In 2016, Crystal Landsem joined Lulus, a 10-figure fashion brand, and more than doubled the company’s growth potential. This was thanks to the team’s deep connection to its core customers and Crystal’s commitment to giving them exactly what they wanted—including a brand new retail store.
Prioritizing the customer experience has always been front of mind for Lulus. This outlook has been a part of the brand’s overall mission since inception, and one of the reasons it’s been in business for more than 25 years.
Ahead, Crystal breaks down the four main customer retention strategies that have kept Lulus thriving.
4 expert customer retention tips
When growing a business, acquiring new customers is an important part of your marketing strategy. But it’s cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones. And loyal customers become ambassadors for your brand as you grow. Here are Crystal’s tips for investing in customer retention.
1. Be as consistent as possible
The number one way to keep customers coming back for more is to deliver on your promises consistently—even if that means going above and beyond. Crystal and the team have gone as far as making last minute trips to the post office to rush a bride’s shipment before her big day.
The trust you build with your customer when you deliver consistent results will only increase their lifetime value, and bring in more revenue over time. “If you get somebody their product on time, and in a good quality condition every time, that is what’s going to fuel your growth,” Crystal says.
2. Invest in your customer
You need to prioritize where you’re spending your money, especially early on. Crystal suggests thinking about it this way: If it doesn’t drive value to your customer, you don’t need it.
After receiving repeated feedback from passionate customers for an in-person shopping experience, Crystal and her team launched a bridal boutique on Melrose, a popular shopping destination in Los Angeles.
This investment might not make sense to an outsider, but it’s what the loyal followers wanted and was therefore a solid decision for the brand.
Despite growing the company to triple digits, Crystal still takes a similar outlook on any new decisions she makes for Lulus. “We were very scrappy early on, and we still are to this day,” Crystal says.
3. Ignore temptations
Start using your free time more efficiently so you can master affordable software before investing in costly technology. This will give you more money to invest in features that drive direct value back to your customer, like a retail store. “There are a lot of really sexy software tools out there; things that claim to automate and make your life easier, but don’t be drawn into all the allure of these set-it-and-forget-it automation tools,” Crystal says.
See where you can find cheaper alternatives that will allow you to keep operating costs low, so you can spend extra revenue creating a higher quality shopping experience. By ignoring temping technology early on, you’ll have more cash to invest in the customer.
4. Add personal touches
Consumer trends continually point to the importance of authenticity—people like to feel that they’re buying from real humans, not just a landing page. Crystal’s team still writes handwritten notes for orders, so customers can feel a connection to Lulus’ employees.
Lulus also reviews every single customer exit survey that comes through the system. These surveys are reviewed by the leadership team, letting them make quick pivots if needed. “It’s not aggregated, it’s not streamlined. It’s just a raw customer feedback data dump that comes into our email every morning,” Crystal says.
As Lulus demonstrates, putting your customers’ needs first and focusing on driving real value, your business will always have a strong community of customers who support your business.
To learn about Crystal’s retail pop-up checklist and discover more of her customer retention strategies, tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode.