After the sale is done and you’ve shipped your customer’s order it’s time to look for the next sale, right? Well yes, and no. The market is full of brands now, and consumers are less and less loyal to a particular brand so “total customer experience” is more important than ever.
Naturally when growing a business the primary focus is on sales because without that you don’t have a business. Creating loyalty is paramount in today’s online world and a great way to do that is by focusing on the “post-sale experience”. By this I mean what happens after you’ve shipped your customer order and how does that perpetuate potential future sales because it was memorable for them?
Getting the sale is all about inviting your customer in and getting future sales is all about giving them the warm fuzzies afterwards.
Remember the goal in this loyal-less world is to generate more loyalty because it drives not only more sales, but sales with a higher average order value (AOV). Brands that don’t get this right will not grow like they could. Online commerce made this a reality because when it was just brick and mortar retail stores very few companies actually had loyalty points or other programs that kept you coming back. For most it was, “hope to see you again sometime”, and that was it. And off you went.
Getting the sale is all about inviting your customer in and getting future sales is all about giving them the warm fuzzies afterwards. This is the post sale experience and it’s quite simple to implement something with a little work and process mapping. I recently had an amazing experience with Sunski and their post sale process for reinforcing my decision to buy from them will certainly result in more purchases of their sunglasses.
The post sale experience starts the moment your customer finishes the payment step. From there you want them to feel like you’re always one step ahead of them. This creates trust and they’ll be saying, “wow this brand is really on top of it”. When you proactively guide them you eliminate unnecessary emails to your CS team for status on their order etc.
The following are the main areas of implementation.
Order Confirmation - This is where you thank your customer and tell them what they can expect and when, from this point onwards. You’re setting the table here so they immediately know you’ve got them covered. This is a good place to communicate other points of interest for them e.g. upcoming line launches, your blog or other relevant info.
Shipping Confirmation - Now you’ve shipped their order (hopefully the same business day or no more than 24 business hours later) and you’ve got a chance to reinforce what they can expect and again, include other info of interest. Everyone does the standard notification. Take it up a notch.
Delivery Updates - Now it’s time to simplify the communication since you’ve already established trust with the order and shipment confirmations. After the shipment notification you should tell them when it’s “almost there” and when it’s delivered to their doorstep. Imagine on a Tuesday you get the “almost there” email and Wednesday you get the “delivered” email. You’d be super excited to get home! Some platforms have these tools built in but if not there’s apps in the marketplace that do this.
When your customer opens your package do they get sunshine in a box?
Delivered - You’ve arrived home, ripped open the packaging and now what? This is what my former boss, Bob Hurley, taught me. It’s called “Sunshine in a Box”. When your customer opens your package do they get sunshine in a box? Do you have custom packaging, info inserts and create a wow experience when they open it? Did you seal the deal for a future order for them? Note, this assumes your product is amazing. And if there’s an issue, do they have a clear way to fix or return it, hassle free?
Follow Up and Review - About 10 days after delivery your customer receives an email asking how they like the product so far and ask for a review. Include other things like, “Top Sellers” or if you bought these you might like these product listings. Consider using a reviews app to facilitate this.
If you’re not utilizing all of the touch points I just covered then you’re missing out on the potential to keep your customers coming back over and over. But you’re motivated and you’ve got great products so go on, make it happen! Good luck and happy “wowing” to you!