Last week I wrote about how cultivating satisfied, happy, loyal customers is the secret sauce to growing a profitable online business.

Because the most profitable sales are the repeat sales made to existing customers.

Constantly finding new customers and only selling to them once is an expensive process and not particularly profitable.

I also outlined an email campaign framework you can automate. The idea is that you communicate with your customers post-purchase to make sure they ARE happy and invite them to come back to buy again.

It’s all about the customer experience.

Now, if you’ve read much of my content or listened to my webinars, you’ve no doubt picked up that I absolutely LOVE marketing automation!

I love how it is like a salesperson and a customer service person all rolled into one system. And I especially love how it can provide you freedom and flexibility from working IN your business while creating consistent sales growth for your business.

However, here’s the thing.

Marketing automation will ONLY work if the content is amazing.

If your content is boring, or it’s irrelevant, or it’s all ‘buy buy buy’, I can guarantee you your customers will very quickly learn to file your emails in the round file. (AKA the trash!)

Customers Remember How You Make Them Feel

I’ve had some great experiences as a customer

As always, I adore Birdsnest’s approach.

From their ‘Your order has flown the nest’ to the beautiful packaging and the delightful gifts they surprise you with.

And I open all their emails – yes, they’re ‘catalogue’ style, but they’re also inspiring.

And then I’ve had some crap experiences

The most recent one would have to be a gift I bought for my Mum. She is very fussy about her pyjamas and only wears satin ones, and prior to going to hospital to have a hip replacement she needed a new pair.

The ONLY place I could find what she wanted was online, and even then I only found one website in Australia that had what she wanted.

I placed that order 6 months ago, and have NEVER heard from the business again! What a ginormous lost opportunity…

For far too long, business owners have undervalued the importance of the customer experience and the huge impact it has on the bottom line. Especially when your business operates in the online environment.

Let’s face it: no matter how efficient you think your business is, if you don’t inspire, satisfy and retain customers, you really don’t have a viable future.

I believe the key to success when selling online is to exceed your customer expectations. If you have customers, your relationship with them needs to be your priority.

Truth smack: Customers will forget what you do and what you say, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel.

This was borne out in my own previous business as well.

We were SO GOOD at the customer service that we had customers of competitor brands calling us up for help!

We became known widely as being able to solve any problem in our product category!

And as a result, we cultivated a loyal customer base, many of whom voluntarily became brand evangelists.

Top customer relationship building tips that’ll help boost your bottom line:

1. Define how you want your customers to feel about your brand.

This will tie back into your brand values, but it’s also separate to that because it’s about them (not you).

For more inspiration about this, check out my article ‘Every Productpreneur Needs A Movement’.

2. List all the different ways you can make your customers feel amazing.

This will correlate with all the many instances your customers will interact with your brand. From receiving emails (both transactional and marketing emails), to engaging with you on social media.

From receiving their delivery of products from you, to spending time on your website and blog.

Even to interacting with people – people on your team or people who have bought from you in the past. What do you want them to say about you? If they’ve had an amazing customer experience in the past then they’re only going to say good things right?

I particularly want to highlight how your approach to creating content (whether for email, blog or social media) can contribute to providing an amazing customer experience:

Either you tell your audience who you are and what you sell, or you start a conversation with your audience. The former is one-sided, and the second is collaborative.

Which approach do you think works best?

Let me give you an example: one of my clients is the Australian distributor for Babiators sunglasses.

Rather than simply telling her customers about the products and about sun-safe practices, she inspires them to get outdoors. She shows them how to have healthy outdoor adventures with their kids.

And she engages with her audience, asking them to tell her, “what adventure has your little one been on lately?”

How much more engaging is content like that for her audience?

3. Listen, monitor and improve.

I’m sure this seems like an obvious one, but listen to your customers and monitor their actions. Are they engaging with you or not? Are they recommending you? Are they coming back to buy again?

Don’t be afraid of customer feedback, even if it’s sometimes negative. Feedback is an opportunity to improve. ‘Bad’ feedback can become a positive review if you provide amazing customer service!

Need help transforming your business from a transactional customer experience into an engaging, profitable relationship with your customers?

It’s not easy to find that balance between building a brand and asking customers for the order. It’s even harder to put a system around that – to systemise and automate the process so that you can measure and grow.

But if you’re serious about growing your business and your brand online, it’s a skill you’ll need to master!

Click here to book in for a FREE Product Profits Strategy Session, valued at $165, where I’ll give you three ideas you can implement today to supercharge your sales online and boost profits instantly.

Click here to book a free strategy session with Catherine