Learn how to create a simple customer retention process for your ecommerce store

Hopefully by now you see the importance of doing something to treat your repeat customers as well as possible. Like the idea I gave you the idea of writing custom thank you cards for each repeat order.

But you probably ran into a common problem: at a certain point it can be difficult to keep up with them.

You might have even realized that when I mentioned the idea and disregarded it entirely.

I get it. Even spending three minutes per card means you’d spend 5 hours writing if you got 100 repeat orders in a day.

What about your repeat purchase rate?

If that’s your concern, just think about it from another perspective. With 100 repeat orders per day, what if your simple thank you card improved your next repeat order rate by 20%?

That means instead of the standard 27% repeat order rate, you’d have a 47%. That’s 20 more orders, every day.

If you know your average order value, you can quickly calculate the ROI from just this simple activity.

But that still doesn’t get you back these 5 hours per day.

Creating a customer retention process

What you need to do instead is to create a process for how you’re going to support and encourage repeat customers. This process would become your customer retention process.

While I can’t cover all aspects of a retention process in this email, I’ll give you a simple framework that you can use to begin building one.

Step 1: Define your goal.

What do you want out of this process. You’ve already done part of it by acknowledging you want more repeat customers, but how many more?

What’s their value to you?

Step 2: Make a huge list of ideas, tactics, and wild hair-brained ideas you have to treat repeat customers better.

Your only goal at this stage is to create a huge list. Write anything down, even if it doesn’t make sense or is impractical now.

Show up at your customer’s address to personally deliver their order? Yes

Mail their mom a card and a box of chocolates on Mother’s Day? Sure

Step 3: Score each idea on two levels: effort/cost and impact.

Now go through each idea and score it on two levels:

  1. The amount of effort it will take and/or the cost to do it. From 1-3 with 1 being hard/expensive and 3 being easy/free.
  2. The impact on the customer, the amount of improved trust in you, and your gross sales. Again from 1-3 but with 1 being no/little impact and 3 being a massive impact.

Step 4: Pick 5 tactics that are highly valued and you’d like to do.

Use whatever criteria you can think of for this:

  • bootstrapped and just getting started: pick the free options.
  • busy with no time: pick the high impact.
  • really want to show up at their address with their order… um, pick that one I guess

This is where you’ll figure out your retention mix. The how.

Step 5: For each idea you picked, document it.

Now go through each idea you picked and write a checklist, step-by-step for what you or someone else would need to do in order to perform this tactic. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, just get something down so you can get started now.

Step 6: Start

Finally, start working on your choices. Send those emails. Write those notes.

Do whatever you decided the process is going to do.

Step 7: Revise

As you go, revise the processes if they aren’t working or not a good fit.

There you go. You now have a simple customer retention process that you can put in place today to keep your repeat customers and encourage more.

If, after all this, you decided not to use my little thank you card idea, that’s okay. We can still be friends 🙂

Eric Davis

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