It is no surprise that companies that understand the customer journey and focus on perfecting each stage of the sales funnel are the ones who rise above their competitors. However, what is surprising is the lack of attention that so many companies place on the later stages of the process. So, why is it that post-purchase opportunities are often overlooked, even with all of the information marketers know about the importance of customer advocacy?
One reason could be that post-purchase is not on the purchase funnel framework that governed marketing behaviour for over fifty years (it is also the framework that over-emphasizes awareness-based advertising).
Another reason, perhaps, more importantly, is that CPG brands, along with icons like Coca-Cola, Levis and Nike, have a difficult time identifying precisely who their customers are, so it’s much more difficult to market to them. However, automotive, hospitality, grocery, airlines, credit cards, and e-commerce customers have a lot of customer data, meaning they should be much more effective post-purchase marketers.
Lastly, some categories such as home furnishing, automotive, insurance and health care have fewer repeat purchases (compared to grocers, apparel or restaurants). More focus is often placed on attracting new customers instead of getting recent purchasers to come back.
Why Is Post-Purchase Engagement so Important?
There are so many reasons why post-purchase engagement should be maintained. Not only do customer interactions lead buyers to find a brand more valuable, but they also offer customer insights that provide marketing direction in regards to retargeting and content strategies, and sales processes such as messaging and outreach methods.
With e-commerce sales rapidly increasing, traditional brick and mortar retailers now, more than ever, need to offer value propositions not available through online purchases. If value adds such as expert-level product knowledge, recommendations, and post-purchase follow-ups aren’t part of the buyer’s experience, what reason is there to look beyond next-day delivery or curbside pickup?
Be sure that whatever you do is authentic and purposeful.
Build a Strategy
It’s important to remember that post-purchase engagement must be approached strategically in order to be effective. You must identify the key steps within the purchase journey of your target audience and add touchpoints that include helpful, personalized information to promote a positive customer experience.
Develop content with messaging that supports various stages of the post-purchase funnel based on insights and data. Offer resources that reinforce confidence in buying decisions, both previous and future.
Collect customer reviews, either on the products themselves or the customer care experience, and use the received information to improve your approach.
Promote advocacy through loyalty or referral programs, utilizing word-of-mouth marketing to gain and retain a bullet-proof customer base.
Not every tactic is required to reap the benefits of post-purchase engagement; the idea certainly isn’t to spam your customers. Just be sure that whatever you do is authentic and purposeful.
So much of a customer’s overall experience is influenced by what happens AFTER the awareness and consideration stage.
It’s About Advocacy
So much of a customer’s overall experience is influenced by what happens AFTER the awareness and consideration stage. Not only do these interactions drive brand loyalty and subsequent sales, but they demonstrate that the consumer is valued for more than their transaction from an emotional standpoint.
Nowadays, customers have so many channels to voice their opinions, so do what you can to make their opinions good. Then, when you deliver a positive experience, start to finish and beyond, your customers will become your brand advocates.
Looking for more? You’re in luck.
Get started by downloading the first chapter of FIX: A NEW PRESCRIPTION TO CURE DISENGAGED CUSTOMERS, PROSPECTS OR STAFF. FIX takes a deep dive into what is required to build a Cult-Brand, including the importance of post-purchase behaviour.