When you think about customer experience, your ideas for improvement most likely center around the part of the process that involves directly serving your consumer. Whether it is selling a product or rendering a service, this is the bread and butter of most business operations, so it is where they put their focus in terms of creating a great experience for consumers. However, a successful business owner would be remiss not to also focus on the post-purchase customer experience.
What is so important about your customer’s experience after they’ve bought your product? Why should you continue to deliver customer service, even after they have left your building or completed their checkout process? As you’ll soon learn, this kind of follow-up can show your consumer that you value more than just their money - and get them to spend that money with your business time and time again.
What is the Post-Purchase Customer Experience - and Why is It Important?
Today’s brands know that to get a customer on their side, they have to provide more than just marketing. Modern marketing is about creating experiences. Making your product or service a positive experience for your consumer is how you make sales happen.
But what about afterward? What happens after your consumer has handed over their money or has completed their purchase online? Does your brand cease its efforts to create a positive experience? Hopefully not, since this is the time that many consumers begin the judgment phase that will later lead to customer loyalty - or not.
By offering a superior post-purchase customer experience, you show your customers that they are valuable to you, even after you have their money. You want them to return. You want them to know that you care about them. By showing them this extra effort, you stand to make a lot more sales in the long-run and convert a lot more one-time shoppers into loyal customers.
Tips for Improving Your Post-Purchase Customer Experience
Now that you see why it’s important to focus on the post-purchase experience, how can you improve it for your customer?
The path toward improvement begins with training and preparation. First, prepare your company to follow excellent post-purchase policies and procedures. Some examples might include following up with consumers via email after purchases to thank them for their business, providing extras or discounts with each completed order, or sending out reminders for follow-up services periodically with attached discounts and personable text. These are all ways to show your consumers that you remember their business and that it was valuable to you.
If your customer is having an item shipped or their product is on back-order, be sure that their information is available and regularly updated. Nothing is more frustrating to a consumer than wondering where their items are when they have already paid for them. Preventing this frustrating will provide a more positive experience for your customers - and foster more loyalty for your business.
It is also important to train toward the goal of providing a better post-purchase customer experience. Your staff and customer service agents should know what to do in the event of a delay, a problem with an order, or a dissatisfied customer. The more prepared they are the handle these scenarios, the better service they will be able to provide for customers beyond the initial purchase.
Utilizing Feedback as a Tool for Improvement
Customer feedback is a valuable tool for improving the post-purchase experience. It is difficult to know how well your customers feel that they are being served without their input, so seeking it out directly is the best way to secure that information.
One of the best ways to utilize feedback for improvement is by encouraging consumer reviews. This does several things that are beneficial for your business. First, it provides valuable information on how customers feel about their experience and the products and services they have received. Consumer reviews are often the most honest form of feedback, and that honesty is valuable in determining how a customer really felt about their experience.
Second, these reviews can boost business by showing other consumers that your products and services are receiving feedback from other consumers. Even when less than 100% of your reviews are positive, a large number of reviews lends more credibility to a brand or business than a handful of reviews might. Encourage reviews with small rewards or discounts and see just how big that boost can be!
Don’t Brush Off Negativity
Every company is going to have a few customers that they simply can’t please. That is the nature of humanity; you can’t make everyone happy. However, when you run a business, your goal is to get as close to doing so as you possibly can.
One mistake many businesses make in creating a positive post-purchase customer experience is ignoring negative feedback that comes in if it is not clear and constructive. While these so-called “flame” comments can be upsetting, it is important to remember that upset consumers are often spurred to make these remarks by negative emotions - some of which a bad experience helped to create.
Instead of discounting these comments entirely, put your customer service agents to the task of soothing these inflamed buyers and giving them a reason to feel good about your company again. Studies have shown that even when a customer has a negative experience during the purchasing phase, they can still hold overall positive regard for a brand if their experience during the post-purchase phase was a good one. Make it a priority to deliver excellent customer service to even the most irritated consumers; they may turn out to be your most satisfied customers!
For more information about preparing your center for providing a great post-purchase customer experience - or to find the tools and technology you need to do so - contact the experts at ChaseData today. We have what you need to create a winning formula for every step of the customer experience process. Give us a call today to learn more!