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5 Things that Turn Away Repeat Customers

You spend a lot of time, energy and money convincing customers to buy from you. From personalized ads to targeted content marketing, you’ve mastered the art of getting them interested! But, now that they’ve had their first taste, how can you keep them coming back for more?

Repeat customers are an essential part of business success. Let’s look at some stats!

  • 61% of small to medium sized businesses make over half of their revenue from repeat customers (BIA Kelsey and Manta report)

  • Customers still shopping with you after 3 years, spend 67% more on average than first time shoppers (Bain and Company)

  • Repeat customers spend more over the holiday season and will continue buying from you even when times get tough! (Adobe)

So, if you don’t have specific practices in place to retain your customers, you are letting money walk out the door!

Let’s take a look at the top 5 things that turn away repeat customers and what you can do instead.

1. An uninspired customer experience

Sad-customer-experience.jpg

Today’s customer has access to a global marketplace. With the tap of a few buttons, they can order what they need and have it delivered straight to their door.

With so much choice available, it can be harder for businesses to retain customers. While the price point and the quality of your product matters, the real differentiator is the customer experience you provide.

Be memorable

How do you make your customers feel when they land on your web page? How quickly do you respond to questions? Do you have a strong, informative FAQs section? Is information easy to find on your site?

Factors like the speed, design, the interface of your web page and the quality of your social media presence affect the way customers feel about you. To win repeat custom, regularly check the quality and speed of your customer service and update your FAQs section based on recent responses and queries. Focus on creating a seamless, integrated experience that combines killer customer service and an intuitive ordering experience tower above the rest.

The shift towards customer experience has been happening across industries. Business giants like Salesforce, HubSpot, Chase and Amazon embraced the customer obsessed approach and it has been paying off. To remain competitive and keep your customers coming back for more, we need to do the same.

Pay attention to those details

Providing a great experience and retaining your customers doesn’t have to be complicated! The real power lies in the details and micro-interactions. Start with an intuitive, easy to use website and add up to date, informative content that speaks to your customer’s problems. Add world class data protection and fast response times.

The key is to show your customers you appreciate them by making interacting with you an easy (and fun) thing to do!

2. Poor communication skills

We’ve got more communication channels available than ever before and somehow, customers still spend too long talking to automated phone messages, listening to the same “on hold” music or waiting for a reply to that urgent email.

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There’s a time when slow and steady wins the race. This is not it. If communicating with you feels like a trip to the past, it’s time to rethink your strategy. This is a relationship like any other- for it to work, you’ve got to be able to talk freely, openly and quickly!

Create a cross channel support system

Your customers will expect to be able to reach you using their favorite communication method. Do you have a system in place to support the different channels you are on? How long does it take you to respond to an inquiry on Twitter? What about email? Messenger?

In an age of instant gratification and access to a myriad options, your customers aren’t going to wait. If you aren’t there for them, they’ll find someone who is.

Don’t let them forget you

We live in a fast paced environment. Businesses come and go.

If you want to gain return custom, you need to make sure your customers remember who you are! Use social media to connect with customers and share engaging and interesting content that will keep you on the forefront of their minds!

Create nurturing email campaigns based on specific purchases that send personalized emails after a set period of time and tell your customers about complementary products! By creating custom offers based on their interests you tick two boxes: you remind them you exist and show them you care enough to offer them what they need!

3. Bad shipping options

Are your delivery options great when compared to your industry, the needs of your customers and their expectations?

Do you offer same day delivery? Two day? A week? How much does it cost? Do you have a free option?

If the speed feels like your package came in on a sailboat from the other side of the ocean, or the price resembles a first class plane ticket something’s got to give.

Do you offer tracking? Can they do it though your app or website or is there a need to go to a third party app? The more convenient and streamlined the process is, the more likely customers would use and enjoy it.

The time and cost of your delivery service affect your retention rate. But, there is one other key factor a lot of businesses overlook: quality.

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Your package arrives in a box. That box presents an incredible opportunity. Just 20% of customers are happy with the package their purchase comes in- use this to your advantage! You can add custom branding and personalized touches that turns receiving a package from you into an exceptional experience.

Instead of doing the same old thing, make your package feel like unwrapping a gift on your birthday when you were a kid. Add a personalized card, relevant and beautifully designed information pamphlets or a little gift just for that customer. Make this feel like an event.

The little details make a huge difference.

4. No incentive to come back

To keep customers coming back instead of taking their business to your competitor, you need to inspire a feeling of loyalty. One of the simplest ways to do that is by creating a loyalty program that rewards your customers for coming back over and over again.

Your top 10% of customers spend 3 times more on average per order than the other 90%. That’s a pretty powerful incentive to offer them something valuable. Customers may want to be loyal to you, but to make that happen you need to have the right incentives in place.

The type of reward system you use will depend on your business goals and your customers’ preferences and interests. The key is to reward purchasing behaviors and make these rewards easy to use.

A lot of businesses offer rewards but it’s the ones that make using the rewards feel good that keeps us coming back for more! Capital One runs an entire marketing campaign on the ease of using their Venture reward points because no one wants to spend hours trying to figure out how to spend what they’ve earned.

5. No follow up relationship building campaign

Retaining customers can be tougher for online businesses than brick and mortar stores. You don’t have the advantage of having a physical reminder that you exist. Organic reach has dropped across Facebook pages making it harder to connect with fans.

That’s why you need to start nurturing the relationship shortly after that first purchase. Using an email nurturing campaign can be a great option. Design and deliver content that fits in with the customer’s needs and helps foster a shared identity.

Consumer spending is often tied to identity. Where we spend our hard earned cash can send a signal to our friends and families about our beliefs and the way we perceive the world so, build interactions around your shared beliefs.

Business relationships aren’t all that different from personal relationships. We keep interacting with someone because they make us feel good! That’s why brands that use nurturing campaigns effectively to help forge a real connection have higher customer retention rates.

Know your audience

When it comes down to it, every business taps into a slightly different audience. To be successful, you need to really get to know the people you want to reach and tailor your strategy to what works for them.

If you are targeting millennials, be open about the causes your business supports. If you are looking to reach generation Z, use social media channels like Snapchat to remind them you exist!

The key to gaining repeat customers is to offer convenient service, a great customer experience, reward loyalty and remind them that you are better together than you are apart.


Crucial Vacuum Founder Chad Rubin grew his e-commerce business to an 8-figure business in 7 years. He is a Top 250 Amazon Seller, and co-founded Skubana as an all-in-one ERP system and operations platform designed for high volume sellers to run and automate their business. It integrates with most e-commerce marketplaces, 3PLs, and warehouses, provides profitability and multi-channel inventory management, and compiles all of your marketplaces on a single convenient dashboard. Learn more at info@skubana.com or sign up for a 14-day trial.

Follow Chad on Twitter @ecommrenegade or connect with Linkedin.com/in/chadrubin.

customer loyaltyecommercerepeat customersrepeat purchasesrewards program

Nikhil Naidu • May 10, 2017


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