We know, Customer Acquisition is forever in the forefront of your mind. In order to grow, getting new customers to experience your products or service is vital.
However, what if we told you that there are other methods to grow your revenue? Would you be willing to suspend disbelief and see how deep the customer journey really goes?
- Customer Recidivism: What is it?
- How is your business losing customers?
- How can your business win back lost customers?
- Marketing Automation: The Key to Winning Back Customers Online
Customer Recidivism: What is it?
Don’t let the strange nomenclature fool you! Simply put, the term Customer Recidivism refers to the art of winning back customers, turning visitors into life-long customers of your business.
Every business needs a foundation to built upon. That foundation is usually comprised of loyal patrons that continually support the business with purchases. But, what if you could grow that foundation without the high costs associated with new customer acquisition?
The answer is customer recidivism.
How is your business losing customers?
It starts with considering your audience when laying out your customers’ journey with your business. What steps make up their path to becoming a life long patron of your business?
Some choose to map out the expected experience in spreadsheets, others use flow charts, but the point remains you have to consider what they are going to see, think, feel, and engage with whilst experiencing your business.
A common example of steps for a Cannabis retailer might look like this:
- Customer discovers the business (referrals, word of mouth, social media, and advertising are common ways) and chooses to learn more
- Customer searches for reviews and gathers information about the business
- Customer decides to visit website or physical location
- Customer finds comfort in a product or service and trusts business enough to make a purchase
- Customer completes transaction
- Customer leaves with warm invitation to return
Notice how everything is hanging on the customers’ only impression being enough to keep the business in mind for future purchases? Even if a business does everything right, offers phenomenal service, and exceeded expectations, there are no mechanisms in place to stay top of mind after they leave. So, some customers will never return back even though they may have truly enjoyed the service or product(s).
To be honest, it’s not the customer’s fault. They are busy and inundated with new options almost every day. How many businesses have you forgotten to go back to in a lifetime? Probably hundreds or thousands over the years if you live in a major city.
The fault lies with the business. They didn’t do enough to remind that new customer that they are worth the customer’s time, energy, and most importantly, money.
How can your business win back lost customers?
In most cases, we have a lot more to offer than what a particular customer may be experiencing. Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue fame lays this out perfectly for restaurants, you need to incentive the next visit without conditioning them for a discount. You have to instill the customer with the confidence that your business is a trusted, valued resource for others and would be delighted to do the same for them.
For example, a retail associate learns this is a customers first visit at the check out terminal. They then ring up the purchase and compliment them on their item selection(s). Before completing the transaction, they offer advice or suggestions that fall within similar categories but were not selected by the customer during this visit. That customer is reminded that there is more selection and areas of opportunity to engage with the business before leaving. Other common methodologies include:
- Loyalty Programs – simple punch cards to track visits or more complex programs incorporate SMS/Email Outreach based upon visit frequency
- Newsletter signups – customers can be weary of sharing this information
- Adding the customers information to a Point of Sales or Customer Relationship Manager to reach out in the future
- Follow up calls or emails
- Encouraging social media following
But what if your business is based on the internet? What if the only interaction the customer has is with your website? How can you instill the same confidence without the grace of human connection?
Marketing Automation: The Key to Winning Back Customers Online
What is Marketing Automation? We cover it in the in a previous article, however for those who are new to our platform, marketing automation is a term used to describe technology (read software) that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically. Phrased a little simpler, it is technology that is used to keep online visitors engaged with your business.
What are some areas that marketing automation can impact on an e-commerce website? Here is a short list of opportunities to win back customers online:
- Abandoned Cart Notifications or Warnings
- Featured Products Spotlight – based actual sales data
- Banners or Stickers indicating products are highly prized or sought after by other customers
- ‘Before You Go’ pop-up windows
- Chatbots to answer visitor questions in real time
- Frequently Asked Questions blocks or pages with links to relevant products or additional information
- Recent reviews featured on product pages or home page
- Emails that personalize the product offerings to the customer
- Personalized experiences and recommendations based upon visitor history
This is only scratching the surface of how marketing automation can impact the impression a first-time visitor has on your website. There are a myriad of ways to encourage, educate, and lead customers on your website to offer them a similar experience as they would receive in your brick-and-mortar location(s).
The goals of a well-structured, carefully thought customer journey mimic those of a marketing automation campaign:
- Increase Lead Generation – capture the attention of potential customers.
- Increase Efficiency and ROI – capturing and utilizing data to deliver targeted, valuable information.
- Provide Personalized Customer Experiences – after all, your users are going to demand it.
- Improve Conversion Rates – people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
When done well, effective marketing automation tools can add a ton of value to your website! When done poorly, however, it has the opposite effect; it will drive them away. Skillfully applying these tools and techniques takes the steady hand of a veteran who can internalize what your desired audience will prefer, find value in, and most importantly, what NOT to do.
We are NOT recommending that you institute all of the above tomorrow, but you will be surprised how much impact a few additions to the customer journey will ensure your business will be remembered when the customer is looking to make that next purchase.
Despite your personal preferences, the truth remains that consumers are far more comfortable being marketed to in different ways than you may realize. Just look at the options to “personalize” your experience with the places you frequent. Chances are, you are a member of a store or brand’s loyalty program because you were going there anyway. More than likely, you asked for email updates when a new product or service was releasing. lastly, you have definitely experienced what good service is and it probably impacted your decision to patronize or refer that business when the opportunity presented itself. Marketing Automation is your 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year helpful retail associate that has the customer top of mind. Thus, giving your business the chance to be top of mind when that customer needs to make a new purchase.