Earning customer loyalty online


By Jenifer Snook

How many of you shop on the internet? Maybe a better question is how often do you shop on the internet versus shopping at an actual store? I have rare moments when I like to go shopping at an actual store. A few days before Christmas I might go to the mall to recreate that Christmas spirit from decades past. But way more often than not, I shop online. For everything. And almost everyday. With online retailers offering free shipping, better pricing, and shopping from the comfort of your own home, why would you not?

So how can you build customer loyalty in that kind of environment? Once a person finds what they want they search the internet and shop for price and quick delivery. That’s how I internet shop and outside of that I am not loyal to one particular online store. Until now.


Dog tested, dog approved! Thanks to stellar service from online retailer, Backcountry.com, we found the perfect tent and they earned some new friends and loyal customers for life — all without ever meeting each other.

My newest adventure is tent camping with my dog. I researched tents, sleeping bags, propane stoves, and camping beds. I purchased almost exclusively from online retailers. REI, Backcountry, Amazon, etc. I ended up ordering my very cool orange Marmot tent from Backcountry.com. A couple of weeks after I received my tent I received an email from Eric at Backcountry. I almost deleted it thinking it was just advertising, but to my surprise, it was something different. Here’s a snippet:

Good Day Jenifer,
I’m just reaching out to say thanks for shopping with Backcountry— we appreciate your business!

I hope you have some trips planned to get out and use your new tent!

If you have any issues with your recently placed order (for example: if the sizing is wrong, or you don’t like the color) feel free to contact me directly. Think of me as your personal concierge here at Backcountry. The next time you have a question, need to place an order, or want to chat about gear, just let me know and I’ll hook you up. I’d also be more than happy to offer a 10% discount on any full-priced item on your next order.

If you ever need anything from Backcountry, let me be your guide.

Intrigued by the email, I decided to send him a picture of my practice round setting up the tent. Along with plans for my upcoming camping trip and one or two questions on how to set up the tent. I had pretty much decided that this email was a blast email – probably sent out to everyone who makes a purchase – and that my reply would go on deaf email ears. But again, to my surprise he replied back. Not only answering my questions but complimenting my tent set up abilities and of course, my dog in the picture!

Since then, I have made more purchases from Backcountry.com, and guess what? Each time I receive an email from my new friend Eric. When I go online shopping now, where do you think I start first? Backcountry.com, of course.

Customer loyalty is all about making your customer’s feel important. What Backcountry is doing is not rocket science. They took what is normally a sterile customer environment, and found a way to make each and every customer feel important. And ultimately buy from them again and again.

Financial institutions can and should do the same thing. Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or via email. Turning your banking environment into a customer loyalty environment is not rocket science either. Building a customer oriented culture within your financial institution takes work, but it can be done. Contact Haberfeld Associates for more information on building customer loyalty in your institution.


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