Customer Relationships are your most valuable asset
Developing strong customer acquisition and customer retention strategies are extremely important to your business’ longevity and to your online reputation. Though the cost associated and overall time spent to acquire customers is typically higher than that of customer retention, both elements have a direct effect on a business’ success and should be regarded equally. With the ever-growing Internet and Social Media space small and large businesses alike have enormous opportunities to reach new prospects and hold on to their established clients.
All retailers need more customers opted in to receive their communications if they’re going to drive purchases— and, eventually, drive repeat purchases. But many brands aren’t maximising their acquisition channels in-store and online.
Similarly, as retailers acquire new opt-ins, they face the challenges of excessive data and a decentralised view of the customer. Don’t miss valuable opportunities to acquire new email, mobile and social listeners, and communicate with each person on a one-to-one basis according to their preferences.
If you’ve prioritised customer acquisition, begin by analysing the places where customers are already engaging with your business. Then, determine how to enhance those experiences and drive interactive engagement with new tools and techniques.
Online you can capture data when a purchase has been made but if your brand has brick-and-mortar location (s), ensure you capitalise on this valuable touchpoint. Take advantage of the precious time that shoppers are spending in your stores, and promote opportunities to interact with your brand again after they exit. Here are a few ways to improve your acquisition strategies:
- Research current market situations that may affect your business or your prospects.
- Create a profile of your 'ideal customer' so you can narrow your search and truly have a handle on who you are looking for.
- Identify where your potential customers are and how you plan on reaching or marketing to them.
- Define the specific products or services they are seeking.
- Develop a multi-channel approach to reach your audience, let them know who you are and the value-add you can provide.
- Offer email receipts to every shopper. Many brands still aren’t leveraging the e-receipt’s possibilities, from adding a shopper to your email database to making a note of which store is a shopper’s favourite (and tailoring special offers to that store).
- Does your POS system allow you to capture personal data at check-out? If so, use this data to personalise communications and begin your welcome communications right away—not just to make the transaction process lengthier.
- Which products are similar to a shopper’s purchase? Which items are frequently found in carts alongside a certain item? Add product recommendations to e-receipts and physical receipts to encourage each shopper to re-engage.
- Online be respectful of customers’ time, and recognise that customers want different things from different channels. Use each channel’s strengths and maintain a common view of each customer.
- Always optimise acquisition forms for mobile. If a customer is on a tablet or smartphone and can’t fill out your form quickly and easily, you’re sure to lose the opt-in.
- Customers are increasingly researching products via a mobile device while in stores (in retail circles, the practice is called showrooming), so be sure that individual product pages are mobile-optimised, as well as your email design.
- Make your customer communication preference centre easy to find and navigate. Give people the option to explicitly tell you about their interests, and use that data to provide personalised content and product recommendations.
- Give customers a chance to voice their opinions through a one- click recommendations feature. Do they own, love, or hate a recommended product? This explicit, customer-given feedback is then added to their individual profile to help power future recommendations and email triggers.
- Ensure that you are promoting your database, social media and online store across all channels. You will have different demographics for each communications channel but they are all following your brand.
- Take advantage of the low-hanging fruit and ask your established clients for referrals; offer them incentives or rewards for doing so.
The Bottom Line, if you want to grow your subscriber database and place more engaged shoppers into your sales funnel, your customer relationships are your most valuable asset. Don’t miss opportunities to engage with them again by forgetting to ask for more information in stores, not listening to their preferences, or making it impossible to engage with you on mobile devices.