There is a rule popular amongst traditional, brick and mortar businesses that goes something like this:
“Service the hell out of your first customers“.
Give the very first people that decide to do business with you more than they wanted, wow them and get them excited about doing more business with you and tell their friends about you and more.
Why so much focus on the first customers?
Well, for a start, because you need to get things going in your business. You need people to start talking about you, recommending you and of course, giving you more business. And, it is only at the beginning, when you don’t have many customers that you have the time to devote to them.
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Later, when your business grows there will be too many of them to service. You won’t have the time to build that special relationship with them.
The same rule applies to eCommerce, however, not that many new online retailers realize it.
Those first purchasers, people that trust you with their credit card details are special. They should be treated accordinly, revered, wowed, be given exceptional customer service.
The trouble is, how to do it? Unlike traditional business, you are not in direct contact with them. You have no personal relationship with the customer. Moreover, most of the customer touch points in your business are fully automated.
Well, in spite of all that, there are certain things you still can do to make sure that you service the hell out of your customers. Here are a few that worked particularly well for me:
Email And Thank Your Customers For Their Purchase
A simple “thank you” can go a long way, especially in the world of retail. Customers like to know that their business is appreciated.
TIP: If possible, avoid using templates for your emails. A few sentences written especially for the customer can work much better than a perfect template.
Keep Them Informed About Shipping And Delivery Times
In spite of the fact that your customers will receive their tracking number from you, many will not go and check the progress of the delivery. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not interested in where their parcel is and how long it will be before it reaches them.
This is a great opportunity for you to shine. Send your customers a daily update on the delivery progress. I can assure you, none of your cometitors would do the same thing.
Offer Them a Special Discount
You can also offer your customers a special discount for being amongst your first buyers. It doesn’t have to be anything special nonethless, that’s exactly how they will feel when they receive it.
Throw Something Extra Into The Parcel
An ideal thing to do if you are shipping the product yourself. Throw a little extra into the parcel, something that might really surprise the customer. It can be anything from a thank you card to a lottery ticket (and who knows, they might even win something).
Follow Up After The Delivery
This is a real deal breaker. Follow up few days after the delivery to ask how they are enjoying the product and if they have any questions regarding it that they would need answered. I can guarantee you that this is something that will make them go WOW almost instantly.
Servicing your first customers and turning them into loyal buyers as well as your brand adversaries isn’t easy, true. It’s a hard work and if you want to do it, it might consume some time of your day. However, the first months of your operation are the best time to do it nonetheless. Later, when your business grows, you will simply have no time to do this.