Workshop Recount – Perfecting Customer Relations

Small Business Tips | October 28th 2013

Web tools like Wix and Shopify are turning eCommerce to an accessible business model. Small business owners and even one-person operations can now easily log-in, create an online shop and offer products to broad, international audiences. But once you have brought your terrific eCommerce website online, you still need to face the challenges of attracting people to your shop, getting them to buy your products and retaining shoppers as returning customers.

Accomplishing these important goals was the topic of a special meetup at the Wix Lounge NYC last week. Expert speakers at the event were Brian Alkerton, Shopify’s Director of Customer Success, and Small Biz guru Ramon Ray of Infusionsoft and Smallbiztechnology.com.

Workshop Recount - Perfecting Customer Relations

Let’s recap the valuable and professional tips they shared with the audience.

Creating the Ultimate Customer Experience

Brian Alkerton rightfully emphasized that “customer support means more than solving a tech issue.” If you truly want to satisfy your customers, you need to work on the experience you offer on your online shop.

First, you need to know who you’re selling to. Both speakers highlighted the importance of defining and understanding your target market: what kind of problems they face, what inspires them and how you can help them feel empowered. You need to be able to communicate with your clients in order to sell them your goods.

If you want people to love your products, you need to love them yourself. Your customers are more likely to trust your brand if  they see that you are passionate and serious about it. Help them relate to your product by sharing your story and telling them why you identify with what you do.

Remember, a successful customer experience is a personalized one. “You need to treat every client as if they were your only client,” said Ramon Ray. Show them that you care about their satisfaction by being there before as well as after the sale.

Workshop Recount - Perfecting Customer Relations

The 7 Steps of Lifecycle Marketing

Ramon Ray introduced the concept of Lifecycle Marketing as a method of generating sales and fostering long-lasting customer relations. Implementing this approach works in seven steps, although the order may change according to your type of business.

1. Attract Traffic: Use hooks that speak to your target audience – events, discounts, free samples, early access to new products and so forth.

2. Capture Leads: Once you have their attention, get them to opt in for more information by offering your potential clients added value, like knowledge and guidance on how to achieve more with your products.

3. Nurture Leads: Cultivate your contacts with people in a personal manner.

4. Convert to Sale: While this may seem like the critical moment, your job is not over here.

5. Deliver and Delight: Make sure your customers are pleased and that your promise to them has been satisfactorily fulfilled.

6. Upsell: Get your clients to want more with more personalized added value. If you followed all the previous stages right, this will be relatively easy.

7. Referrals: Get loyal customers to spread the word with testimonials, reviews or recommendations.

This process can also be summed up with this simple equation:

Workshop Recount - Perfecting Customer Relations

And this is what you want to achieve if you want to increase sales and profitability.

Quick Tips

Some actionable advice for how to get started implementing these principles today:

  • If your brand is visual, use Instagram photos instead of customer reviews. Get customers to tag your brand in photos they take with your clothes, your food, your designs, etc.
  • Create viral sales loops by offering clients discounts if they share their purchases on their social networks.
  • Use seasonality to attract clients. Offer discounts or run contests that are themed to highlight holidays and national events. Holiday season is right around the corner, so you better start preparing!
  • Create coupons and offer discounts for special events or as rewards to loyal customers. You can easily do this on the Wix editor – details here.