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The beauty of the present age is that the world is much more connected and you can have customers not only from your locale in Singapore, but from the entire Pan-Asia region and the world at large. To grow your brand, you ought to be resilient and test various strategies that will ensure that your products or services get the most face time with the customer. A study done by BMI in 2017 showed that by 2021, there will be at least 4.1 million online shoppers in Singapore alone and the revenue by 2020 will surpass the $10 billion dollar mark which is equivalent to US$7.4 billion.
By 2020, the population in Singapore is expected to be at 5.9 million, and the mass affluent class is expected to remain at 99.5%. So what does this mean for your business? Despite the penetration of e-commerce in every retail sector from fashion to food, the best option of maintaining and growing your customer base is to tap into the resource of your current customers and get them to recommend your brand.
While most businesses are yet to make a significant budget allocation to digital and traditional marketing, your customers can do the heavy lifting for you. More than 80% of prospective customers say that they would trust a recommendation from family and friends, so it is worth investing in relationship building to get more recommendations without spending a fortune. Today, we explore the intricacies of getting more customer recommendations for your brand.
Focus Your Customer Service on Building Relationships
While you are in business for providing solutions to problems and make a profit, remember that friendliness matters. No matter the mood, you are in, ensure that you treat your customers with respect and compassion. With many Singaporeans turning to the internet for solutions, many businesses are hiding behind the fact that there is no face-to-face interaction and their customer service skills tend to lag.
In a study conducted on Singaporean consumers, of the 74% who received friendly customer service, 76% were not hesitant to recommend the brand to their friends and family. Of the 6% who got an unfriendly service, 86% of them would not think of recommending the brand, even on social media.
Being friendly costs you nothing, but treating a customer in a bad way could cost you the reputation of your brand. So for more customer recommendations, be friendly to them, and the relationships you build will be like a gift that keeps on giving.
Know the Source of Your Customers
With commercial rental space skyrocketing in Singapore, the internet is proving to be the best place to set up shop and grow a brand. Eventually, with the proper inbound and outbound marketing strategies on your e-commerce site, you will eventually get customers. Since most brands focus on having enough inventory, robust shipping lines, and a secure payment platform, you could benefit from understanding the source of your customers.
You do not have to be a web developer to understand the analytics of your platform. With Google Analytics, you can identify the source of your customers, whether from social media, search engine, blogs, et al. Understanding this will help you formulate a plan for targeting more prospects from that source and increase your customer base.
You can also use the source platform to offer incentives to your current customers when they recommend your brand. Armed with the customer recommendations, you will be able to formulate a marketing plan that will transform the browsing prospects into paying customers.
Respond To Customer Enquiries As Fast As Possible
One thing that keeps brick and mortar businesses on their toes is the daily interaction with customers. Whenever a customer walks in, there is a way they are handled to ensure that they leave satisfied. It does not matter that they have come asking for a product or returning a product, the goals are to aim for optimal customer satisfaction.
For e-commerce stores, customer interactions mostly end when the payment has been completed and the customer is in possession of the item or have received a service. However, in both cases, it is easy to feel frustrated when you encounter an unsatisfied customer, and, most entrepreneurs start counting the losses they are bound to make.
Whenever you get a disgruntled customer, ensure that you respond to their queries as fast as possible. Avoid making them wait for extended periods, by asking them to wait for the manager, putting them on hold when they call or ignoring their social media messages. Statistics show that at least 30% of customers who received quick ineffective responses recommended the brand, compared to less than 20% who would recommend the brand if the response was slow but effective. However, customer recommendations will skyrocket if you offer quick and effective responses.
Celebrate Milestones with Your Customers
How did you celebrate your first anniversary of being in business and other milestones? It is because of your customers that you are in business. Since your first contact, stay in close communication with them and put a name and a face to your customers. This will call you to go the extra mile to make them part of your brand.
In the age of social media, celebrating your milestones with your customers will compel them to share your brand. They might not know it when they share your brand with their followers, but you will get several hits because of the posts.
You can also celebrate the customer’s milestones, and this will call for you to have an updated database with as many details about the customers as possible. The avenue for acquiring the information will, of course, depend on the industry you operate, but you can craft your marketing strategy to get the information. More than 50% will talk about your brand on their social media and this will increase the spotlight on your brand.
Just Ask Them To
Review fraud is misleading many prospective customers. While you may see cutting corners to get reviews on your brand, as a means to better interaction the chickens will come to roost. The modern consumer will spot a fake brand review from a mile away. No matter the experience the customer got, encourage them to review your product and customer service on social media. If it was not good, you can rectify your ways and offer an incentive to the said customer and get them to write a positive review.
The takeaway point here is that you ought to ask every customer you interact with to write an honest review of your brand right from the product to the customer service experience. This promotion of user-generated content is not only cheaper, but it is more believable than the content you spend a fortune and time creating. It will not be an outright recommendation, but it will shine a spotlight on your brand and it will result in more customers.
In a study of user-generated content, 73% of prospective customers agree that it helped them increase their purchasing confidence in a brand. 65% also said that user-generated content is more interesting than brand generated content.
You cannot overlook the importance of a customer recommending your brand. It will not only bring more customers, but it will help in knowing when to scale up your business. Ensure that you offer an incentive to the customers who recommend your brand and others will be compelled to recommend your brand too.
Do you have any other ways brands in Singapore can increase customer recommendations? Share your views in the comments section.