There are several reasons your ecommerce business could face difficulty, from the losses to competitors to product dissatisfaction. You spend so much time making sure you’re avoiding common marketing mistakes or that you’re delivering a better experience than your competition — that your products stand up to intense scrutiny. Still, even with hard work and dedication to these things, your company might still slide into oblivion.
What is an ecommerce business to do when beating the competition at every turn still results in failure? Well, there’s a good chance these aren’t the primary killers of your business. In your unwavering focus on beating out other businesses, you might forget to concentrate on the real prize: your customers.
What Customers Perceive as Indifference
Now, maybe the problem is that you don’t realize you’re being indifferent. After all, you receive orders, fulfill them in a reasonable amount of time, and answer any customer service questions in a timely manner. Maybe you accept exchanges and give refunds without question. Customers are probably perfectly satisfied with every transaction. If customers are satisfied, how could they possibly think you’re indifferent?
Here are some examples of actions your customers might equate with indifference:
- No thank-you email after purchase
- No follow-up email asking for feedback
- No response to social media mentions
- No timely reminders for re-orders
- No rewards for referrals
- No rewards for loyalty
Your customers obviously have a lot of choices, and sometimes even the smallest thing is all you need to tip the scales in your favor.
Overcoming Perceived Indifference
The formula for overcoming perceived indifference might look like the opposite of the bulleted list above, but that’s really not enough, is it? Customers are looking for relationships, and they’re savvy. They know the difference between a company that cares and one that’s simply going through the motions.
You can implement a rewards program that offers all the perks in the world, but you won’t get anywhere with it if customers don’t feel the love. Simply punching holes in a card or adding points to an account won’t help you connect at all. The same can be said for form-letter thank you cards or emails. Even half-hearted engagement on social media can be a bigger turn-off than simply never responding at all. What can you do to ensure your attempts at appreciation are perceived as genuine?
Thank You Messages
Personalized thank you messages that include information about the products purchased go a long way toward convincing buyers that you’re paying attention.
Social Media Engagement
If you’re going to respond to social media comments, be sure to include a personal touch. A “thanks for visiting” isn’t enough to let buyers know you heard them.
Keep on top of the points and rewards instead of relying on customers to keep up with their own numbers. Reminders about their winnings and genuine appreciation for participation keeps them coming back for more.
Don’t simply fill their inboxes with updates about the latest sales. If you want them to come back for more, let them know it’s time to re-order. Show them products that enhance or complete their first purchase. All else will be regarded as useless spam from a company that doesn’t really pay attention.
Do you think your customers find you indifferent? If there’s even a chance, consider making some changes right away.
About the author
Ted is a technology sales professional with over 10 years of experience selling marketing SaaS, and building high growth sales teams. He is currently the Director of Sales for Privy and previously worked for HubSpot, Performable (acquired by HubSpot) and TimeTrade Systems Inc.
ecommerce, ecommerce business*.