1. Say thank you
It sounds obvious, but many businesses still don’t do it in a meaningful or sincere way.
- If a customer orders by phone, remember to thank them sincerely at the end of the conversation
- If a customer orders through your website, make sure that they are automatically sent a confirmation email which thanks them for their order
- When you despatch their order, include a printed or handwritten thank you card* in with their goods
2. Keep in touch while you’re processing their order
Whether your customers place orders by phone or through your website, you have a great opportunity to legitimately contact them by email several times in relation to their order.
- Welcome email if they have created an account on your website
- Order confirmation email – these have the highest average open rate of any kind of marketing email ** so as well as their order details include some wording which makes your customer feel good about their decision to buy from you (but keep it brief). Include links to other products they might like on your website, and / or a discount code for referring a friend
- Despatch email (preferably with tracking details) – again, these emails have a high average open rate, so make the most of having your customer’s attention. Consider including a discount code for their next order, and ask them to opt in to receive details of special offers, promotions, useful hints and tips, new products, etc. Avoid using the word ‘newsletter’!
3. Look at their buying habits
What have your customers’ buying habits been like recently? Which are your current best selling products? Are people buying bigger or smaller packs than previously, or more / less items with each order? Use this information to identify which products or pack sizes to push on your website and social media, and consider things like mixed packs, product bundles, or multi-buy discounts. If your recent customers see more of the types of products they’re interested in, they’re much more likely to order again.
4. Make it easy for customers to order from you
Get some unbiased feedback on how easy it is to order through your online shop, and look at stats for your website on how people move around the site, how many people abandon their online shopping cart etc. If you don’t have an online shop, consider launching one! E-commerce facilities don’t have to cost the earth, but can be a huge income stream, enabling people to place orders 24/7 from the comfort of their armchair (not to mention the fact that they give you a much bigger potential audience than a physical shop or a telephone order service alone).
5. Ask for feedback
Let your customers know that you care whether they were happy with their order. Even if they choose not to give any feedback, it will still reflect well on your business that you bothered to ask – and if they do give feedback, not only will it be really valuable to your business, but you also will then have another opportunity to contact them again to thank them for responding or to address any negative comments.
If these tips don’t sound easy to you…
Ask for help! It will definitely be worth the effort to make some changes and set up some new processes, to turn your new customers into repeat customers who will spend money with you (and hopefully recommend you!).
* When we say ‘thank you card’, we don’t mean the kind that your mum used to make you send to Auntie Sheila when she sent your birthday or Christmas presents – we mean a friendly-but-professional branded card with your company details on which thanks your customer for their purchase. Hopefully they will keep it on the fridge to remind them to order again, or they’ll pass it on to someone else when they recommend your products; even if they put it straight in the recycling bin, it will still have created a better impression than a bog-standard despatch note!
** Omnisend – 2020 Marketing Automation Statistics Report