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5 Ways to Reward Your Existing Customer Base Online

That old Cheers theme song has some truth in it. You really do want to go “where everybody knows your name.” All clichés aside, it feels darn good to be recognized in a place you frequent as a customer.  It feels even better to be rewarded for it.

SocialMediaExaminer.com recently interviewed Becky Carroll, author of The Hidden Power of your Customers, for her input on nurturing relationships online with existing customers. She talked about discovering these valuable customers, and highlighted her “ROCK” concept for customer service.

Watch the video here (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/generate-more-opportunity-from-existing-customers/#more-17489) to learn about Carroll’s ROCK strategy. I highly recommend the video for all business owners who want the juicy bits for creating remarkable customer service experiences.

In the meantime, let’s crack onwards for rewarding those customers that can, or have been, advocates for your business online. These users don’t just make a purchase and move on. They retweet your tweets, ask questions on your Facebook page, contribute customer reviews for products, and tell their friends about your service. Gaining new customers will always be a priority, but we cannot forget to acknowledge the customers we have now.

Here’s five tips to help give your existing customers that Cheers-y feeling, and keep them talking about your business:

  1. Join the conversation. Blog comments and social media communication should be responded to immediately, to show the customers who take the time to contribute that you appreciate their input.
  2. Provide pleasant email surprises. You might know exactly who comprises your loyal customer base. Through e-commerce transactions or email subscriptions, you can track frequent customers and reward them with a surprise gift. You could email these valuable persons discount coupons with a personalized thank-you note. Even better, email incentives that they can share with others. If they’re as excited about your company as you are, they’ll happily pass the goodwill along.
  3. Listen and learn. Customers that email queries or write comments on your blog or Facebook wall could give you insight into what’s effective on your website and what’s not. If you find customers emailing with the same questions, consider auditing your site with this input in mind. It could be site navigation, content delivery, or technical bugs that, once cleaned up, will make your existing customer’s experience much more pleasant.
  4. Involve your customers in your company. Say you need a new mascot, or input on a new colour scheme for your website.  Open it up to your customers, with an incentive for participating in a vote, design contest, or feedback form.  It shows that you value their opinions, and wish to engage with them in a community-based way.
  5. Make their experience easier. If your site requires an account log-in, consider streamlining the process for frequent users. Offering a Facebook or Twitter log-in option creates seamless movement between sites under a registered ID.  This is something to talk to Chris at Navigator about today.

These tips will get you started in really showing your existing customer base that you appreciate their patronage. They’re worth it. If it gets to this point, you know you must be doing something right:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdyf9ZRjda8&feature=related

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