When venturing into e-commerce, you’ll quickly realize what the most important part of it all is – the customers. With that being said, it’s vital you do all you can to keep them coming back and establish the necessary customer relationships to make them want to return.
Have an online store that is stable and reliable
The primary thing to consider in satisfying your customers is ensuring your online store is stable and reliable. From the get-go, you’ll need to be considering the potential growth of your store, and whether the platform you build it upon is ready to support the traffic should you become busy in the future.
Choose a hosting provider with the right amount of server space and support you’ll need for your future goals – if you’re planning on maintaining a rather niche and small business, a shared server will likely give you a reliable platform at a much smaller cost than the alternative.
A dedicated server is what many stores do run on, especially if they wish to expand further in the future. Exponential growth is an obvious goal for many who venture into e-commerce, and so a dedicated server – albeit expensive – is definitely a sensible choice for those who want their store to become bigger and better over time.
Ensure a good level of customer service
The most important thing of all to ensure when it comes to customer relationships in e-commerce is a good level of customer service. If you’re unreachable or unapproachable, many customers will not be willing to go any further with your business – whether it be through lack of trust or an inability to ask any questions or any other issue that may arise.
Talking to your customers on the phone is undoubtedly the best way to do it. If possible, establish a line where you can take calls and perhaps phone customers back should they have an issue to rectify – when you can actually hear each other’s voices, a level of trust is established that is harder to achieve with other modes of communication.
However, if it isn’t possible to maintain a phone line, be sure to have an email address for customers to send their questions and issues to. Promise a response within 24 hours (or another suitable time frame that works for you), and ensure you’re always getting back to them on time. If you’re transparent, quick and helpful with your responses, these customers will be much more willing to do business with you again.
Keep your layout clean and easy-to-navigate
If you maintain a layout on your site that is clean, attractive and easy to navigate, customers will be more likely to stick around and explore further – whether they’re new customers or those who have visited in the past.Site design is perhaps the most important factor of all, as it’s the first thing customers will experience upon visiting your site.
If they are greeted with a garnish, unpleasant and confusing layout, it’s likely they’ll click elsewhere. You need to ensure you provide a professional and trustworthy layout that won’t raise any questions in regard to your genuineness. Look at competitors and see what does and doesn’t work with their design – sure, you want to stand out from the crowd, but for the right reasons.
Many websites now have opted for a flat, minimalistic design – although, according to The Next Web, this will soon come to an end. Flat design works for many reasons, one of which being that your products stand out when the design isn’t distracting from the main focus. And, with a flat design, your store will be much easier to explore and navigate. Another bonus? Your branding can be applied throughout the site without any clashes or complications.
Follow through on your promises
It’s important you don’t ever let your customers down in any way. Promising them one thing but not following through with it will almost certainly spur them to look elsewhere in the future, especially if they’re left dissatisfied. Everything from the quality of your products to your customer services requires a promise – even if it’s unspoken – that you’re delivering on the standards these customers come to expect from you.
Offer complete transparency and honesty with your customers to establish that necessary trust, and if you do fail to deliver on a promise, they’ll likely be more understanding. Be sure to offer them more than the norm, too – loyalty schemes and deals for regular customers are a way to ensure they keep on coming back to you.
There’s plenty of ways to keep your customers satisfied, but ensuring they trust you and doing all you can to keep them coming back is paramount in establishing those important relationships. Your business will rely on the customers you attract, so you need to ensure you’re doing all you can to keep them around.