E-Commerce Customer Retention: After-Sales Service that Your Customers Expect

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One of the major challenges of e-commerce and online shopping is what happens after a customer purchases the product. Do they continue buying from your store? Do they recruit other customers? Or do they check out your competitors? High conversion rates are good, but your business should not rely solely on new customers’ first purchases because marketing and advertising are costly. You’ll want good ROIs and customer loyalty. It is when these new customers come back and buy more products or when they refer their friends that you’re able to bring more value to these conversions.

The good news is that more and more people are going digital. According to Oberlo, there are about 2.05 billion online shoppers in 2020. There is no shortage in terms of online consumers. The focus now is on how to win, increase, and retain your customer base.

So how do retailers stay on top? Whether one is considered a behemoth or a neophyte in this arena, how one keeps its customers delighted and loyal is the ultimate lock-in strategy of any company. The longer a customer stays loyal to the brand, the higher the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) becomes. This loyalty is brought about by going the extra mile in terms of after-sales services.

After-sales service is defined as any service provided following a customer’s purchase of a product. This includes services regarding warranty, training, repair, or upgrades. This is a very critical period for business owners to gain brand loyalty. 

How do we meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of after-sales support? Here are a few tips to do so to elevate the experience from good to outstanding.

  • Engage on a personal level.

Be creative in giving that personal touch to your customers. It can be as simple as sending personal messages (holiday greetings), creating personalized shipments,  or just sending a simple e-newsletter would do. Keep the lines open for them and be engaging. Let them know that they are valued and that they matter. Congratulate them on their purchase and make them feel good about their decision in choosing your brand and your store. Is it their birthday? Send them a greeting, a gift, or a voucher. Little things like these go a long way.

  • Be flexible in meeting market trends.

With the ever-growing competition in e-commerce, it is important to acquire and maintain your competitive edge. There are price-conscious consumers that you’ll want to win over and retain. Make sure that you price your products competitively.

Using a repricer to compute and adjust the product prices in real-time is optimal for any online business. This is important especially if you’re using a prestigious online platform such as Amazon. Whether it’s aiming for that Buy Box privilege or just simply wanting to get a chunk of the market share, a repricer minimizes the time wasted in analyzing the best price for your goods. Your customers will keep coming back since you’re offering the best price. 

This is not about your prices hitting rock bottom – this will hurt your profit margin, and that’s something you’ll want to avoid. It’s important to choose the right repricer whose algorithm helps your business stay competitive while optimizing your profit.

As an after-sales service, make these prices known through targeted digital marketing strategies. Your customers will appreciate the update and may even purchase the product advertised. 

  • Ask for feedback.

Your customers’ thoughts and suggestions give you in-depth information to further improve your platform. The more you reach out, the more feedback and reviews you are likely to get. Customers want to be heard, so give them an avenue to share their thoughts.

This can also help promote your store. Many customers don’t hesitate in posting their reviews online. Products with many positive reviews are likely to get sold faster than those with fewer reviews, all things being equal. Many sellers send their customers emails to ask how they feel about the product and the purchase because they see the value in this; however, spamming your customers’ inbox will be counterintuitive towards this goal.

  • Give them delivery options.

Make it as seamless as possible for your customers and meet them at their preferred method. Statistics show that many customers abandon cart due to shipping fees. It can be costly to altogether remove shipping fees, which is why many stores now allow Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) options in lieu of free shipping. Some sellers also offer discounted fees for volume purchases. It also helps to offer express shipping to cater to customers who want their items delivered ASAP for a fee. Make returning the product an easy process, as well. This helps your customers feel confident about their future purchases.

  • Provide Delivery Notifications

Removing the guesswork about the expected delivery date and time is added convenience for your customers. It also helps assure them that their orders have been successfully processed. Give them an option to choose between receiving an SMS or email. They can also proactively track the package if they want. Customers seek convenience, and if you can offer them this, they’re most likely going to keep their business with you.

  • Get ahead with online support.

This includes setting up an email, chat, and social media interface that customers can go to for various requests or inquiries. This is also where you can keep your customers informed of promos and events to strengthen their loyalty to your product or business. Make sure that these platforms are optimized and constantly monitored to avoid unnecessary backend complaints. Strive to consistently achieve customer satisfaction by providing stellar customer service through your online channels. 

Negative feedback shared online can drastically ruin a company’s credibility and may take time to reverse. Never abandon a customer after a sale is made. Customer retention and acquisition go hand-in-hand.

Bear in mind that good after-sales support or service is essential in maintaining your customer’s loyalty. Any successful transaction requires consistency and good follow-through. No matter how many players enter the scene, being appreciative of your customers’ loyalty, in all aspects, builds that strong foundation that helps establish and sustain customer loyalty.