The best relationship with your customers is not built while selling to them, it is built in the post-sale phase.
Unfortunately, most businesses do not realize this tenet and tend to compromise on the post-sale customer experience.
Studies by PwC found that this can have a devastating effect — at least 59% of US customers were found to be walking away after several bad experiences. 17% of them left after just one bad experience. (PwC – Experience is everything).
That brings us to the question — how to create a great post-sale customer experience? What best practices can a brand adopt to ensure that customers are feeling special and valued even after the transaction is complete.
Here are some best practices to elevate your post-sale customer experience:
Win return users with mobile-friendliness
Guess what is the instant reaction for most users when they encounter a problem with a product that they just bought? They run an online search to find a solution. If you have a knowledge base or FAQ section on your website, it can guide users to solving the problem.
However, the challenge is not in hosting the solution on your website. It is the way that it is served that makes a difference. Your website might have a stunning desktop experience, but, if it falters on the mobile experience, it will lead to a bad experience.
Why? More than 63% of Google searches in the US originate from a mobile device (Quoracreative). The situation should be similar in the rest of the world as well.
Hence, the need to craft a fine mobile-friendly experience on your website. Your return visitors are looking for solutions that are easy to find, access, and implement. Your mobile website is the gateway to that.
Be available 24×7 with live chat software
Live chat software is a medium that makes it possible to drive conversations with customers at scale. It spares businesses from the need to man their website chat with a human agent at all times.
Artificial intelligence enables the live chat software to respond to customer queries with canned responses. When the software encounters instances that it is not programmed for, it deflects the conversation to an agent’s email, phone, or helpdesk ticket as the case may be.
The live chat software will ensure that the customer is getting an instant response — almost akin to a response to their sales inquiry even after the sales transaction is complete. This would make them feel valued and encourage them to engage in future transactions with the brand.
Ask them what they feel about post-sale surveys
There is no better way to know how your customers feel than to ask them. Feedback surveys can help with that. They can be sent via email, social media, or even through SMS.
However, instead of asking a plain ‘How was your last purchase?” question, surveys can ask strategic questions that can gather the true response of customers.
Another benefit of surveys is that they help segment customers into various categories based on their survey responses. Net Promoter Score (learn more) is one such tool. It classifies users as Promoters, passives, or detractors by asking a single question: “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?”
- Detractors are users whose score is below 6 and hence are at a higher risk of churning
- Passives are users whose score is 7 to 8 and hence are close to churning if they are not made promoters
- Promoters are happy customers who are willing to refer the product or service to their friends or a colleague
How can these surveys help improve the post-sale customer experience?
The survey responses can bring to light issues that customers may not otherwise communicate.
When they are asked whether they are willing to refer the product to their family or colleague, they are inclined to find shortcomings that they would like to be sorted out. This, in turn, can help gaps in customer experience that can be filled.
Create a customer loyalty program
The benefits of lasting customer loyalty cannot be stressed enough. It is an intangible asset that delivers immense value in terms of brand equity, referrals, and also lifetime value. That said, customer loyalty and customer experience have a connecting thread.
It is repetitive positive customer experiences that lead to customer loyalty. Customers remain loyal to a food chain, a watch brand, an airline, and so on because these brands have managed to deliver positive experiences throughout the span of the relationship.
That is why it is necessary to create a customer loyalty program. It will ensure that customers are incentivized for remaining loyal to the brand. Also, it will ensure that they will consider letting go of one or two negative experiences that are sometimes inevitable, especially in the B2C business model.
The Starbucks customer loyalty program is perhaps one of the classic examples of this. ‘My Starbucks Coffee” gives customers rewards of one star for every dollar spent. These stars collected can be used to redeem free food and drinks.
Customer Experience: The Key To Lasting Relationships Post-sales
The gravest customer complaints are inevitably raised after the sale has happened. A slip or two from the company’s side can force the customer to kick off a Tweetstorm that is peppered with ranting, accurate writing, and even loud thinking of switching to competitors.
For any business that wants to grow its business and keep its existing customer base intact, this means delivering a positive customer experience before-sales and post-sales.
Fortunately, there are several tools available in the market today that can help manage customer experience. Customer experience management platforms like Feedier help businesses to listen, analyze, and convert customer feedback into actionable insights.
With tools like these and the best practices described above, any business would be able to put a smile on the customer’s face even after the sales transaction is complete.
Author’s Bio: Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech and marketing. He is a frequent contributor to Tweak Your Biz. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.