Successful marketers have to keep a 360-degree view of the customer experience. From converting a lead into a customer to maintaining the loyalty of that new customer, businesses who have a solid post-sale communication strategy stand a higher chance at maintaining their hard-won customers.
While many businesses focus on customer conversion, the real gold is in customer retention and that starts with the post-sale relationship. Did you know that it’s six times more expensive to convert a new customer than it is to keep an existing one?
Here are some tips on how to improve your post-sale communication with customers:
The first step after a customer makes a purchase from your business is the confirmation message. This is your first post-sale chance to win your customer’s heart with a branded confirmation message. Think it’s not worthwhile investing in an awesome post-purchase message?
Consider the fact that 64 percent of people think that confirmation emails are the highest priority messages in their inbox. And, at 114.3 percent, their open rates soar above bulk emails’ 14.4 percent open rates. So spending time crafting a branded message instead of generating an automated purchase confirmation is a chance for you to captivate your customer at a time when you know they’re going to be paying attention.
Forgo the plain text and the generic writing for a message that gets the customer excited about doing business with you. Use fonts that are pleasing to the eye, add a personalized touch, and use images that reaffirm your brand’s style.
After making a purchase and receiving their confirmation, the next thing customers want to know is “When is my purchase going to arrive?” Communication about delivery status is key to maintaining happy customers with 66 percent of consumers saying that a positive experience with shipping with a brand is a deciding factor in their purchasing experience.
Senior Director of Marketing at Gilt Group Cynthia Kleinbaum says that “confirmation is a rare occasion when a customer wants to get an email, and open it… after that everybody wants to know when their package has left the distribution center, and a lot of people like to get that push notification.”
Keeping customers up to date with the status of their purchase, especially if there is a delay or another issue, is important. In fact, 47 percent of consumers decide not to do business again with a brand because of lack of transparency about the status of their purchase’s delivery.
To offer the most up-to-date delivery status information to your customers, use text messaging. Did you know that 91 percent of texts being opened within 3 minutes of being sent? It’s the ideal communication tool for urgent information.
The moment after a lead has become a customer is the ideal time for you to offer them a loyalty program membership. They have already taken the leap of faith to purchase something from your brand, so why not seal the deal by rewarding them for it and offering them the opportunity to earn discounts and access to special deals by becoming a club member?
Shep Hyken, customer service and experience expert, urges brands to use apps for loyalty programs:
“[T]he convenience of using an app is a powerful driver of loyalty. It’s human nature to stay with a company that is easy to do business with. Once customers know how the company operates and how to use the website or mobile app, they can rely on a consistent experience, and customers like consistency. It creates confidence. That’s what drives loyalty.”
Businesses such as Starbucks, Walgreens and Amazon Prime have tapped into what their particular customers most desire through their loyalty apps. For Starbucks, it’s lifestyle enhancement and the convenience of having their designer coffee without having to wait in line to pay. For Walgreens, it’s refilling prescriptions, using their phone to pay for orders and earning rewards.
For Amazon Prime, it’s benefits such as free shipping, unlimited streaming of music, movies and TV shows and cloud storage. What do your customers want from your loyalty program?
Consumers today prefer to use a variety of communication channels to connect with brands. Offering customers the option that is most convenient to them, be it live chat, SMS, email, social media, voice call, or video call can improve their experience with your brand.
Did you know that 60 percent of millennials and another 60 percent of Gen Y’ers use at least three connected devices that they use multiple times a day from multiple locations? Beyond that, 43 percent of Americans shop online while they’re in bed while 25 percent shop online while they’re in a physical retail store.
Given these habits, make sure that your business can cater to customers on the go and through the platform of their choice to drive more retail dollars and higher customer loyalty.
Some businesses may think that upselling and cross-selling come off as pushy. But customers have reached out to make a purchase from your brand to fulfill a need or a desire and offering suggestions that will enhance their experience with that purchase or even suggesting that they go the next step up can greatly improve customer satisfaction.
Automated suggestions after a purchase is made, or having a trained agent with knowledge of your entire product line guide a customer through their buying process, can both increase sales and provide a better experience. That way you provide the customers with exactly the product(s) they need to have the experience they want. Amazon is the master at this with 35 percent of their sales revenue coming from cross-selling.
Post-sale communication isn’t something you can ignore. Hopefully, these post-sale tips will help you enhance customer experience and improve customer satisfaction!
--Alexa Lemzy is the customer service expert and content author at TextMagic. She mainly writes about customer communication, mobile marketing, and small business. Alexa is also a fan of all the things that make processes effective and teams productive.