You and your business put a huge amount of effort, time (and money) into winning new business. It’s like a romance between you and your prospect. But once the sale is made, what then?
Thinking about the customer decision-making process, it’s the final stage that I want to focus on in this blog and look at how we can ensure the post purchase behaviour is positive, through good communication.
Ideally you want your customer to feel good, have no regrets and be happy with their purchase. If they don’t feel like that, the likelihood is that they won’t buy from you again and worse, they may tell others not to as well. A positive experience on the other hand, will create loyalty and trust which ensures the customer returns time and time again.
Taking product quality out of the equation and focusing on the human element, what can you do to create a positive post purchase experience?
Provide outstanding customer service.
Being responsive, available, and accessible to your customer will make them feel reassured that they made the right investment in buying from your business.
Work on the verbal and written relationship, ensuring that you build a nice amount of rapport with the person. Consistency and frequency also matter. How can you build rapport with someone you speak to once every blue moon?
A CRM system could help you keep on top of this, which also nicely links to the second point.
Have a personalised approach.
Having a personalised approach to your communication, providing information tailored to the needs of the person you’re communicating to, will really help to provide that all important reassurance that the business not only knows what it’s doing but that it cares about its customers.
CRM databases allow you to record your interactions with your customers, keep track of their likes and dislikes and help you generate a personal relationship with them each time you communicate. You don’t have to remember that Bob goes kayaking at the weekends with his family, log it in the CRM system and next time you speak to him, ask him about it. People love talking about themselves!
Personalised marketing is huge, from personalised emails to personalised web content. In fact, it's a whole other blog in its own right, but you have to be mindful of GDPR and a CRM system can help you manage that.
Establish two-way communication.
Not only will your customer feel great to be ‘heard’ but effective communication starts with listening. When was the last time you asked your customers what they thought of your business, your products/services or anything else for that matter? The answers could be invaluable and open up all sorts of opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on.
Have efficient delivery processes in place.
Providing a service or product can be fraught with challenges from time slippages to shipping difficulties. We know some things cannot be avoided, that’s life, and your customer knows that too, but it’s the way we deal with problems that makes the most difference.
Think about the language or the medium you use to deliver bad news. Whilst it might be tempting to hide behind an email, remember that written word has no tone of voice, so you could be opening yourself up to all sorts of misunderstandings.
If there are problems, remain responsive, available and accessible but also have empathy for your customer. Demonstrate that empathy and ensure them you are on their side. At the end of the process you want them to remember you for the positive way you dealt with issues.
Ensure your staff are well trained.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so if you have someone in your team with a bad attitude, you might want to consider some well-placed training, or consider their future. They could be damaging your brand and reputation.
Be clear about the small print.
There are often terms and conditions of sale that could have negative effects, if they are absolutely necessary, don’t hide them, be transparent about them from the outset. Finding out down the line when it’s too late, just leaves the customer with a bad taste in their mouth and that trust has gone.
Follow up with a thank you.
The chances are your customers didn’t need to pick you. They could have gone with your competition. So, make them feel good by saying thank you. There are many ways that you can show your appreciation, loyalty schemes or discounts off future purchases for example, create added value for both parties.
Most of all remember, humans like to moan more than we like to praise. Negative feedback travels faster and further than positive feedback, so make sure you do all you can to limit it.
How can The Design Grove help?
Setting a CRM system up can leave many people scratching their heads as to where to begin. We have extensive experience in project managing the roll out of CRM systems and databases, so if you are looking to go down a direct marketing route with your communication, get in touch.