happens by fixing problems as they occur.
In between dealing with these comments and providing interesting content it is important to remember that you are doing this because you want these customers to like you, so they will return or even bring you new customers. To subtly reinforce this to them however it will take a little bit more work. As mentioned earlier try to avoid advertisement or selling in your extra content, instead try promoting it elsewhere. Put new products in banners on your homepage and even set up a newsletter service if your company doesn’t already have one. Use the newsletter list to remind your customers of your brand while they are away doing other things and get them engaged again. Send them products similar to their previous purchases as again this addresses them as an individual keeping that customer to business relationship strong and even send out the occasional deal or offer to entice them back to the store.
Overall it is just important to give your customers a quality experience. Make their time on your store enjoyable. Get them excited about their purchase, give them a stress free experience and provide them with quality service. As a customer with no complains is more likely to return and return with a much higher level of trust in your brand. Keep your relationship with them going once acquired by sharing knowledge with them, whether through blogs or email updates, tell them about any big changes within the company and inform them on any upcoming products. This will make them feel like they are involved within the brand as they will be being provided with everything they could possibly know about it.