Be attentive but not annoying. Try to respond to emails, orders or calls within 24-48 hours. If not, the customer may move on. However, do not bombard your customers with emails, deals, “Where are you?” notes or follow ups. One note is sufficient. If you believe that your email went to a Junk folder, one more follow up is okay: “Hi there. We’ve been having some email troubles lately. I wanted to be sure you got my response. I’d hate for you to think I’m ignoring your request. Thanks!” Leave it at that. If you still don’t hear back, let it go. (To be sure that your note doesn’t enter a Junk folder, put the full date into your subject line: February 22nd, 2011.)
Understand that not every customer will be polite or honest. Some folks may even win a gift code to shop your site and then attempt to return the products for cash. Be prepared for such instances and don’t take them personally. Not everyone has the same code of ethics and not every grown-up was taught right from wrong during childhood. Respond to people like this by standing your ground: firmly but politely. Never lose your cool or use profanity when replying to a customer.
Do not add people to your eNews mailing list, without their permission. Opt-in lists are best and will secure a loyal following for you: quality over quantity. Your rate of un-subscribes and spam reports will also be far lower if people have joined on their own. Now and again, someone might still report you as SPAM because they forgot that they joined your list; or because the note went to the Junk folder and they accidentally marked everything there as SPAM. Not all people realize that many quality and wanted notes enter Junk folders (by accident or because their spam filters are set too high).
Provide useful content as well as your sales information. On your site, on twitter, on facebook or on your blog – offer useful information that’s relevant to what you sell. Are you selling workout gear? Blog about exercise tips or healthy eating habits. Tweet those links, share them on facebook, offer feedback to others as you see an opportunity, etc. Don’t be annoying but do engage. Research has shown that shoppers are more likely to buy if they trust that the seller is proving them with something helpful, useful and relevant.
Reward loyal shoppers. Do you have a few really loyal shoppers? Do they come and buy every month or every year, for their child’s birthday? You want to honor that relationship by providing a special discount just for them. You may even consider creating a discount code for your shopping cart that spells out the customer’s name. Studies have shown that our name is our favorite word. We love to hear it; it makes us feel special! Imagine how special a customer will feel if you create a discount code JUST for their name.
Find more small business tips at: www.MommyPerks.com