The ultimate guide to make ‘customer loyalty’ the game changer for your brand!
E-commerce has been one of the fastest emerging sectors in technology and is poised to get more lucrative! Brands rapidly embraced e-commerce players and marketplaces to augment their reach and multiply sales. Selling through marketplaces has been benefiting brands in more ways than one. Advantages like increased visibility, customer acquisition, third party end-to-end customer service, presence across multiple e-commerce players, etc have now become a part and parcel of a brand’s life. However, despite the captivating growth, brand loyalty still remains a rare entity in online shopping.
E-commerce players and marketplaces have a plethora of brands and selling through e-commerce players brings numerous hindrances such as limited product control, inadequate branding options, zero customization, limited customer data, etc. It has become a renowned fact that brand loyalty and e-commerce players don’t go hand-in-hand! So, what is it that brands can do to overcome this dilemma?
To make your lives easier, let me share my secret formula that will help resolve your problem.
Have you heard of the term ‘Customer Delight’? It is nothing but the process of going beyond the ordinary and creating a ‘WOW factor’ for your customers!! It is an aspect which transforms the consumer’s mindset from ‘being price’ conscious to being ‘brand conscious’. It is so powerful that it automatically creates a pull factor and compels consumers to buy from you over and over again!
Listed below are 9 untold mantras that will help you delight your consumers and attract more traffic!
- Personalized notes! Writing notes has been the oldest way of sharing love and affection with people. Sending short, personalized notes (especially handwritten ones) along with your products will make hearts melt! It will generate instant connection and with right sustenance efforts, this initiative can leave a long lasting impression.
Another great way to further engage with your customers is through suggestions and recommendations. Supposing a consumer purchases a black t-shirt from your brand. You can share small recommendation notes like, ‘Pair this with beige/bottle green trousers and you’re ready to rock the world!’. This will not just build a stronger connect with your customers but will also add value to their shopping experience.
- Share exclusive credit points: Now who doesn’t love extra credit? Another cool way to attract marketplace customers to your portal is by providing them with exciting credit points that can be utilized exclusively on your portal. This gesture will not only help you attract your marketplace consumers but will also make them feel special and encourage them to buy from your portal during their next purchase.
- Free = Glee: Gifts, goodies, giveaways, they all spell HAPPINESS! Everybody loves receiving surprises! Share give-aways and exciting hampers with first-time consumers or frequent customers who spend lavishly on your products.
For instance if you’re a shoes brand, you could provide a free pair of socks to the first few privileged buyers! This will make them feel special and encourage them to recommend you to their family and friends.
Free goodies can work wonders for you if you’re in the beauty and cosmetics industry, especially when you launch a new product. It not just helps you introduce the product in the market but may also help you receive valuable feedback from your customers.
Always remember gifts and give-aways not just delight customers but also help strengthen brand recall.
- Proactive customer service: Often customer service is looked upon as a reactionary job rather than an up-beat one. Besides the usual helpline, there is very little that brands do in this segment. Wake up dearies! Life begins only when you go beyond your comfort zone. Walk that extra mile to please your customer.
The only brand that rings a bell in my head when I think of exemplary customer service is Archival Clothing. It is an apparel brand based out of the US which recently faced a tricky situation. A potential customer visited their portal, added a few things to his shopping cart but left the portal without making a purchase because the shipping charges were exorbitant.
Seeing that the cart had been discarded when full, an employee from Archival Clothing personally wrote an email to the customer and suggested some creative solutions on how they could ship the products for a cheaper rate! This initiative made the customer feel so special and overwhelmed with joy that he not only completed his entire transaction but also ended up buying more from Archival.
- Active live-chat!: Another subset of proactive customer service is a live-chat! Customers value assistance while they are on your portal and a live chat is a great way to ensure that the customers are guided appropriately.
For instance, if you are a fashion brand, you can get a stylist on board who can respond to customer queries, help them navigate through the collection and assist them at every step of their shopping experience. The stylist can also recommend consumers with accessories, shoes, or other inventory that will go with the purchase, thus encouraging consumers to buy more!
- Random act of kindness!: Now who hasn’t heard of the recent Snapdeal fiasco? Long story turned short, a guy named Laxminarayan Krishnamurthy ordered a Samsung Duo phone from Snapdeal. Instead of getting a phone he received a bar of Vim soap and a stone scrub. Furious with Snapdeal’s recklessness, Laxminarayan shared an angry post on social media which went viral! Despite his repeated complaints Snapdeal refused to address the matter.
In the meantime, Hindustan Unilever decided to intervene. Since their brand (Vim) was a part of the entire fiasco, Hindustan Unilever sent him a Samsung Duo phone as a gift, along with bottles of Vim dish-washing gel.
This kind gesture by the FMCG giant made everyone go gaga! HUL received a huge surge of popularity on social media and this random deed of kindness helped them win a customer for life! What’s more noteworthy is that Snapdeal & HUL are not even competitors.
- Make important days memorable! Birthdays and anniversaries are special to one and all! Make your consumers feel unique by wishing them on their special days! To make it more interesting, offer them with a discount on all your products for a fortnight! This will amplify your conversion rates and increase brand loyalty. Global Desi is one of the many brands that I can think of who does this and believe it or not, it is quite effective!
- Let your brand have a fragrance! Ever heard of sensory recall? That’s what comes into play here! Another cool way to entice your customers into buying your products is by making your package sweet-smelling! Having a fragrance for all your products will cause sensory recall and consumers will start identifying your brand with the fragrance. Pretty cool, eh?
- Make it funtastic! Carve your niche in the hearts of your consumers by running some innovative and fun campaigns. For instance, FreeCharge runs several contests to boost conversion rates and enchant consumers. On Friendship day, they rolled out a campaign in which consumers had to tag an old school friend and share a sweet memory along with pictures. The five best entries could win prizes up to Rs. 3,000/-.
Like you know, flamboyance is in our hearts! To further connect with the selfie generation, Magnum icecream conducted a contest wherein consumers had to click and share a selfie with a Magnum to win a chance to feature in the next ad!
Lastly, they don’t simply say that customer is king! Always remember it is ALL about the customer; or else you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing ;) Customer Delight will take you out of the realm of being the same as others and clearly place you at the top!
If done right, it can be your key to growth and success!
About the Author:
Rohan Dighe, Founder, ViralMint