Too often we see companies get so caught up in making the sale they forget that they’re really looking for repeat business and referrals. Yes, sales count, but if done right, getting to that sale and following up from that sale makes the next sale easier. That means starting to nurture a potential customer before the sale and continuing to nurture them after the sale. The key to customer experience is to start early and go the distance.
Here are three key touchpoints you need to excel at for the kind of customer experience that wins you repeat business and fans.
Nurture the Customer Experience Before They Buy
The pre-sale customer experience touchpoint builds connection. It starts with getting a potential customer’s eyes on you. Think of a blog post that brings them to your website or an intriguing ad. From there you build confidence and trust, maybe with a giveaway, a free consult, a sample, or a discount to try.
To build trust, you also answer questions. Whether you do that proactively through FAQs, blog posts, information on your sales page, and webinars, or reactively through phone, email, or chat support, it is essential to make it easy for potential customers to get questions answered.
Through all these steps, focus on value. While not making the ask is a problem, only making the ask is too. Even when you’re in heavy sell mode like during the launch of a new program or a key buying season like the holidays, give value. Read more about why value-first marketing is critical.
Make the Whole Process Easy
You’ve got their attention and delivered value. They are warmed up and ready to buy from you. When it’s time for the sale, keep delivering value and make sure each step is easy, clear, and branded.
Continue to anticipate questions: How much is shipping? Can it get it by Friday? Does it run big or small? What if I can’t make it to the event? Customers continue to have questions as they start to move through the buying process, and each one could derail them. To keep them moving forward, make it easy to communicate.
Communication really matters. We considered Asana for our business, but after searching their website we couldn’t find a customer service phone number to get questions answered—not encouraging. Bench, on the other hand, has many ways to communicate and provides an immediate response. Sold.
Communication can be a defining characteristic for small to mid-sized businesses. So how do you overcome staffing and budget issues? Try one of these approaches:
- Use FAQs effectively—That means choosing the most common and burning questions customers have—and giving answers with personality. You want customers to feel like they are talking to you, not reading from a manual. If your brand is quirky, your FAQ should be too.
- Use online chat—Chat allows several issues to be covered at once. Make it available when other communication options aren’t or use it during your biggest sales hours.
- Find out how customers like to be contacted—Email or text alerts?
- Be clear on your hours—If you don’t have 24-7 customer service, make sure customers know when they can reach you (including time zone) and when they will hear back from you if they get in touch after hours.
Other ways to connect during the sale itself: offer a coupon or on-page reward. To make this a truly solid touchpoint, keep offers branded and customer relevant. Anticipate wrinkles in the checkout process. For example, let people know they can review their order before they finalize it. Think clarity and communication for the win.
Follow Up Immediately for a Great Customer Experience
You made the sale. Don’t stop now. One of the most important touchpoints comes after the sale. (See why the last touchpoint matters so much.)
First, express gratitude and reminder the customer that they made a great choice. You can’t say thank you too often. We recommend including it on the order confirmation web page or email and on the receipt or box insert.
After thank you, be helpful: Send tips on using and getting the most out of the purchase. Keep adding value, so instead of just “You might also like . . . “, those tips might look like: “Grant Morrow saved $300 last month by using this service. What will you save?” or “One of our readers recommended dipping our apple chips in our peanut butter–chocolate sauce. Yum!”
The customer experience is really ongoing. When you look at it, wherever people are in the sales process, you want to connect, communicate, and bring value.
Modi Marketing helps companies set up foundation systems to ensure a smooth company and customer experience. Need help nailing all the key customer experience touchpoints? We can help.