We all know that it’s important to take good care of our customers, and that word of mouth is the best kind of advertising there is. Customers are the lifeblood of business, so it only makes good sense to make (and keep) them as happy as possible.
A happy customer will not only keep coming back, but they’ll send their friends right to you as well. So it’s really important to put effort into ways you can surprise and delight your customers right from the very start.
Take a moment and think of a brand that you like to purchase from. How did you find this brand? What was your first exposure to them like? My guess is that if you still really like them, it was easy and pleasant.
We always love it when they make it easy to spend our money.
So any potential customer’s very first interaction with your brand should be memorable, and every interaction after that should build on the memorable story you’ve begun.
Make them love you. Make them a fan. #takemymoney
Here are 5 ways to get that done.
Good advertising speaks directly to a target audience. Who are your target customers? What kind of person are they, what do they like to do? How old are they? What are they afraid of, and what excites them? How much money do they make? What kind of neighborhood do they live in?
You should be able to describe your customer to a finite degree, and speak directly to them through your word and photo choices. The theme of your advertising, and even where you choose to advertise should be informed by your understanding.
When your understanding of your ideal customer is so detailed, it’s much easier to create advertising that really speaks to them and draws them in. You’re speaking right to them, and your style matches theirs. They feel compelled to click on the ad because they are already taken with being associated with your brand and the status that it offers.
Compelling Sales Page (Listing)
Customers have clicked on the ad and arrived on your Amazon listing. The ad obviously did its job, and that’s great! The baton has now been passed to the listing.
A lot of time was spent on this piece of content, anywhere from 5-10 hours, and you’re pleased with it. Here too, just as in your advertisement, your understanding of your customers shines through. It’s concise, thoughtfully arranged, and answers all of their questions with words and phrasing they themselves might use.
It continues telling the brand story to customers with its word choices, and product and lifestyle photos. It offers a feeling of excitement, that this is the product that will solve their problem once and for all.
The listing even answers the questions customers didn’t know they had, and this is key in their decision to buy from you. You’ve thought of everything, and people love feeling taken care of by an expert.
Slam dunk. Well done, you.
Attractive and Functional Packaging
First things first: all of your products are packaged in a compliant manner and arrive at the customer’s home intact, every time. Be 100% sure that your packaging will not fail.
A typical e-commerce transaction, end to end, has about 13 critical failure stages where it can be dropped, squashed, smashed, or otherwise damaged before the product is in the customer’s hands. Many of those touches involve machines, robotic arms and conveyor belts.
The last one is of course when the UPS driver pitches it with a thud into the neighbor’s flower bed.
The packaging is branded in the same meticulous way you have branded this entire customer’s experience, and inside they’ll find a nice product insert explaining more about the product they’ve just purchased. You might also wish to include a catalog, free gift, or a registration card or insert of some kind that will allow you to gather more information about your customer.
You maintain the conversation after the sale by asking for feedback and explaining why their opinion means a lot to you and to the growth of your brand.
A feedback card could be something you include in your packaging above, but it’s also a great idea to do this via email using a platform like Feedback Five, or Feedback Genius. These tools give you a more streamlined way of seeking reviews and feedback from your customers, and gets a much better response than a card inside the packaging.
With an email, you can begin a conversation. If you’ve done your job well, and your brand is a good fit for this customer, you should now have the start of something good! When customers are really into a product or brand, they are very open to hearing more. Think again of your own favorite brand… it’s true, right?
Join the club
Always offer a special deal of some kind, like a discount for returning customers or a way to easily qualify for a free gift.
One way to do this is to generate a coupon code within your Amazon account and send a second feedback request letter… but instead of asking for feedback this time, you’re offering the use of a 10% off coupon for their next purchase.
This is also another great option for a product insert, but the biggest issue that arises with any physical product insert is the likelihood of it getting lost. Either they never see it at all, in among all the packing peanuts and the what-have-you, or they set it aside somewhere in a pile and it’s lost forever.
With email, though, even if it’s deleted you can always go and grab it out of the trash. Plus if customers have given you their email address, you should treasure it and use it. It is highly valuable from a business standpoint if you can get them to interact with you in this way. So if at all possible, try and maintain a digital conversation.
You might create a Facebook group, only for your customers, which has special promotions or ideas that are available only to your fans.
Find some way to keep them near you, keep the lines of communication open, and continue telling them your brand story.
Surprise and delight and repeat and repeat
There are of course hundreds of different little ways that you can enhance your customers experience, but hopefully this list has helped to get the creative juices flowing. No matter what things you do, the most important is to keep deliberately telling your brand story in every step of the process.
Strategic placement of your logo, using the same shade of a certain color throughout your packaging and marketing, even the clothes you choose to wear when at conventions or industry events… it all has meaning and it all contributes in some way.
Keep putting your customers experience at the forefront of your brand’s journey and you’ll have no trouble surprising and delighting your customers for years to come!