Tips for Building Loyal Online Customers - dummies

By Shannon Belew, Joel Elad

Part of Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Getting traffic, or visitors, to your website is only the first step in building your online business. To be successful, you want to convert visitors into customers who keep returning to your site. Use these simple tips to build a loyal following of happy, satisfied customers for your online business:

  • Offer multiple ways for customers to communicate with you (including e-mail, phone, real-time online support, online forums, and social media).

  • Respond to customer e-mail within four to eight hours, and to customer social media support questions within two to four hours.

  • Engage customers by providing ways to interact with your site, such as participating in online communities, writing product reviews, and commenting on blogs.

  • Connect with customers through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn and keep customers interacting with your online brand.

  • Make customers feel special by sending loyalty discounts and other exclusive offers to your registered users or frequent buyers.

  • Send customers tips or brief articles that are fun or innovative or that show how to use your products or services to save time or be more productive.

  • Give customers several payment options to make buying easy.

  • Offer free shipping — no strings attached.

  • Reward top customers with access to special online events and offer a sneak preview of new products. Solicit input on new products or services from customers who are frequent buyers or active brand advocates in social media.

  • Find creative ways to thank customers for visiting your site and for making a purchase.