By Gemma Marshall
It’s not just all about the sale…does your post purchase experience inspire brand loyalty?
I occasionally treat myself to something new from one of my favourite online brands. I can’t try it on before I buy it so when it arrives, I’m usually unsure if I’ve made a good purchase and the right choice. This is a brand I love and I know it suits me, so most of the time; I get it right and keep my order. One of the reasons I love this particular brand is because they help me make the most of my purchase and keep my wardrobe fresh through regular brand updates featuring fashion bloggers showing me different ways to wear my purchase. They’re always personal, relevant to me, engaging and give me reassurance that I’ve made a good purchase.
You see, we all want reassurance. We need to know that we’ve made the right decision and bought the best we could at our price point. Businesses spend a lot of time and money to present their products in the best possible light. But what happens after the sale? You’ve converted a new customer; arguably you’ve done the hard bit.
“Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” i
If you’re not already, you need to think about, plan and deliver your customers’ post-purchase experience too. How are you keeping the conversation going with your new customer and giving the all-important reassurance that they’ve purchased the right product from the right retailer? Ultimately, your goal is a community who will not only purchase from you time and time again, but also a group of brand advocates - delighted customers who share their own product and service experiences on social media in full view of potential new customers.
In times of austerity, customers are more than ever craving reassurance of their purchase and any business that isn’t following up with their new customer is missing a critical piece of the customer journey.
“61% of shoppers want fast and direct communication following a purchase, with this being most important to millennials and the over-55s” ii
I recently invested in an Amazon Echo and in the beginning it did the basic job I expected it to do - play music when asked, tell me about the weather and keep track of groceries I need to buy - but now I’m being routinely surprised and delighted with alerts about additional features that my fancy new device can support; I can talk through it to someone in a different room, ask it what’s coming up in my calendar and help me find my missing smartphone (usually down the side of the sofa!). As a bit of a technophobe I’m amazed by this and therefore the product has surpassed my expectations. I feel my money has been very well spent and I’ve become a bit of a brand advocate.
So far, it’s been a great experience. My order was easy to complete (one-click) and it arrived when expected. That’s two big ticks in the customer journey. But what is really stand out about my experience and driving my advocacy is how the product is constantly evolving and improving, providing subtle reassurance that my money’s been well spent. Amazon continuously invites me to get involved with my new Echo by sharing new features via email.
“Brands are urged to deliver a constant stream of positive confirmation that product X has been a worthy investment as well as new reasons to engage.” iii
It’s not just about home devices delivering upgrades though. I’ve received a text survey following an online grocery shop, checking if I’m happy with the delivery and if there’s anything that can be been done to improve the service. I’ve had another two question text survey following a call to a customer service line asking to rank on a scale how easy it was to use the brand’s automated line and for any other feedback. As a customer I instantly felt reconnected to the brands that reached out to me; they were asking for my input and making sure I was looked after as one of their customers. In my day job as a marketing strategist, I know that surveys like these can provide vital feedback to measure and shape the customer experience.
When planning your post purchase experience be sure to:
- Know what type of post purchase reassurance your customers might be expecting - this will differ by product or service.
- Understand how best to communicate these messages, this is your chance to re-engage with your customers.
- Continually measure and understand your customers’ whole journey pre, during and post purchase - you can draw actionable insights and make ongoing improvements.
Remember that your customers want to hear from you; keep the conversation going with messages that are personal and relevant. Give them reassurance that they’ve bought the right product from the right retailer.
If you found this blog helpful you might also like, Top 10 Tips to know your customer.
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i. AMY GALLO. ‘The Value of Keeping the Right Customers.’ Harvard Business Review. 2014.
ii. Man, P. (2018 JANUARY 24) Retailers lose out by ghosting customers https://www.drapersonline.com/news/retailers-lose-out-by-ghosting-customers/7028736.article
iii. Foresight Factory, 2017. Life in Beta Mode. Trending 2018: The Report.