Most businesses miss out on the big picture when they don’t have a marketing strategy on post purchase experience, that is set in stone. Your customers traverse through a myriad of emotions after they make the purchase. They are excited that they are going to have something new and are also anxious to see if they have made the right decision. Understanding how your customers behave after a purchase can give marketers a lot of information about how to build more trust.
What is the post purchase customer experience?
The way you treat someone who went from a prospect to a customer after they make a purchase; that’s the simplest definition for post purchase customer experience. Getting in touch with your customer in many ways after they buy your product can create a lot of good impact for your business.
There are tonnes of research that shows it is 5X more expensive to get a new customer when compared with serving an existing customer.
Let’s cut straight to the chase, the folks at SurveySparrow give you these 25 tips that will help you improve the post purchase experience of your customers.
#1 Say thank you:
This should be the first act that you do. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way in cementing the relationship and enhancing the post customer experience. You can even send handwritten letters where you thank your customers for doing business with you. It shows that you value their business and it has a lot of impact on your customer’s post purchase experience and is the first step towards creating a long-term relationship.
#2 Refund policy:
Customers are wary if your product would suit their needs and meet their expectations. If not, the only solution is to return the product. But do you have a working refund policy in place? If not, your customers would be put off by it, resulting in a poor post purchase experience.
Even before the customer makes a purchase, you should clearly let them know about your refund policy so that they aren’t caught unawares. Also, we would advise you to allow for refunds until a particular period of time. It will keep them at peace knowing that a wrong choice doesn’t mean money down the drain.
#3 Provide information:
After the purchase, there might be areas where the customer doesn’t know how to handle a situation. Do not make them call the customer care number although that should be an option. Here’s what you should do instead, provide all the information that you can possibly gather about the product and how to use it most efficiently. This will also reduce the number of return requests.
A customer buys with the belief that it will be easy to use, there are times when some people might not be aware of a few things and would need external help. This is where ‘how-to’ guides, information booklet, FAQs, etc, give them a direction.
#4 Product care tips:
As the creator of the product, you would know everything about keeping it in the pink of health. Your customers might be handling your product for the first time and are completely unaware of how to keep it in the right way. Share tips which will help your customers to keep the product safe and in perfect working condition. When you share such tips after the purchase, customers understand that you have their best interests in mind. Your customers will appreciate you for caring about their needs.
Don’t you want to know how your customers feel about your product after the purchase? Understanding their level of satisfaction can help you make a lot of business decisions that will make sense. Collecting feedback is one of the best ways to improve post purchase experience.
Send them simple email surveys immediately after they receive the product. You can use online survey tools like SurveySparrow, where you can also send follow-up emails that are automated and get customer data effortlessly.
#6 Recommend related products:
This is yet another post purchase experience strategy that will not only help you make more money but will help your customer too. Send them recommendations of related products that will help them use your product to the fullest. In fact, you can also send them recommendations of related products that you don’t sell, but a different business does.
The whole point is to know what your customers would need and give them that even if it doesn’t make you any money. Providing value to your customer should be the only thing on your mind.
#7 Offer discount codes for the future:
Customers love discounts. No matter which part of the world they are from. Discounts are welcomed like the dawn of a new year. When you offer them discount coupons for the next time they purchase from you, the likelihood of them buying from you increases if they like the product they have already bought from you. What better way to improve post purchase experience?
#8 Offer samples of your other products:
Let’s say one of your customers buys product A and you have a bunch of other products as well. Then it would be wise of you to allow them access to other products for a short time period. Your customers will not only try your products, but they would also become familiar with it and when they have a need for a similar product, they would choose your product. Why? Because they are already familiar with your business and that particular product.
#9 Celebrate milestones:
When a prospect signs up on your website, they should have uploaded their details that include their birthdays. Send your customers a small discount on their birthdays or on special occasions that you know. How would you get the data on important days for your customers?
Simple, slip in some questions when you send them a survey. They would be pleasantly surprised when they receive a discount. They will talk about it and share the same on their social media platforms. Free publicity for you.
#10 Always respond:
If you get a query from your customer when using the product, make it a point to respond to them without fail. Ensure that they get a reply. The same applies to people who are non-customers, but you are obliged to respond to your customers without fail.
No matter what kind of message it is, your customer wants a reply and you should give them that courtesy without fail. A simple non-response can put you in a place where you are vilified for not obliging to customer requests. It is easy to paint such a picture. Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned!
As soon as an order is placed, your customer wants to know when it will arrive at their doorstep or smartphone. If it is a physical package, then the order will not be immediately available. The product will be packed and dispatched to the nearest hub, then sent to the hub closest to the customer, etc. All this information should be communicated effectively. At no point should the customer feel as if they are not in the know.
#12 Be helpful even when there are no issues:
It doesn’t cost a bomb to ask your customers if everything is going well. But not all companies do that because that thought never enters their mind because there is no strategy for the same in place. This is the prerogative of the customer success team. For all you know, the customer might actually be grappling with a problem and are hesitant to seek help. They might even assume that it is too trivial an issue that would require help from someone at your company. This is where you take the help of technology by setting up automation systems to ensure that sending reminders, offering help and other customer-friendly activities happen on auto-pilot.
#13 Little things matter:
Something that the business dismissed as too small might wound up being a pain to one of your customers. This is why you need to be careful about every single aspect of your business. Your customers are watching you and so are your competitors. If your product is something they use day-to-day, the ramifications of your callousness are huge for your customer.
#14 Voice of the Customer:
It is a term that is used to describe the process of capturing the likes, dislikes and preferences of the customer. Metrics like revenue, churn, etc, while important, are vanity when it comes to the changes you can make by knowing your customer all too well. If you want to give your customers a post purchase experience that will blow them away, then you need to invest in listening to them attentively.
Businesses use Voice of Customer to see if there is any gap between the service promised to the customer versus the actual customer experience. It has a lot of techniques like interviews, live chat, surveys, website behaviour, NPS, Focus Groups, emails and more. The information that you get from all these places consistently helps you get a much-evolved understanding of your customer.
#15 Ask for reviews:
Everyone wants social proof, especially businesses. Even your customers would want to flaunt the fact that they are using your product. Ask for reviews from your customers after a period of time when you know they have been making good use of your product. If they had a bad experience, it would be a great opportunity for you to make it right even before they could tell it to their friends and family. Working on the issue that they communicated to you can make them go from a disgruntled customer to a happy one.
Your customers are going to use product reviews for their buying decisions. If you don’t have any reviews on your website, then it doesn’t look good for you. In fact, here’s what we would advise, ask all your customers for a review, even the ones who have been your customers for a long time.
#16 Make customers confident about their purchase:
There was a time when customers were wary about buying products online. The reason was that they wanted to ‘feel’ the product before they buy. Businesses started taking professional pictures of their product from different angles so that the customer can be assured about what exactly they get. Make their digital experience memorable by alleviating their fear of getting a product that doesn’t look like the one they saw on the website.
#17 Build a community for your customers:
While building and maintaining a community for your customers is a difficult task because there are a lot of factors involved. You need to ensure that there is a lot of participation from the community members while you work on delivering content that piques the interest of everyone involved. It is a gateway to creating a lasting relationship with the customers. It is an easy way for you to conduct polls, customer feedback surveys, get them enrolled in loyalty programs, and more. You can drive the conversation there and once you build a thriving community, the members themselves will be answering questions of new customers. That’s how powerful it is.
#18 Loyalty programs:
Running a loyalty program for customers who are advocates for your brand is a great way to build your brand, and it ensures that they stay with you for a long time. It is a win-win for everybody as you are giving more reasons for your customers to stay with you while you are ensuring that the customer makes more purchases with you.
There are a lot of different ways in which you can devise loyalty programs. Sky’s the limit, well, at least your imagination is. When you offer something for your customers just to stay with you, they are more than likely to do so. Loyalty programs have been found to be extremely powerful in converting customers who are apathetic towards your cause to become advocates for your brand.
#19 Interact everywhere possible:
Do you see a stray comment on a random person’s Facebook profile about your product thanks to Google alerts? Do you ignore it because only a few people are going to see it or you think a comment on someone’s profile is too insignificant to warrant your attention, then you couldn’t be more wrong? As we have mentioned time and again, your customers are always watching you. They want you to appear out of nowhere to ease their stress.
It is a must that you interact with them anywhere you see your brand mentioned. Even if it is a rude comment, go out of your way to alleviate their anger. More than earning one customer, it is about being true to your word as a brand that cares about its customers.
#20 How-to use guides:
Give your customers materials that will help them use the product better. Write helpful how-to guides, FAQs, and other materials that will enhance their experience. It will smoothen things for the customers and will clear any doubts that they might have had when using the product. Also, give them opportunities to ask questions, if they have any.
#21 Be respectful:
You might get calls from customers that might be lame to you, but they have reached out to you because they are facing an issue and you are the only person to make it right. Ensure that customer service executives in your team are respectful towards your customer, no matter how unreasonable someone might sound. You are there to help the customer, not to judge any of their actions.
#22 Keep it simple:
Do you have any of your customers scratching their heads during any part of the buying process? Well, why would you make something difficult even if all your customers are scientists whose IQ puts them in the MENSA category? Customers want to get done with things at the earliest, they don’t want to waste time on anything. The easier it is, the better experience they have and are more likely to return to you as a customer.
#23 Create an unboxing experience:
If it is something that is affordable and is right for the kind of product you sell, you can create an unboxing experience for your customers. This is a great post purchase experience that you create and is a share-worthy one for your customers. They might even make a video of the unboxing and post a video on their social media handles. In fact, go out of your way to persuade your customers to post their unboxing experience online by using your brand’s social media handle names.
#24 Omni-channel support:
Your customers want to contact on any channel that they deem fit. Do not offer them a single point of communication. With CRMs ruling the roost, it becomes easy for you to maintain information about the customer’s order history and add additional information at a single place. This will smoothen the process even if you were to offer them different types of channels for customer support.
#25 Make a memorable post purchase experience:
Take a look at each step that happens post purchase of your product. How can you make moments that are memorable for your customer? You can do this for any part of this. It could be during onboarding or a week after they receive the product. Even something as simple as a hand-written message can make your customer feel extremely happy.
If you want to stay in business for a long time, you need to be cognizant of the fact that post purchase experience is a thing and deserves your team’s time, effort and experience. Helping your customers after they have opened their wallets for you seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of companies falter at this point. They have no agenda when it comes to retaining their customer with a smart post purchase experience program in place.
When you care, your customers will know that you have their best interests in mind, will appreciate you for the steps you take and would always have a good word to say about your business to their friends and family.
Understanding that a customer’s journey doesn’t end after the purchase will make your business extremely successful. Invest in post purchase experience, take pride in your customers and make sure they feel the same with you.