With a lot of transactions these days taking place via a website and without personal interaction, it can be very hard to build up customer relationships. The days of the old business saying, “People buy from people” might well be on it’s way out.

UK shoppers will spend £67bn online in 2017, of which £27bn will be via mobile devices (Centre for Retail Research)

51% of Americans prefer to shop online (BigCommerce)

96% of Americans have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone (BigCommerce)

And without a personal interaction it can be very hard to build up and create loyal customers, customers that love shopping with your brand/business as they feel they have a personal connection with you and don’t want to hurt your feelings by going somewhere else.

So we are going to take a look at how to build up customer relationships and create loyal customers through designing the perfect customer journey.

So let’s start with a customer called Sarah – Sarah buys one dress from one website, let’s call them Red Dresses, and another from another website called Green Dresses.

Now after she purchases her dresses, she gets a text message straight away from Red Dresses…

“Hi Sarah, thank you for your purchase! Your item is being packaged up and will be sent out shortly – hope to hear from you again soon”

Now a persoanlised message like this makes the customer feel that you care, it makes them feel special and assures them that you have received their order and you are on the case – customers want to receive message post purchase. However, Green Dresses didn’t send a text message, they sent Sarah an email. Unfortunately the email went into her spam folder so she hasn’t seen it.

A couple of days passes and hey presto both of Sarah’s beautiful dresses have arrived.

In three weeks time Sarah receives another text message from Red Dresses…

“Hi Sarah – to say thanks for your previous custom, here is an exclusive offer for you, get 20% off with the code VIPCUSTOMER use online here www.reddresses.com

This message has Sarah beaming with a smile from ear to ear, who wouldn’t like to receive an exclusive offer and be told they are a VIP customer from a brand or business they like. So Sarah clicks on the link sees something she likes and purchases again with her VIP offer – very happy Sarah.

And yet again another message…

“Hi Sarah, thank you for your purchase! Your item is being packaged up and will be sent out shortly – hope to hear from you again soon”

Sarah then sees she has an email from Green Dresses, it’s a blanket marketing email with a general update of new stock, however a lot of the images are of men’s clothing so she just ends up deleting the email.

Two weeks later and it’s Sarah’s Birthday, and sure enough she receives another message from Red Dresses…

“Happy Birthday Sarah! As it’s your Birthday we wanted to send you a very special present for today only – get 50% off with the code BDAYSARAH www.reddresses.com Happy Birthday”

Now that is really going to make Sarah feel like they care about her, make her feel special and really cement her customer relationship with the brand – it now looks like she will be a loyal customer for many years to come. And which shop do you think Sarah is going to tell her friends about? Sarah tells her friends about the amazing experience she has had with Red Dresses and before you know it, they have 4 new customers to look after just like Sarah.

“Ooo Sarah I like that dress – where did you get that from?” The answer is going to be Red Dresses. When we have a good customer experience we are more likely to tell our friends, and with the customer journey above – you should have your brand/business name spreading like wild fire.

So although you might not have a face to face interaction with a customer, you can still make them feel special and turn them into a loyal customer. And by doing the above, before you know it you will have a long list of loyal customers who love your brand and business.