What are your top business goals? For most online store owners, customer acquisition is a top goal. Acquiring customers usually requires many tweaks on your online store's front and back end.
Successful businesses don't stop at acquiring customers. They strive to give their customers a great post-purchase experience. You need to nurture your customers even after they click that ‘buy’ button on your website.
After all, the post-purchase experience can define how customers feel about your store and brand. And these feelings will likely determine whether they’ll visit your store again to make repeat purchases or recommend your brand to their friends and family.
A 2022 Emplify survey backs that up, finding that 63% of people leave brands due to poor customer experience, making the customer experience one of the keys to customer retention.
With that in mind, let’s see how you can ensure a great post-purchase experience for your customers. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Importance of a Great Post-Purchase Experience
- Customer’s Journey
- Post-Purchase Behavior
- How To Ensure Customers Stay in the Post-Purchase Loyalty Loop
- Final Thoughts: Enhance the Post-Purchase Experience for Customer Retention
Importance of a Great Post-Purchase Experience
According to Brain & Company, 5% customer retention results in a 25% increase in business revenue. That means existing customers offer a higher return on investment than new customers.
It’s not just about the repeat purchases; loyal customers often become brand ambassadors, bringing in more revenue through their friends and family. Overall, positive post-purchase experiences result in increased brand reputation and revenue.
In a competitive market, it’s not easy to gain customers’ loyalty. Hence, it’s not just sufficient to understand the customer’s needs. You need to follow their customer journey and strive to offer a positive experience at every stage of it.
Understanding your customer journey helps you improve the marketing and sales efforts across its stages. Let’s explore the main stages in a customer’s journey.
In this stage, customers identify they have a problem to solve or an opportunity to pursue. The customer is aware that they need to make a purchase to fulfill their need, but they aren’t sure what could be a possible solution.
The customer starts gathering information about how others have solved this issue. They might seek referrals from their friends or search on the internet.
In this stage, the customer has already defined their need or problem and has identified multiple solutions. The customer carefully evaluates the pros and cons of each solution. They will also check how cost-effective each solution is.
Now, the customer knows what product or service they need. The decision stage is where they assess several brands and choose the specific brand that best fits their needs.
The customer’s journey doesn’t end when they make a purchase. Soon after the purchase, the customer starts evaluating their purchase decision. They don’t just consider the quality of the service or product. They also reflect upon:
- The check-out process
- Shipment tracking
- Communication with customer representatives
- The onboarding process
Based on their evaluation, they soon come to a verdict about their new purchase. That verdict affects the customer's future purchases and engagement with the brand.
The post-purchase behavior defines how customers feel and what actions they take after a purchase. Along with the product/service quality, several other factors affect a customer’s post-purchase behavior. Customer behavior could be positive or negative based on how a brand stays true to its claims and treats its customers.
Positive vs. Negative Post-Purchase Behaviors
On one end of the spectrum, you have highly-satisfied customers who will write ravishing reviews and endorse your brand. On the other end, customers might regret their decision to purchase.
Highly-satisfied customers display positive post-purchase behaviors such as writing positive reviews, making repeated purchases, and recommending the brand to others. Customers disappointed with their purchase will show negative behaviors — writing bad reviews and switching brands.
It’s crucial to observe and influence your customer’s post-purchase behavior to improve your customer retention rate and revenue.
How To Ensure Customers Stay in the Post-Purchase Loyalty Loop
The customer loyalty loop is the path customers take when they make repeat purchases. Getting customers into the loyalty loop is highly rewarding for brands as it increases customer lifetime value and brand reputation.
A positive post-purchase experience urges customers to stay in the loyalty loop. Let’s see how you can create a customer experience that results in positive post-purchase behaviors and retains them in the loyalty loop.
The moment a customer makes a purchase, the post-purchase communication channel opens. Prompt and transparent communication plays a great role in creating a positive post-purchase experience.
There are multiple types of post-purchase emails.
A well-crafted welcome email is a crucial touchpoint in communicating with customers. You need to leverage the welcome mail to build brand loyalty.
To do that, you can:
- Personalize your welcome email and address the customer by name.
- Ensure the welcome mail has helpful information for the customer.
- Invite the customer to your brand and make them feel special.
- Ensure the mail is clutter-free and focus on a single call to action.
You may want to create multiple welcome mail templates for different customer segments.
Food52 sends a welcome mail that offers customers some great deals. They also include the founders' image, which will help them earn the customer's trust.
Other Types of Email Communication
- Information about exclusive deals and offers.
- Suggestions on how to make the best use of their purchase.
- A curated list of products that will complement their current purchase.
- Invitation to special events.
- Timely reminders for refills and subscription renewals.
- General follow up emails about customer experience.
You can also use a newsletter builder to create engaging newsletters and develop rapport with customers.
Post-Purchase Customer Support
The quality of your customer support influences how customers feel about your brand. Customers feel valued when you help them solve their issues and ease them into your products.
Streamlined Omnichannel Support
Customers prefer communication through different channels. So you need to extend your support through channels such as:
- Live chat.
- Video/audio calls.
- Face-to-face consultations.
- Social media.
Providing omnichannel support reduces friction between your customers and the support team. It also helps streamline support workflows and achieve quick resolutions to any issues, thus empowering your support teams to take quick, actionable steps.
Demos and Tutorials
Some customers prefer to do things themselves without contacting a customer support representative. Tutorials and how-to guides are a great way to communicate with this customer group.
Ensure your tutorials and guides are:
- Tailor-made for different customer segments.
- Available in different formats, online and offline.
- Capable of solving very specific questions.
Offering top-notch customer support is essential to avoid customer dissonance and negative post-purchase behaviors. Hence, post-purchase customer support should be crucial for your customer retention strategy.
Post-Purchase Customer Service
Soon after their first purchase, customers might feel anxious about their decision. Uncertainties around shipping and their knowledge about alternate choices might increase their anxiety.
Customer service should alleviate that anxiety by answering questions about:
- Product specification and usage.
- Product compatibility.
- Shipping and package tracking.
- Return and refund policy.
Customer support should also help the customers return or exchange the product if they wish. The brand should have a transparent return policy and a hassle-free refund process to make this process easy.
Contact Options for Customers
It’s doubtful whether machines can fully take over human interactions in customer service. While human-to-human interactions could be more authentic, you may want to use artificial intelligence-based customer service for simple service questions.
Just like your customer support, customer service should also be available through various channels such as:
- Social Media.
- Live Chat.
An excellent post-purchase service will help new customers connect with your brand and feel confident about their purchase decision.
Good customer service, communication, and support will ensure satisfied customers, but you need a few more ingredients to nurture customer loyalty. Customers who feel connected with a brand will help the brand grow through word-of-mouth publicity.
Businesses often have customer loyalty programs to build a pool of dedicated customers.
However, you need to go above and beyond the standard loyalty schemes to earn your customer’s loyalty and turn them into your brand promoters.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Create and manage a customer community around your brand.
- Nurture conversations and companionship within your customer community.
- Empower customers with information about your products.
- Create a positive brand image that’s inclusive and diverse.
- Create an innovative loyalty program with great offers and incentives.
For example, the Harley Owners Group is a community nurtured by Harley-Davidson for its loyal customers.
Measure Post-Purchase Satisfaction
We’ve discussed methods to ensure customer satisfaction. It’s not just enough to make your customers happy. You also need to understand what they feel about your brand.
Requesting customer reviews is the best way to measure their satisfaction. It also makes the customers feel valued.
However, collecting customer reviews may not be easy, and you need to strategize how you want to approach customers for their feedback. Here are some tips for asking for reviews:
- Ask for reviews at the right time, especially after the customer had a positive experience.
- Make it super simple to leave reviews by offering omnichannel support and templates.
- Ask for reviews in person or send them a personal note.
Amazon is a classic example of creating an extensive review ecosystem for its customers. They have made product reviews an integral part of the business process.
Another method of gauging customer satisfaction is by asking for their suggestions. You must have an open channel for suggestions on your website, like the suggestion boxes in physical stores. Forms are an excellent way to collect customer feedback.
Final Thoughts: Enhance the Post-Purchase Experience for Customer Retention
A brand’s job isn’t done when they acquire new customers. The post-purchase experience is crucial for customer retention, future revenue, and the brand’s reputation.
Exceeding customer expectations will encourage customers to stay in the loyalty loop and display positive post-purchase behavior.
Brands can create a positive customer experience by:
- Offering excellent post-purchase communication.
- Enabling quick customer support and service.
- Nurturing post-purchase loyalty.
- Measuring customer satisfaction.
However, keep in mind that incorporating these customer retention efforts won’t yield positive results if they aren’t paired with a reliable ecommerce platform. Try out Nexcess’ WooCommerce Hosting and give customers and prospects the environment they need to become loyal, long-lasting customers.