In the 1990s, businesses built relationships with their clients and customers by meeting them face-to-face. They even put up huge billboards and hoardings to market their products.
But in this digital era, where customers mostly search for products online, businesses need to change their strategy as well. Face-to-face interactions rarely happen these days and businesses market their products by placing ads on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and other online platforms.
One thing that hasn’t changed until now and probably won’t in the decades to come, is the constant thrive for accumulating more customers.
Here we will discuss 6 such points that your business or brand can adopt to gain the trust of your customers and increase your client base online.
Let’s jump in.
1. Use Social Media to Connect with Followers
Nearly every person who has access to the internet is on Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, or any other social media platform. People are comfortable searching for businesses on social media.
It helps them not only to find their products but also check reviews of other people about what they have to say about the product. If they find more negative comments about a particular product, they can simply switch over to the next one.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte in 2014, 75% of Americans who are shopping online say that the product information from social media greatly influences their shopping behavior and helps them decide whether or not to stay with a brand.
If a business does not have any social media page or they are not putting up one, customers won’t have enough confidence to continue with the brand.
2. Offer Customer Service Online
While customers shop online, they also search for product reviews. But what about those customers who desperately want to buy a product and they end up with negative reviews?
They contact the customer service agent of the company. Sometimes, customers don’t want to believe the reviews and they want the agent’s reviews to make an informed decision. This is where customer service skills matter. Make sure that your agents know your product well so they can give good explanations to potential customers.
If the customers were provided with poor customer care, they may lose their trust and stop shopping from the brand altogether. That is why a business should provide great customer assistance.
3. Use Loyalty Programs
This is one of the most under-utilized techniques when it comes to foster customer loyalty.
Think about this: What would you prefer more, just buying a product or buying a product with some discount, a coupon, or some reward? You will choose the latter over the former any day.
People tend to do such activities where they can get some benefits from doing their usual tasks. It’s a psychological aspect of human beings.
There are a lot of ways to provide loyalty programs to online customers. You can do this by mailing coupons to them, offering loyalty points for taking certain actions, or hitting milestones. The list goes on.
To make loyalty programs more interesting and gain customer’s trust, make sure that the loyalty points are easily redeemable. If you don’t let the customers use the earned reward points, they might leave your brand in frustration, which is not desirable at all.
4. Encourage Customer Reviews and Display Them Prominently
Customer reviews are important when it comes to shopping online. People go through product reviews before buying the product – since they want to know the opinion of other people who used it and can share their experiences.
Based on the user’s opinions and reviews, customers might trust the brand and end up making a purchase.
Do you know that customers tend to trust the product more if they know the reviewer personally such as family members or friends?
But how can business owners use this as an advantage? Businesses can use the words of satisfied customers to ignite trust in the product among new customers.
Encouraging that review culture among users may have an impact on existing users. They will see that the company not only cares about the product but also gives equal importance to their opinions. They will feel valuable to the company, hence increasing their trust.
These customers can even turn into brand ambassadors to their family, friends, and other people they meet on a daily basis.
5. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Imagine a customer wants to buy a product from you. They have added the product, but when they reach the checkout counter, they can only select a couple of options. What will they do? They will simply close the site or app and will never shop from them again.
As a business owner, you need to understand that just having one payment gateway is not enough. Many customers don’t trust online transactions and therefore you will find people who prefer to use alternative payment methods, even cash.
If you would have given the option of payment after delivery, the customer will then proceed to place the order.
There are many options by which you can set up payment. Some of the options are debit cards, credit cards, net banking, UPI, payment wallets, PayPal, pay on delivery, etc. It’s highly recommended that you provide the customers with all the choices and let them choose what they are comfortable with.
6. Ease of Access
In today’s world where customers have a handful of choices available on the tap of their finger, if you don’t provide customers the ease of buying products or reaching out to you, they may choose your competitor without a second thought.
If you want to retain your existing customers and gain new ones, you need to make sure they have all they need.
Some of the areas where you can focus on include the following:
- Having a nice and simple marketplace for browsing products and filtering.
- Being able to reach your customer care phone lines whenever they want
- Knowing the status of their order
- Having the portal sync between mobile, tablet, and web
These are just a handful of examples where you can start focusing your efforts. You can also search for strategies that focus on building and improving customer’s trust.
Searching for new customers is a crucial task for business growth, but you must not forget that nurturing your current customers and prospects is just as crucial, since it’s a cost-effective way to grow sustain your business in the long term. A loyal army of customers can definitely help your company keep growing.