Some changes take centuries, some take decades but some changes come as revolutions and shake up our entire lives. One such revolution is mobile technology. In as little as five years, it has taken over the entire gamut of our life experiences and one wonders how we ever were able to manage before the advent of mobiles. We now need everything at our fingertips – entertainment, education, banking, transactions, information and yes, ecommerce and online shopping. With payment portals becoming the norm, most businesses have gone the digital way and have made life extremely convenient for the customer with everything available in the comfort of your own home and on the go.
The customer is bombarded with enticing offers from businesses big and small – every product and service is now using mobile technology and has joined the digital band wagon, and leaves him confused as to which product to buy or if the next vendor is giving something better and bigger at a competitive price. To put it simply, customers now expect more and someone who can’t deliver just gets left behind in the melee. How then does your business ensure customer retention in the age of mobile technology?
- Direct reach to customers
One revolutionary way that mobile technology has changed customer retention strategies in the last five years is through direct reach to the customers wherever they are and whenever they access their mobile devices. The reach of mobile technology is amazing. Emails with information and promotions reach the customer within seconds of being sent. This can be done at any time of the day or night and your information can be shared as and when you want to share it. Business is no longer about great in- store service, it is expected to be a 24/7 interaction between client and business and this is made possible through mobile technology.
- Customer is king – treat him like one
Another great customer retention strategy enabled by mobile technology is the ability of businesses to make their customers feel very special indeed. Rewards, loyalty bonus, first buy options, birthday wishes, special discounts, referral bonus – all these pave the way for customer retention. The customer would definitely be more prone to return business if he feels a sense of belongingness or loyalty to your business – so go ahead and pamper him. Make him feel special – it will be good for your business.
- Unique customer service
Repeat business is possible when the customer gets a feeling of satisfaction while doing business with you. More than the quality of service or product, the way you make him feel while he is transacting with you, will linger long in his mind and will prod him to come back to you with his business and he is likely to refer you to his friends and family who need similar products or services. A one size fits all approach no longer works and customized customer retention strategies would need to be worked out for each customer based on his past online purchase pattern, making the customer appreciate the specialized service.
- Different strategies possible
Mobile technology gives us reach to the customer through a wide range of avenues and of late through social media platforms which completely reach out to engage the target audience. Emails, promotions, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, SEO, PPC, PPV, Blogs and other content driven websites give the customer various engagement platforms and these act as comprehensive customer retention strategies.
- 24/7 service
Now it is a buyers’ market and many a time the customer has unrealistic demands and expectations. If there is a less than pleasant experience, there is every likelihood of the customer moving to your competitor, so customer retention takes on greater importance. It pays to have a 24/7 call desk available to customers to give feedback or vent out their concerns and issues, so that any help needed by the customer is rendered immediately and he remains happy and loyal. Being available 24/7 also enables you to sort out any problems immediately before the disgruntled parent can go on social media and the whole world know about it. A part of a whole
One wonderful offshoot of the mobile technology revolution is the ease of sharing information in groups – WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and the like have made it a great marketing tool. Now customers can be made to feel like the privileged few belonging to the inner circle of customers who get special benefits and offers. Peer behaviors and opinion influences them to do or not do certain things and if managed well, it can lead to customer retention.
- Ease of doing business
Mobile technology makes it very easy to garner new business and to retain existing customers through its very nature. Since the customer doesn’t really have to exert any energy to browse through your sites or read your emails and act on them, it is a win-win situation for you. You have to keep sending in messages with enticing offers and it is very possible that there will be a lot of impulse buys and referrals from them. If, for example, you send out an emailer about a limited period offer with a discounted price, there is every likelihood that the customer will take you up on it, as all he has to do is make the payment at the touch of a button.
- Encourage and reward social sharing
Mobile technology makes it very probable that customers will be high potential return buyers if they feel they will be benefitted by coming back to your brand for a repeat buy or if you can create a sense of urgency for an offer. You can leverage your customer’s social networks by having competitions of social sharing of pictures, stories, anecdotes, experiences, slogans etc. so that it is beneficial for your business by getting more contacts who will be prospective customers and for the customer by giving him some reward or incentive which would encourage repeat business and customer retention.