I just bought a new vacuum. Not very exciting, but stay with me. My 100-year-old house produces more dust than the two asthmatics in my family could handle. We needed a “high-end, sealed system, HEPA filter, captures 100% of all particles” kind of gadget. It was an expensive necessity, and we had to get it fast.
When the vacuum arrived, I found that it worked well, but there were all sorts of numbers, dials, and buttons that weren’t intuitive. The packaging included a complex manual, but with a busy work and family life, what I wanted was something I could quickly skim and review. For instance, a friendly email from the manufacturer with a brief vacuum video tutorial would have been perfect. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), I received no such post-purchase communication despite the premium price I paid for my purchase.
The Power of Post Purchase
In the age of rising consumer expectations, brands need to consider where they can add customer value. After all, customer relationships don’t end at checkout.
Post-purchase marketing is about interacting with customers after they buy your product or service. Focusing on post purchase can help improve your brand recognition, increase customer satisfaction, and– if done well–can turn a customer into a brand advocate who’ll help drive more business. The progression makes sense–the more informed and empowered customers feel, the more satisfied they are with their choice, and the more likely they are to recommend your product or brand.
Gartner correctly predicted what we’re now experiencing–a customer experience battlefield. It said that by 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will implement significant business model changes to improve customer experience. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Zappos are leading the way.
So what could this vacuum manufacturer do in the future to improve its customer post-purchase experience?
Thank & educate | Send a thank you email that includes links to product-related online video tutorials and related accessories. Brand benefits? Reduce costs by decreasing call center inquiries and returns, improve customer satisfaction, and cross-sell.
Gain Feedback | Send a survey to encourage customers to rate and review the product and follow up communications. Include open fields for qualitative feedback. Brand benefits? Use feedback for product and post purchase communication improvement.
Stay in touch | Send follow-up communications to educate on how–and when–to maintain the product. Again include links to related accessories. Invite purchasers to a customer forum and include social links. Send alerts when new product models are available. Brand benefits? Further increase customer satisfaction, cross-sell, up-sell, educate, and build community.
Post Purchase–Start Today
Focus on post-purchase customer experience pays dividends both in customer satisfaction and revenue. Engage with customers. Get to know their specific pain points, wants, and needs. How are you working to resolve these issues? What is your post-purchase experience now? Where do you want it to be? Envision this post-purchase future. Plan, build, and implement customer-focused post purchase strategies. And don’t forget to measure these programs to see how well they perform. You’ll be glad you did.
Read how CoolBlue, a major e-commerce company, managed to increased customer satisfaction and reduced costs through post-purchase initiatives via Selligent.