When you’re running a business, there’s always something more you feel you could be doing. There are new apps to try or sites to list your company on. But knowing what to try and what to leave alone can feel overwhelming. Here are some functionalities that I’ve found have really worked for my business.
1. Brand ambassadors
Depending on your demographic, brand ambassadors may be a great way to ramp up your sales. In our program, we have a series of activities our brand ambassadors can complete, and each activity is assigned a point value. At the end of the month, each ambassador can cash in points for products on the website.
Ambassadors are a great way to expand your reach in different regions and to have real people sharing your brand instead of advertising.
2. Live chat
When customers are on your site, you don’t want anyone to hesitate about clicking "purchase." Having a live chat option allows any questions or concerns to be addressed immediately, so visitors are more likely to buy. We use Tidio Chat, which allows the business staff to be accessed by phone even if they're not in the office.
3. Abandoned cart recovery
We’ve all done it: We click "cart" or check out," but something stops us from putting in our payment information. It could be that we ran out of time, something else came up, or we had doubts about the purchase. Whatever it is, the business can send an automated reminder within 24 hours (we send ours after six hours) reminding the customer what’s in the cart and making it easy to finish their order.
We use a great program called Receiptful for our abandoned cart recoveries. If you really want your recover rate to go up, offer some sort of incentive code in the email, with a short expiration.
4. Referral programs
Customers will listen more to what their friends tell them to buy than what an ad says. Take advantage of that fact by rewarding your customers when they refer their friends. Receiptful allows an integration in the order confirmation receipt, where the customer can send a coupon to the referring friend; and when the coupon is used, the customer also receives a coupon.
5. Social media customer service
As your company grows and your social media accounts become larger, it can be hard to keep up with the comments and questions posted. However, when you engage with your customers publicly, you not only answer their questions, but show your dedication to your company, and build an element of trust with the customer.
If, alternately, customers tweet a question at you, and you don’t respond, they’re probably not going to feel comfortable going on your site and placing an order. We use a company called Imagine Media Consulting to craft and monitor all of our social media, so we never miss a beat.
6. Product suggestions
Once customers have already purchased from you (and hopefully had a wonderful experience), they’re more likely to purchase again from you than from a company they haven’t purchased from yet. So, it’s important to give them catered suggestions for their next purchase.
Inform them of new releases and make it easy for them to come back and purchase again.
7. An opportunity to post reviews
Sure, you think your company is great. But what do other people think? That’s what people are going to listen to. Customers are more likely to click on a company with visible positive ratings than one with no ratings at all. We use a company called Yeah! Local to create a ratings system in our order confirmations that are posted to Facebook and Google.
When potential customers see that other customers have had positive experiences, they’ll trust the product more than what your copy says.