Maintaining brand loyalty can be one of your biggest problems – Warren Knight

This is the last week where I am sharing key information from my book; Think #Digital First. This book is about making your business socially-savvy so that it can grow online in 7 easy steps. Below I have summarised the first 6 steps. The 7th step; customer retention through loyalty will be spoken about in a bit more detail as you continue reading.

Chapter 1: YOU: There will only ever be one.

You have to question yourself, find out what you love, invest in yourself as an entrepreneur and find your own voice.

Chapter 2: Framework for Success #TheChoiceIsYours.

If you don’t have the framework in place, to allow social media to become a piece to your business puzzle, it won’t make the perfect picture. You can read more on chapter two and the difficult questions you need to ask yourself as a business owner here.

Chapter 3: Protecting Your Time: Focus on Sales #InsaneInTheMembrane.

As a business owner, time management is key because there are many hats that you will need to wear. Your time will need to be split between the sales side of your business, marketing, finances, operations and being the ambassador of your brand.

Chapter 4: Setting Up a Socially-Savvy Business #EverydayPeople.

I spoke about Google, how SEO works and social media is just one part of building a business, along with Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing and blogging.

Chapter 5: Tools to Help Your Business Grow #NoOneCanDoItBetter

I share over 50 different tools and technologies that are built to help small businesses succeed online. I cover everything from listening and research tools to business, website builders, design/visuals, marketing, analytical technology and SEO/MetaData tools.

Chapter 6: Strategy & Implementation #PushIt

I share strategies around going to market, building content, planning your overall marketing and a 90 days sales plan. All of these are key to growing your business and without taking these, and fine tuning them for your business, your sales will suffer.

The final chapter is all about “Customer loyalty” and this should be at the forefront of your customer retention strategy #WalkThisWay. Your new socially-savvy business will now be working with your customers daily, through sharing, added-value content, designed to help your company get noticed across the new social web. This includes everything from Google, Bing, Yahoo (SEO) through to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ (SMO).

Expert

68% of customers stop purchasing from a company because they are unhappy with the service they are receiving. Improving customer service will ultimately boost how many customers you retain.

Your customers expect you to go above and beyond, as they know what loyalty means to businesses. Take a mobile phone service provider for example. When you call them to upgrade your phone, you expect to not have your contract fee increased and not pay a single penny for the handset. This can be difficult but as soon as you play the loyalty card, they will go above and beyond to make sure you are getting the deal you deserve and they get you for at least another 18 months as a returning customer.

Customer feedback surveys are one of the best ways to show your customers that you are listening to what they have to say and want to improve the service you offer them. This is invaluable for learning your customers’ expectations. I shared a great survey tool called SurveyMonkey in chapter Five. However, Google also have a great application, where you can create your own survey and send the link to customers.

Have you ever followed one of your customers’ journey through Google Analytics real time and seen that they have got to the payment page and then left your page? You don’t need to see it happen, to know that it definitely is happening. The average shopping cart abandonment rate for eCommerce is an astounding 65 – 75%, as much as 95% on mobile. This means that you are losing a large amount of business and unfortunately, even the best shopping cart solutions can’t find a guaranteed fix. There are ways in which you can reduce that 65-70% abandonment rate, which I talk about in my book Think #Digital First.

It is crucial when building a socially-savvy business that you make every action you take around your customer as personable as possible. When sending a survey to your customers, get their date of birth so you can send a special discount/gift and written card on their birthday. It will be an unexpected, but very much appreciated, surprise.

With every order you receive, if you’re a product driven business, send a personal, handwritten message so your customer knows you appreciate their purchase.

From making a good first impression to tailored emails, personalisation and mobile customisation, you are making sure that your customers know what they want and that their needs come first.

To read more about any of the above chapters and what I believe to be great ways of building loyalty through customer retention, purchase my book Think #Digital First.