The retail industry has undergone a substantial amount of changes in the last few years, in part due to technological advances, but also due to the rising necessity of being more attune to customer needs. With more and more businesses being created, keeping up with the competition means doing more than selling products in the traditional way and not engaging in other methods of marketing for reaching customers. E-commerce and the development of new shopping malls have made the days when people barely had a single option for the product they were looking for seem like nothing but a distant memory.
Currently, in the United States, revenue from e-commerce alone amounts to $547 billion, with predictions showing an increase up to $740 billion by 2023. This encompasses a significant range of sectors, from food, personal care, or fashion, to hobby, electronics, media, or appliances. Given the competitiveness of the environment, companies wanting to improve their sales, promote products, and attract new customers need to be knowledgeable in areas that until recently were ignored, such as customer success management.
It is no longer enough to create a business and open up your doors for customers, as more and more other companies are doing the same thing—the key to success is offering personalized services that are unique to your business.
Customer Success Management and Its Relation to Retention and Loyalty
Developing customer relationships that work towards both the overall success of your business and the satisfaction of your customers depends on how your company is drafting and implementing its customer success strategies. Understanding that customer success is company success is key when it comes to building a customer success management team, and establishing best practices. If your aim is to retain customers and improve brand loyalty, the first step is to gather and analyze as many customer metrics as possible. Without having a comprehensive database and demographics that can help you in the drafting of your strategies, there are no guarantees of successful implementation.
Techniques for Customer Retention and Encouraging Brand Loyalty
In modern times, programs and initiatives that help companies retain customers, and that encourage brand loyalty are more focused on customer satisfaction and personalization of the shopper journey. If in the past, these programs strictly targeted the improvement of products and services in order to attract and keep customers—nowadays, it is not sufficient to offer quality products, as a lot of competitors are doing the same.
Sales and marketing techniques to attract and retain customers that work in our technologically-driven world:
Personalizing interactions with the help of modern solutions such as proximity marketing
Offering customer service over multiple channels, including SMS
Cross-selling product and services to your existing customers
Up-selling with a focus not on profit, but on offering your customer the ability to satisfy a wider array of needs
Measuring customer success metrics at all times
Further, we are going to focus on cross-selling, specifically, on 6 tactics to cross-sell your customers, that will help your business improve its relationship with customers, increase sales, and better emphasize brand loyalty.
6 Tactics to Cross-Sell Your Customers and Why They Work
Cross-selling, the practice of selling additional products or services to existing customers, can come with substantial benefits for both business and customer, if implemented properly. Among cross-selling advantages, you can find: increasing sales, improving user experience, optimizing costs, better knowing your audience, promoting lesser known products, and many others.
1. Follow-up Text Message Marketing
Also known as manual cross-selling, follow-up through text message marketing is an excellent way of informing your customers about products and services that relate to their initial purchase. Follow-up text message marketing is also excellent for gathering feedback on your business.
Make sure that if you are offering services that compliment a product, such as an installation service for electronics, you are offering them as a bundle with the initial products, as a manual follow-up might reach your customer after they have already installed the product on their own. This is available for all products that can be complemented by services and accessories that would require to be offered at the same time as the purchase.
2. Automated Cross-Selling Messages
In case you are running an online store, or if your brick-and-mortar stores have digital touchpoints installed, through which customers can make a purchase, automated cross-selling messages after each purchase are create for customer retention. Make sure to draft them as personalized as your database allows it. If you are using automated cross-selling messages on your website, you can correlate the initial purchase with any related searches the customer conducts on your website, and therefore send even more specific offers.
You can also use automated cross-selling messages in the form of recommendations based on the purchases of other customers, which are related to the product being displayed.
3. Display Products According to Relevance
Whether in-store or online, your product display carries a lot of weight when it comes to customers deciding whether they will buy additional products or services related to an initial purchase. Therefore, make sure that your displays are always up-to-date with customer needs, but also that your products are arranged according to relevance.
4. Rethink Your Content
Whether we are speaking of website content or any kind of text you are using to sell your products or promote your brand, this should be drafted in accordance with customer needs, and personalized as to attract more interactions. For example, instead of having a ‘more’ button or link, use ‘you might also like’—this makes the customer feel that their interaction with your brand is personalized, and also gives them a sense of familiarity. Don’t be too rigid in your promotional or sales text, as customers prefer a personalized interaction that speaks of your attention to their needs, and also helps them save time by offering them the products they were looking for.
5. Training of In-Store Personnel and Customer Service Departments
One of the most important tactics for successful cross-selling is to have your in-store personnel and customer service departments always ready to offer suggestions regarding complementary products to your customers. Also, your employees should be trained in demonstrating the value of additional purchases, with information such as case studies, testimonials from other customers, and even return-on-investment calculations.
6. Create Loyalty Programs Based on Purchasing Patterns
At the end of the day, cross-selling needs to be beneficial for both customer and brand—therefore, offering perks and loyalty programs based on purchasing patterns will entice your customers to buy additional products, and also help your business grow. Make sure that all your employees are informed about these offers, and that they will advise your customers regarding their benefits, at all times.
When performed professionally and in accordance with the needs of both customer and brand, cross-selling is a highly effective technique that can help your business drive sales, retain customers, and increase brand loyalty. Don’t forget to draft and implement your cross-selling tactics with the help of modern and comprehensive solutions. Also, it is important to know when not to cross-sell, such as when dealing with customers with a history of overusing customer support services, or customers who have initiated excessive returns. Integrate your cross-selling tactics with other sales and marketing strategies, and make sure that they are always up-to-date with new technologies, and in compliance with industry regulators.