Don’t Forget the Post-Purchase Experience
It’s far easier and more cost-effective to sell to an existing customer than it is to a new customer, so it is imperative that we nurture our existing customer relationships. Traditionally, many companies have invested their resources into transactional marketing. This short-sighted approach misses important opportunities to build a dedicated community that continues doing business with you long after their initial purchase. It’s time to leave transactional marketing in the dust and instead ensure every stage of the customer journey is positive. A full-funnel approach includes the post-purchase experience. This stage of the journey has a significant impact on your customers’ future purchase decisions. Brands can potentially double their revenue within 36 months by investing in customer experience initiatives. Here are three ideas to get you started.
Maximize the potential of your Review Solicitation Email (RSE)
Your review solicitation emails should focus on your customer’s experience with your brand and the product they purchased. A review solicitation email can serve a dual purpose if done right — collecting reviews and deepening your customer relationships.
The key to a good RSE that does both is in how you position it. A review request that’s too straightforward can come off as cold or self-serving. Instead, use this opportunity to show that your brand is invested in the customer’s experience, and thus the customer. Make it clear that you’re asking for this feedback because you want to ensure they had and will continue to have, the best possible experience (and if they didn’t, or don’t, that you want to make it right). Many shoppers who experience minor problems will never mention them because they aren’t worth the effort involved to reach out. By being proactive with post-purchase emails, you’re starting a conversation with your customers. Shoppers who may have kept silent about these issues — while making sure to never buy from you again — feel more comfortable voicing their concerns. When you know about a problem, you can make it right. Customers have an overwhelmingly positive response to companies that ask for feedback and then address any concerns. These interactions make shoppers feel more connected to your brand, and small issues are forgiven quickly. When done right, a seemingly simple RSE can provide your company with valuable product insights, reviews that increase conversions, and opportunities to win the loyalty of your customers.
Collect Customer-Generated Content (CGC) Straight from Customers’ Inboxes
It’s essential to make collecting customer-generated content as easy as possible. When sending review solicitation emails or any other email requesting CGC, allow customers to respond within the email. If you reduce the amount of friction involved in the submission process, you will see a dramatic increase in the number of responses you receive.
TurnTo created “Inbox Submission” to help brands enable this capability. Customers don’t want to launch a web page or navigate to your site to leave their feedback, especially if they’re using a mobile device. Inbox Submission embeds the review form directly into the email so customers can provide content with ease. This technology can help increase CGC submissions by as much as 200%. In addition to garnering more product reviews, a great submission rate means you get to learn more about your customers’ experiences and identify any opportunities to make improvements to your product or customer service. From a shopper’s point of view, this type of seamless interaction leaves a great impression, especially in contrast to your competitors who don’t provide this quality user experience. Every touchpoint on the customer journey should be easy and positive, even something as small as responding to a review request email. It’s solid evidence that your company is invested in its customers from start to finish.
Make it Personal
As technology has advanced, so have shoppers’ expectations. Personalized marketing has a major impact on customer engagement, loyalty, and conversions. Customers are 91% more likely to shop with brands that offer personalized experiences such as relevant offers and tailored recommendations. Personalization has moved from a “nice to have” to a “have to have” if brands want to survive in today’s competitive retail environment.
Meeting your customers’ expectations is the foundation of a good customer experience. By collecting and analyzing consumer data, you can optimize your marketing to reflect the level of personalization customers expect. The post-purchase stage of the customer journey is full of opportunities to impress shoppers with tailor-made content to both meet, and exceed, their expectations. You can provide customized product recommendations on your site or in emails. A line such as, “Your new bathing suit looks fab! All you need now are some sunnies and a hat,” can make a huge impact in a post-purchase email. It highlights that this is a one-on-one experience by acknowledging what they bought and making complementary product recommendations. Another great post-purchase experience for your customers is to provide them with tips on how they can get the most out of the item they purchased. For example, if a customer bought a casserole dish, you could share a highly rated casserole recipe or tips on keeping the dish looking great for years to come. These personalized experiences enhance a shopper’s satisfaction with their purchase and your brand, ensuring they will return to you again and again.
Going Beyond the Marketing Funnel
The post-purchase experience is just as important as every other stage of the customer journey. There is enormous potential in building strong relationships with your customers by showing that your company doesn’t stop caring about them as soon as their credit card clears. The ideas we suggested here will get your post-purchase marketing off to a great start. You can also sign up for TurnTo’s free demo to find out the many ways we can help improve the customer experience from Awareness to Advocacy.