Customer loyalty is like sand.
The more you try to hold tight, the more likely it is to slip away from between your fingers.
Retaining customers has never been an easy nut to crack, as all e-store owners like us are well aware. There are a hundred and one things you could do right on your store and yet there is that one reason why the customer feels neglected and walks off.
What influences customer loyalty?
The core of customer loyalty lies in how you interact with your existing and potential buyers, on your e-store.
This might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but have you ever thought about the myriad ways a customer is interacting with your website? An average customer landing on your website could do any or all of the following:
- Read your content
- View your products
- Flip through the images
- Browse for reviews
- Add a review or send feedback
- Send a quote request
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Ask a question through the Contact Form
- Share a product he/she likes on social media
Each of these is a potential minefield for triggering negative reactions and this is just the beginning. The bigger your website gets, the more chances there are for a bug to crop up.
So, what do you do? Be content with a mini-store getting limited traffic every month? Nope.
You pro actively list down all possible areas where your e-store might run into problems and address them straight away.
Let us start by listing down and analyzing the most common reasons why e-store owners end up losing customer loyalty on the e-store.
Factors affecting customer loyalty
#1. Lack of Personalized Attention
Customers are like koala bears. They can be cute and harmless most of the time, but when they are annoyed, boy do they throw a tantrum! Quite naturally, every customer expects personalized attention when he/she comes to your store, especially if they are frequent buyers. To you they might be the 1054th customer making a purchase, but to them they are the first and the most important.
Unfortunately, quite a lot of store owners neglect to create or maintain a personal touch while interacting with their customers, making the customers feel as if they might not be valued members of the e-store, which in turn, results in loss of customer loyalty.
#2. Website Glitches
A faulty website is one of the biggest turn-offs for customers. Frequent server errors, sketchy displays, and lack of trust markers can drive a customer away from your website. Website glitches lead to loss of trust and hence, to loss of customer loyalty.
#3. Inadequate Communication
Two-way communication makes for happy customers. Lack of clear, transparent conversations ends up frustrating users and can lead to misunderstandings. Your buyers will appreciate free flow of information, good or bad, so long as they are in the loop.
The tone of communication is also an important factor here. Many a customer has given up shopping from a store because the support was handled badly. No matter how busy you are, take the time to listen to your customers and provide genuinely helpful advice or a solution to their problem and make sure that your employees do the same as well!
#4. Falling Short of Customer Expectations
As customers start visiting your e-store more and more frequently, their expectations from the store start rising. This is applicable to the entire user experience, including their virtual interaction with the store as well as any physical communication that might occur.
When customers start feeling like a privileged member of your store, you need to keep up your end of the deal. It is a common complaint among disillusioned customers that the service they receive now isn’t as good as the service they used to receive before. It is necessary to avoid this decline in opinion as it can cause loss of customer loyalty.
#5. Back-end Management Troubles
To quite a lot of e-store owners with a non-technical background, back-end management is a dreadfully intimidating task. It can be difficult to keep track of all the aspects of shipping, inventory, pricing, and more, but is inevitable nonetheless.
A disorganized back-end can lead to you missing emails and support requests from customers or replying late to their queries, which is extremely detrimental to your store. Maintaining a clean website at the back-end is a must for retaining customer loyalty.
#6. Insufficient Information at the Front-End
This has to do with the user’s experience at the front end of your website. Customers can be nitpick about the details they see or do not see on your website, and rightly so. Given the number of fraudulent websites in the ecommerce market today, potential buyers are not about to hand out their payment details like Christmas candy.
In such cases, lack of authentic contact information or unsystematic pages can quickly lose you customers.
Have you found yourself worrying over these problems as well?
Don’t despair. Each of these shortcomings can be converted to assets, provided you maintain the right approach.
There are extensive ways to create, nurture, and boost customer loyalty for your e-store. These strategies ensure that customers have such a great experience on your store that they are tempted to return again and again and bring their friends along as well!