As a business owner, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. After all, they’re the ones who not only generate revenue but also push you to innovate your products and services. 

When it comes to marketing, many businesses focus solely on the acquisition of new customers. This makes sense because, after all, successfully doing so is the main way to promote growth. Unfortunately, this focus can come at the expense of maintaining current customers and growing them into frequent, lifetime customers.

In many cases, encouraging current customers to stay loyal to your brand can actually be more profitable than simply increasing conversion rates with new customers. That’s because your current customer base has a 50% greater likelihood of trying one of your company’s new products. Furthermore, they’ll spend at a higher rate than new customers – up to 31% more. 

Despite the fact that these numbers indicate overall greater revenue from current customers than new customers, businesses still have a tendency to focus their marketing dollars on customer acquisition rather than customer retention. If you’re ready to make a change in your company’s marketing approach and start making customer retention a priority, the good news is there are several simple ways to give your current customers the attention and care they need to stay loyal to your brand.

Option 1: Take Advantage of the Flexibility of Email Marketing

To encourage repeat purchases, start where your customers are spending much of their time already – in their inbox. While this method may seem old-fashioned to those who believe social media marketing is the only way to reach people these days, the truth is Americans still spend hours each day in their email inbox. 

In fact, a recent study by Adobe showed respondents spent up to 5 hours a day checking email. Furthermore, consumers seem to prefer developing relationships with brands through email. According to Adobe’s survey, 50% of respondents stated a preference for receiving offers from brands via email over all other channels. 

This may be because email marketing is so flexible. Consumers know they can opt out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link, or change their preferences to only receive certain types of emails. With this kind of trust already in place, taking advantage of this preference is an easy way to:

  • Send promotions to your current customers
  • Keep them engaged with your brand’s community
  • Ensure they’re always up to date with your product and service offerings

Option 2: Promote Loyalty Through a Customer Loyalty Program

Another tried-and-true method for retaining loyal customers is to implement an incentive-based customer loyalty program. When one-off customers realize they can enjoy rewards by choosing your brand in the future, they’ll have a reason to return. Many companies choose to focus their loyalty programs on providing discounts for frequent purchases, while others use them to promote special offers or package deals. 

When it comes to crafting your customer loyalty program, one thing to keep in mind is registering must be a seamless experience for the consumer. If a first-time customer is interested in signing up for the program but finds the process to be clunky or invasive, they won’t hesitate to opt out. While this won’t translate into an immediate loss of revenue, it could spell a loss of potential profit that should be avoided at all costs.

Option 3: Utilize Reviews as a Marketing and Data Acquisition Tool

If you want to promote repeat purchases, the key is to provide exactly what your customers are looking for. One of the best ways to gain insights into these specifications is by leveraging customer reviews and ratings. 

Although you may not think of reviews and ratings as a marketing tool, they are in fact one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. Reviews are not limited to helping improve your reputation and online presence. They can also reinforce brand loyalty and give you detailed insights into what aspects of your products and services you should be highlighting in your marketing communications.

There are plenty of analysis tools and easy-to-use software platforms available that do the work of identifying trends and commonly used keywords in reviews. These technologies can help you more easily keep up with what customers are saying about your products, including flaws that need to be remedied and particular features customers appreciate. 

You can then use this data to resolve issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed or adjust your services to better meet consumer needs. In doing so, you’ll be taking a huge step to keep your customers around for the long haul without draining your resources in the process.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to turn your one-time customers into lifetime customers! With these tips, you can easily and inexpensively promote a trust-filled relationship with customers that translates into brand loyalty over time.

Whether your business is large or small, chances are you already have a presence online. However, being online is about so much more than posting your company’s contact information and service offerings. 

In this day and age, your brand’s online presence requires active management in order to ensure you’re maintaining a good reputation. While this may seem like a daunting task, building a positive brand reputation in the digital world actually opens up avenues for rewarding customer interactions and makes marketing your brand that much easier.

Now more than ever, people are using the virtual landscape to connect with businesses, provide feedback, and detail their experiences to other consumers. How your business responds to comments, questions, and feedback both positive and negative will have a huge impact on your online reputation. 

In turn, reputation management can affect your bottom line. By planning ahead and implementing a well-thought-out strategy for creating and maintaining your brand’s reputation online, you can reap all the benefits of doing business in the digital age.

Outlining a Strategy for Building Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Reputation marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take some thinking, strategizing, and careful execution to get it just right. Having a team that is both clued in to the plan and equipped with savvy social media skills is essential for positively positioning your brand in the online world. 

In addition, it can be incredibly helpful to have access to reputation marketing software to streamline this process. This type of software also ensures managing your brand’s reputation doesn’t eclipse your focus on making your company the best it can be.

Below are four crucial steps for creating a positive brand reputation and making the most of your presence online.

Reviews Management

As a customer, whenever you search for a business online you likely first check the company’s star rating and Google reviews. Of course, you should assume all potential customers are doing the same for your business. 

Unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. For this reason, having a strategy in place to both respond to negative reviews and garner more positive reviews is incredibly important. 

To do this efficiently and effectively, you’ll need to:

  • Send review requests to happy customers on the same day the transaction occurs
  • Respond to all reviews in a timely manner, preferably within 48 hours
  • Handle negative feedback with poise, offer an immediate resolution, and take the conversation offline whenever possible

Content Optimization

High-quality content is key to keeping your business ranking highly on search engine results pages. Regularly posting new content also promotes your brand as a positive and authoritative voice in the field. 

Invest in creating engaging and helpful content potential customers will actually read, watch, or listen to. You can also use testimonials as content to highlight the customer experience you provide and ensure positive reviews receive the attention they deserve.

While creating solid content is one of the most important parts of optimization, you shouldn’t overlook nitty gritty details like writing compelling meta titles and meta descriptions and using keywords appropriately. In addition, routinely check for broken links and go the extra mile to keep content compatible with mobile devices.

Social Media Activity

You may be hesitant to wade into the world of social media, but the truth is platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer tons of exciting features for businesses. Use these platforms to keep tabs on customers’ reactions to your products, services, and the experience you offer. 

You can also help positive testimonials go viral by regularly posting them to these pages. Since testimonials speak for themselves, you can keep your own input short and sweet while building your brand’s online presence with a few simple clicks.

Partnering with Experts

The Internet is a constantly changing space. Sometimes it can feel difficult to get a handle on all the best practices when you’re also trying to run your business and accommodate your customers. 

Reaching out to a company for help with brand reputation management can give your business the boost it needs. From monitoring online reviews to writing great content and getting guidance with responding to negative feedback, there’s a ton to be learned from experts in the industry.

 

Feedback from customers is often priceless. It can help you avoid making the same costly mistakes over and over again. It can also offer insight into profitable opportunities you may be overlooking. 

However, all too often companies fail to collect high-quality feedback they can actually use to implement change that positively influences the customer journey. In this day in age, when customers are more empowered than ever, having an effective customer feedback strategy in place is key.

If you’re looking for ways to walk the fine line of figuring out what your customers really want without feeling you’re constantly spamming them with survey requests, we can help. Check out our tips below to boost your customer feedback strategy with ease.

 

Tip 1: Set Up Live Chat Support 

The faster you can answer customers’ questions, the happier they will be. That’s why live chat has become a popular support tool for many companies. 

Chat isn’t only effective for giving great customer service. It can also be helpful for discreetly collecting customer feedback in real time and at a low cost. With a live chat function, you’ll quickly be able to assess and remedy issues before they become a major problem while also gaining insight into customers’ most common complaints.

 

Tip 2: Get Your Timing Right

Feedback at any time is great, but feedback immediately following a purchase is best. That way, the experience is still fresh on the customer’s mind, and they’re more likely to be willing to offer their opinion just after they’ve completed the purchase journey. The key here is to communicate to the customer that you’ll only take a minute of their time. Otherwise, they might feel the itch to move on with their day.

 

Tip 3: Offer Incentives

Let customers know you value their feedback by giving them something of value in return. One way to do this is to create a popup that appears right after a transaction to offer a discount on the next purchase in exchange for filling out a quick survey. 

Another option is to advertise to your social media followers that they can enter a raffle for a gift card or free product by completing a survey. Whatever incentive you choose to offer, the feedback you receive will be well worth the expense.

 

Tip 4: Keep It Simple

Do yourself and your customers a favor by making it easy for them to provide feedback. Surveys as a whole and the individual questions should be short and sweet.

With this approach, you only have the chance to ask a few questions, so you need to make sure they’re the right ones. Keep in mind that the quality of the answers you receive will reflect the quality of the questions you ask. For example, you’ll get a lot more information out of questions that allow for open-ended answers than simple yes-or-no responses. 

 

Tip 5: Use the Net Promoter Score

When it comes to keeping things simple, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the ultimate solution. With one simple question – “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?” – you gain valuable feedback that instantly shows what your customers think of their experience. 

Responses are scored from 0, not at all likely, to 10, very likely. Your NPS is then calculated as the average of all the responses. All businesses should consider taking advantage of this simple and effective measurement tool.

By implementing these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a customer feedback strategy that ensures you’re taking the right steps to meet your customers’ needs and can provide an experience they’ll rave about.

 

Have you created a customer journey map to better understand how prospective customers interact with your business? This kind of visual representation allows you to gain a sense of what customers aim to achieve when they choose your company, including their needs and pain points. With this information, you can facilitate a smoother customer journey that generates rave reviews and repeat business.

Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of what the customer journey looks like, building a visual diagram is still a crucial step to take. Having this as a resource to refer back to as you make key decisions will ensure your team is always on the same page. Plus, it will help keep the customer’s perspective in mind every step of the way.

How to Craft a Customer Journey Map

Building a customer journey map will be well worth your while. With these 7 easy steps, you’ll soon have a customer journey map in your hands that represents one of the most important processes in all of your business operations.

Step 1: Start by setting your objectives.

Begin with some brainstorming to help clarify your intentions for making this map. Important questions to answer include:

  • What are the goals of the map?
  • From whose point of view will the map be drawn?
  • What specific experience will the map outline?

Answering these questions will enable you to build a more accurate buyer persona and draw a map that reflects your average customer.

Step 2: Research your customers’ experiences.

Do some in-depth research into the experiences of actual customers or prospective customers who have interacted with your company. Gathering feedback based on their experience will be essential to the creation of a useful customer journey map. 

There are several methods you can use to acquire this feedback, including questionnaires and user testing software. Then, put all that information into a buyer persona tool.

Step 3: Choose a target customer persona.

Your research will likely uncover a handful of customer personas. However, as the customer journey map outlines the path one specific type of customer takes to interact with your business, you’ll need to narrow this list down to a single target personas. Otherwise, your map will be a mishmash of experiences that isn’t all that helpful in the end. 

Step 4: Make a touch point list. 

Your website likely offers multiple opportunities for customers to interact with your business. These are called touch points. However, touch points aren’t limited to your website. Points of interaction such as social channels, paid advertisements, and third-party review sites also qualify. 

Your research into the customer experience should reveal which touchpoints are currently being used the most. Narrow this list down to those that most commonly result in customers taking specific actions.

As you make this list, try to see the touch points from the customer’s point of view. What emotions and motivations bring them to each point? What are some obstacles and pain points that could prevent them from ultimately taking action?

Step 5: Create a map type that fulfills your aims.

Depending on your ultimate goals and the types of improvements you want to make in the customer journey, you could use one of the following map templates:

  • Current State maps visualize the customer’s experience of interacting with your company.
  • Day in the Life maps go outside the scope of the customer-company relationship to explore the pain points in customers’ daily lives and address unmet needs. 
  • Future State maps help businesses illustrate their vision and set objectives for how they want the customer experience to be, rather than how it is in reality. 
  • Service Blueprint maps include a layer representing the employees, policies, technologies, or systems responsible for different aspects of the customer’s experience. 

Step 6: Evaluate your customer journey map.

Your customer journey map should be actionable, and its effectiveness should be measurable. One way to evaluate your map is to follow the journey it lays out on your own. This should include taking on the customer persona and exploring their steps one-by-one. You might start with social media activity, online searches, or reading marketing emails to see where the journey leads you.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can also lay out a framework for evaluating your map and making it actionable. After all, one of the main purposes of the map is to identify opportunities and obstacles based on qualitative research on the customer’s experience. KPIs can be used to visualize areas of improvement in the customer journey and prompt concrete action.

Of course, KPIs aren’t the only metrics that can be used to evaluate your map. Don’t hesitate to consider your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer loyalty and overall satisfaction, to track the customer’s experience.

Step 7: Implement changes as necessary. 

Your exploration of the customer journey and analysis of important metrics should give you a good idea of changes that need to be made to your website and various touch points across other platforms. 

Whether these changes are large or small, they can have a noticeable impact on the customer’s experience. Most importantly, as you’ve done the research to figure out why these changes need to occur, you can have confidence they’ll be much more effective than going the route of trial and error. 

Keep in mind that no customer journey map is ever complete. In reality, these are always works in progress. Aim to review your map regularly, whether that’s every month or every quarter, to continually identify opportunities to make the customer journey as frictionless as possible.

These days, savvy consumers are rarely willing to take a chance on a business they haven’t heard of or worked with before. Instead, they turn to trustworthy reviews to help them make some of the most important decisions about how they spend their time and money. 

If you operate a real estate business and aren’t leveraging this modern form of word-of-mouth marketing, you may be seriously missing out. This kind of feedback is essential not only for increasing your visibility and garnering credibility, but also for learning from your tenants and implementing critical changes based on their experiences.

Our Tips for Bolstering Your Online Reputation with Reviews

According to a 2019 survey from SurveyMonkey Audience, nearly three quarters of renters read between one and ten reviews prior to making a decision about a rental property. Most significantly, well over half of those respondents claimed they would pay more for a property that had higher rankings and reviews. 

With statistics like these, it’s clear both negative reviews and an absence of reviews in general can have an adverse effect on your real estate business’s ability to reach its full potential.

While you may know how important reviews are – after all, you probably use them yourself when making significant purchases – it’s understandable if you feel a little overwhelmed about collecting feedback from clients. The good news is that gaining insightful feedback from tenants and clients is easier than ever before. 

Take a look at our tips below to help you generate more online buzz for your real estate business and earn the trust of prospective tenants.

1. Listen to your clients and implement changes based on their feedback.

As it’s been shown, renters are willing to pay more for a better overall experience, you can gain more clients and increase revenue by improving that experience. Not sure where to start? Your best bet is to set up a channel for feedback so you know exactly which issues to prioritize. 

There are plenty of software options out there that enable businesses to gather up-to-the minute, actionable feedback from clients with a few simple clicks. Not only will the changes you make as a result help generate a more positive experience for prospective clients, but your actions will also instill trust in current tenants and make it more likely they’d be willing to leave a positive review.

2. Ensure your business is claimed on all reviewing platforms.

If you’re only checking on your Google reviews, you may be unaware of other reviews that have popped up for your property on platforms such as Zillow, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. This list isn’t exhaustive, of course. There’s also Apartments.com, Angie’s List, Yelp, and many more contenders that attract the attention of prospective tenants. 

Make the effort to claim your business on all of these platforms so you can better manage your online reputation. Fortunately, managing all these accounts doesn’t have to be a hassle. 

Utilizing innovative customer engagement software allows you to view and respond to reviews from a range of sites all in one place. This will make it easy to reap the rewards of having a widespread online presence.

3. Take the time to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.

According to a recent survey, 97% of consumers who read reviews also read what businesses say in response to reviews. Whether the initial review is negative or positive, the way a business responds says a lot about their guiding philosophy and how they tend to treat their clients. 

This kind of communication can go a long way in building trust with prospective tenants, as it lets them know you take the time to maintain tenant relationships and value their feedback.

What you say in your response isn’t the only important factor to consider. The speed with which you respond to reviews can also make or break a relationship and even impact your overall review score. In certain situations, you may even be able to resolve the issue behind a negative review by acting quickly.

4. Request reviews from happy tenants.

It’s no secret unhappy customers are more likely to write a review than satisfied customers. To regain balance in your online reputation and ensure your review score reflects how the majority of your tenants actually feel, don’t hesitate to ask happy tenants to write about their experience online. Sometimes a gentle prompt is all it takes to let these individuals know how helpful their review could be for prospective renters.

To make this process as frictionless as possible, you can even automate your request. For example, you could have automatic invitations for reviews sent out via text each time a lease is signed or renewed. As long as you go the extra mile to make this process quick and easy for the tenant, you can have confidence they’ll be up for completing this small task.

We all know reviews are important, but few real estate businesses take the steps needed to collect tenant feedback and amass trustworthy online reviews. With these tips, you can build credibility for your business and generate some online buzz while simultaneously strengthening your relationship with renters.

Influencers have a tendency to make social media look like easy, breezy fun. Yet when you’re the one behind your business’s social media posts, coming up with ideas feels a lot more like work. On top of that, you have to keep your brand’s message and target audience in mind while shouldering the responsibility of generating engagement. 

With all this circling in your head, it’s no wonder you lose creative inspiration every now and then! Keep reading to learn how you can make social media fun again and boost its effectiveness for your brand in the process.

Give Yourself the Gift of a Social Media Calendar

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to approach social media marketing. One of the best things you can possibly do for yourself and your brand is to plan ahead with a social media calendar. This may seem to take the “spontaneity” out of social media, but believe us, it’ll save you from the constant rush of trying to find buzz-worthy content on a minute’s notice. 

Most importantly, having your posts planned out can enable you to formulate a more cohesive social media campaign. That way, each post will build upon the other, providing added value for your audience and enabling you to tell a vibrant story over time.

This doesn’t mean you have to completely give up on ad-hoc posts. After all, responding to trending topics and hopping on the hashtag bandwagon can go a long way in increasing exposure to your brand. There can be plenty of flexibility within your social media calendar to post spontaneous content as well as content that is part of an overarching, well-thought-out campaign.

Fill Your Social Media Calendar with Our Favorite Post Types

Now that we’ve covered the importance of putting together a posting plan, you may wonder how you can generate enough content to fill the empty spaces on your calendar. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

Below, we’ve listed a range of post types to help get you out of your content rut. They’ll also ensure you’re hitting on all the different aspects of your brand messaging that you want to broadcast to the Internet.

1.       Giveaways

Looking to generate engagement with your posts? A giveaway here and there can do wonders to bring interactions with your content to new levels while also promoting your products and services.

2.       Countdowns

Are you launching a new product, or perhaps looking forward to a special event or holiday? Countdown posts can help your audience get excited about what’s next and engender curiosity among those who may be new to your brand.

3.       Links to your brand’s blog

You put a lot of work into maintaining a blog on your company website. Make sure everyone knows you’re putting out a wealth of free, informative content! Whether you want to point to new posts or highlight an older post that’s still relevant, you’ll be encouraging interaction with your brand on multiple levels by linking back to your own website.

4.       Insights into your company’s culture

Social media users love getting a behind-the-scenes look into different company cultures, so don’t hesitate to give the people what they want. From a quick video or image of your employees having a good time to an explanation of your workflow, there’s a ton of content to mine just by taking an inward look at how your company does what it does best.

5.       Quick questions

Most social media platforms have an easy-to-use feature that allows you to survey your audience with a question. Whether you request feedback about a certain product or ask your customers for their thoughts on current events, this is an easy way to spark interactions without having to invest time in content creation.

6.       Reviews or testimonials

If you’ve just received a glowing review or testimonial from a happy customer, amplify their voice through your own social media platforms. For example, you can retweet them, screenshot their review, or ask permission to use a snippet of their email in an eye-catching graphic.

Make sure you get the most out of social media by putting out varied content within a cohesive framework that represents your brand through and through. We hope these tips get you well on your way to a full calendar of fun posts you can be proud of!

 

Even with 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s readily apparent disruption levels in the retail industry will remain high for quite some time. Formerly reliable approaches to business simply won’t work in this new and rapidly changing environment. 

One of the most important things to realize is customers have gained a significant level of power, especially over the past year. Providing them with the best experience possible should be your top priority from here on out.

By saying consumers have power, we mean they have an incredible influence over the purchase choices of others. Thanks to social media and the reliability of word-of-mouth marketing, one happy buyer can result in increased demand for your product or service. Of course, the contrary is also true. The bottom line is customer retention and loyalty are the keys to business success.

Understand the Current Business Landscape with These Statistics & Key Takeaways

To offer a clearer picture of the current relationship between businesses and consumers, we’ve examined some of the latest studies on customer experience and retention so you can stay up to date on the best practices. Take a look at some of the most important takeaways for 2021 below.

1. The importance of customer service has leveled the playing field. According to Gartner, 81% of businesses compete primarily on customer experience.

2. Most companies understand the importance of going digital. In fact, Gartner reports that 67% of business leaders believe their business will no longer be competitive without embracing digital transformation. If you’re not part of this group, you may find you’re quickly left behind.

3.Understanding your Net Promotor Score (NPS) is key. A study by Bain & Company suggests differences in Net Promoter Score explain between 10% and 70% of the differences in revenue growth between direct competitors.

4. Consumers value a great experience, perhaps more than they value a bargain. According to PwC, customers are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium for a great customer experience.

5. As a business, you can’t count on being given a second chance. With 32% of customers willing to walk away from a brand they love because of just one bad experience, there’s little room for error. (Source: PwC)

6. In a study by Salesforce, 80% of customers say the experience businesses provide is just as important as its products and services. Therefore, businesses should view the experience they offer as part of their product.

7. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of customers state tailoring future interactions based on past engagement is key to winning their business. As a result, it’s clear personalization is an essential part of a great experience. (Source: Salesforce)

8. Bad experiences often have greater ramifications than positive ones. Since customers tell an average of 9 people about positive experiences, but an average of 16 people about negative experiences, businesses need to go the extra mile to prevent negative outcomes. (Source: Deloitte)

9. Business Wire offers a slightly different statistic, claiming satisfied US customers will share their positive experience with 11 different people. As this is no small number, word-of-mouth marketing may be more important now than ever.

10. Loyalty and points-based programs are having a major heyday, with 72% of US adults belonging to at least one loyalty program. (Source: Oracle)

11. Americans aren’t just willing to sign up for loyalty programs. They actively enjoy taking part in them. eMarketer suggests 58.7% of internet users believe earning rewards and loyalty points is one of the most valued aspects of the shopping experience.

12. The vast majority of consumers are open to trading a certain level of privacy for greater personalization. Bond reports that 87% of Americans are willing to have various details of their activity tracked in exchange for more personalized rewards and brand experiences.

13. Consumers have high expectations for brands that go well beyond the value of a simple product or service. A full 75% of consumers expect brands to make more of a contribution to their well-being and quality of life. (Source: Havas)

14. Customer service can make or break customer retention rates. A total of 69% of US consumers say customer service is very important when it comes to their loyalty to a brand. (Source: Microsoft)

15. Repeat purchases are also significantly affected by customer service experiences, with 93% of consumers more likely to make repeat purchases at companies with excellent customer service. (Source: HubSpot)

16. Although customer service is of the utmost importance, it seems not all businesses have gotten the memo. HubSpot reports that more than half of consumers, 54% to be precise, say they’ve had at least one bad customer service experience in the last month.

17. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to leverage technology to provide the kind of personalized experience their customers desire. A whopping 69% of US marketers believe technology has made it harder for them to offer customers personalized experiences. (Source: Acquia) Therefore, it’s clear that getting the formula just right could put you miles ahead of your competitors.

18. Loyalty is not a trivial concept, but rather a lasting relationship that can have a huge impact on both your brand’s reputation and the bottom line of your business. InMoment reports that 77% of consumers say they stayed loyal to specific brands for 10 years or more.

19. While the above statistic shows loyalty can be long-lasting, it is never a guarantee to be taken for granted. HubSpot offers evidence that 50% of US consumers have left a brand they were loyal to for a competitor that better met their needs.

20. One repeat purchase does not make a loyal customer, especially in the eyes of the consumer. Yotpo claims 37% of consumers feel they need at least five purchases to consider themselves loyal to a brand.

21. Freebies may mean more to your customers than you think and can actually play a role in building relationships. AP News reports 61% of consumers think surprise gifts and offers are the most important way a brand can interact with them.

22. Your customers want to know you value their opinions. According to Microsoft, 77% of consumers say they favor brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.

23. You don’t have to box yourself into traditional methods of customer service. Why not take advantage of new platforms? After all, 65% of customers aged 18-34 feel social media platforms are an effective channel for customer service. (Source: Microsoft)

24. Millennials aren’t willing to put up with bad customer service and are more than ready to go elsewhere after a negative interaction. Business Wire shows 74% of this age group will switch to a different retailer if they receive poor customer service.

25. The past year has been tough for customer acquisition, leading many brands to shift their focus to customer loyalty and retention. As a result, 90.2% of US consumers feel equally or more loyal to a brand than they were a year ago. (Source: Yotpo)

These statistics can help you begin thinking in terms of customer experience and better understand how important it is to focus on consumers’ needs during every step of the purchase journey. While one small misstep can cost you dearly, investing in customer experience is proven to reap tremendous rewards.

When it comes to local marketing, precise targeting is key. In order to connect with the right audience, marketers must carefully target consumers based on their behaviors, where they live, and a number of other demographic characteristics. Of course, local marketers often only have a modest budget to work with, meaning they have to be particularly careful about how those marketing dollars are used.

For these reasons, programmatic ads and retargeting strategies are excellent options for local marketers. Unlike traditional display ads of the past, programmatic ads offer a range of capabilities, including a precise level of control over who sees them. By pinpointing the right consumers, these ads can increase both your rate of conversion and your ROI.

Programmatic ads are also an exceptional tool for retargeting users. Targeting previous customers dramatically boosts your likelihood of making a sale. In fact, you have a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer, while your chance of converting a new lead is much lower at 5-20%.

How to Use Programmatic Ads & Retargeting to Boost Customer Retention

As programmatic ads are so flexible, they can be used in a number of ways to increase customer retention rates and thereby stretch your marketing dollars. Take a look at our tips below to learn how to use programmatic ads to help your local marketing campaign achieve its full potential.

Keep it Consistent

Programmatic ads fall into the category of visual media, offering tons of flexibility and creative control. However, it’s important to ensure the visuals used in these ads convey your intended message. 

In addition, the look and feel of these ads needs to be consistent with other visuals used by your brand, such as on your landing page, email blasts, and other ad types. This will ensure previous customers instantly recognize your ads and pay attention to the messaging they contain.

Create Custom Audiences with Facebook

Facebook is an incredibly powerful resource, both for understanding your target audience and advertising to them. With Facebook, you can upload an email list to create a custom audience including your existing customers and possible leads. This can be done in the Audiences tab of the Facebook Ads Manager.

This custom audience function offers in-depth information about your customers, including details such as age, gender, profession, location, and interests. Relevant data can then be used to target both existing customers and potential leads through Facebook Ads. 

Facebook Ads are affordable and allow you to connect with your audience on a more personal level. This means they shouldn’t be overlooked in their effectiveness for retargeting consumers.

Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment

If visitors to your site often fill their shopping carts but fail to actually make a purchase, you’re not alone. According to Statista, 88% of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020. Even if you’re able to reach just a fraction of the customers who have items waiting in their shopping carts and convert those items into purchases, it could make a huge impact on your sales!

Retargeting these in-limbo users can help you achieve this goal. A follow-up email with details about a discount, bonus, or reduced shipping rate may be the nudge abandoning visitors need to finally follow through with their purchase.

You can also encourage follow-through with remarketing ads, which target users who have previously visited your site. As these types of programmatic ads have incredibly high click-through and conversation rates, they’re an excellent way to keep your brand top-of-mind with both existing and potential customers.

Give New Platforms a Try

Stand out from the competition by trying something new. Many popular platforms are becoming saturated with programmatic ads, making it harder to cut through the noise. However, on platforms where programmatic ads are new or underutilized, your brand can be seen as a trailblazer. For example, OTT-CTV advertising is one option to look into to have your ads displayed via streaming services and devices.

Selling to existing customers is often cheaper and more straightforward than generating new leads. Therefore, targeting this audience should be a top priority for any local marketing campaign. 

With programmatic ads and retargeting strategies, it’s easier than ever to keep your brand front and center for the consumers who are most likely to make a purchase!

 

With so much hubbub around the importance of social media in brand marketing and customer interaction, it’s easy for brands to let their websites go by the wayside. However, your website plays an essential role in your customers’ experience. It’s the central hub around which both potential and return customers congregate, providing you with ample opportunities to secure new business and build customer loyalty.

Your website doesn’t only offer a space to showcase your offerings and tell the story of your brand. If you view your site as a one-way street of information, you’re not taking advantage of its full potential. 

Your website doesn’t only offer a space to showcase your offerings and tell the story of your brand. If you view your site as a one-way street of information, you’re not taking advantage of its full potential. 

Building Blocks for Customer Loyalty on Your Website

Wondering how you can transform your website from a two-dimensional information station into an interactive experience for your customers? These four building blocks create a solid foundation on which you can use this platform to develop relationships with customers.

1. Customer Testimonials

With the right widget, customer testimonials add a personalized feel and attractive flair to almost any website. Requesting testimonials from customers makes them feel appreciated and emphasizes the fact that their opinions matter. When they see their words on your site, they’ll begin to view themselves as a representative of your brand.

Testimonials don’t only reinforce customer loyalty among existing customers. They also draw in prospective customers, providing them with the kind of trustworthy, experience-based information they’re looking for about what to expect from your brand.

Of course, testimonials aren’t only trophies to look at. They should be acted on as well. Any insight you receive from customers about their purchase experience will help you better understand what’s working and what’s not.

2. Customer Experience Analytics

While testimonials offer a written account of the customer experience, analytics represent the digital body language of customers. Customer experience analytics are vital to ensuring your website is effectively reaching customers and providing them with a smooth purchase journey. By facilitating a positive experience, you’re increasing the likelihood customers will return and develop loyalty to your brand.

With customer experience analytics, you’ll have access to a detailed analysis of how customers interact with your website. From the most frequently visited pages on your site to the products customers keep returning to look at, you’ll quickly see the most popular elements of your site. 

You’ll also learn about the types of content customers find uninteresting and any areas of friction that repeatedly come up during the purchase journey. Understanding these patterns can help you increase conversion and customer retention. 

As you make any necessary changes, you’ll also have the ability to measure the difference your adjustments are having on your overall bottom line.

3. Valuable Content

You put a lot of time and effort into your content. That’s why it’s important you’re producing the kind of content your customers want to see. With fresh, useful content on your site, you’ll have a better chance of customers making repeat visits to check out what’s new.

The goal is to become a trusted source of information for your customers, a kind of authority within your industry. That way, you can ensure they return to your site, even if they’re not yet ready to make a repeat purchase. 

By providing relevant content that’s useful to both prospective and existing customers, you’ll increase the likelihood they become vocal advocates for your brand.

4. Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs offer customers an incentive to keep coming back for more, make them feel appreciated, and inspire word-of-mouth marketing. Using your website as the hub for your customer loyalty program will open opportunities to catch their attention and encourage repeat purchases.

As they visit the public-facing side of the site, they’ll have a chance to browse what’s new. Then, they’ll log in to a members-only area where they can check their points, cash in on rewards, and view members-only content. 

Personalizing this area of the website and giving it a unique feel with notifications for events, discounts, and reward eligibility will drive proactive engagement from customers and promote greater levels of interaction.

With these building blocks in place, you can work on developing a loyal following who sees your website as a portal into a community of other brand advocates. Over time, you can transform your website into a two-way street that attracts customers not only for its wealth of information but also for its opportunities to connect and engage with your brand. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just resulted in changing consumer behaviors and a new economic environment. It has also pressured businesses to question how they interact with customers and respond to their needs.
Customer retention in normal times was always a primary focus for businesses. However, in this new normal, it’s more important than ever for businesses to figure out how they can position customers at the heart of both their marketing strategy and their business model.

Adapting Your Customer Retention Strategy
With fewer chances to personally interact with your customer base, you may wonder how you can possibly maintain your relationship with them and continue to build their confidence in your brand. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to innovate and improve during these uncertain times.
Below, we describe the most important areas you should be focusing on when it comes to navigating the realm of customer retention in this new and unfamiliar business environment.

Build Relationships Using the HEART Framework
The Harvard Business Review offers guidelines for building relationships with consumers during a crisis through its HEART framework of communication. These guidelines call for business owners to

• Humanize their companies
• Educate customers about changes in their operations
• Assure stability to inspire consumer confidence
• Revolutionize their offerings by adapting to the new environment
• Tackle the future by determining a timeline for reevaluating and updating changes as needed

Above all, the HEART framework emphasizes the need to reach out to customers not with new marketing efforts but with information and support, providing them with much-needed value and building relationships in the process.

Make Targeted Changes to Customer Experience
Chances are your customer experience has been dramatically altered over the course of the pandemic, for better or for worse. You may have had to make spur-of-the-moment decisions regarding how customers interact with your business and receive your products and services without fully thinking through how these changes would affect customers’ overall impression of your company.
Now is the time to take stock of changes that have already been made and those that still need to be made in the face of long-term shifts in consumer behaviors. Throughout this decision-making process, focus on meeting customers where they are through innovations in online interactions and expanded home delivery options or contactless operations.
One of the easiest ways to assess customer feedback is through surveys. You can gather a significant amount of information with questions as simple as:

• How likely are you to recommend our service?
• What did you like about our services?

Additionally, now is an excellent time to survey your customers about their feelings regarding the reopening of your business. Find out where their concerns lie. Are they interested in seeing your staff wearing masks? Do they expect to see hand sanitizer at multiple locations within your store? Are they anticipating special business hours for seniors or those compromised immune systems?
At this critical time, it’s also important to listen to employees who have the closest interaction with customers, as they’ll have particularly valuable insight into how changes are being implemented and received.

Understand What’s Most Important to Customers
Customers’ priorities are changing—fast. Since the pandemic has altered their lives seemingly overnight, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that what they’re looking for in brands has changed significantly as well.
In order to gain a better understanding of how these changes have impacted consumers’ trust in brands, a recent survey reached out to more than a thousand consumers in the U.S. to learn more about these new priorities.
The results showed that this crisis has led consumers to take on a more community-focused mindset. Consumers are most concerned with how brands are making the well-being of their employees and customers their focus, rather than taking advantage of the situation to maximize profits.
In other words, consumers aren’t looking for empty words of hope and optimism. What they want is for brands to demonstrate more concrete support for their customers and employees—not their bottom line.
These factors are likely to have an impact on customer loyalty and brand reputation for as long as the pandemic is an influential part of Americans’ lives, and should thus be a major consideration as you make changes to your business going forward.