By Grace Lau
Remember the old adage ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’? This is the perfect comparison between existing and new customers for a business. Here’s a stat that highlights this point: Businesses have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to existing customers and between 5% to 20% chance with new customers.
If you’re a business owner, it’s in your best interests to nurture your relationships with existing customers and continue engaging with them even after the completion of sales. In this article we’ll look at how to really understand your customers and execute holistic customer engagement strategies that’ll keep them coming back for more.
Here are six customer engagement strategies to use post purchase:
1. Send a Thank You Email
This is a common courtesy but something businesses often overlook. We get so caught up in the technical nitty gritties of digital marketing and sales that we forget the human aspect of business. Your customers are real people who need a human connection with your brand, regardless of the product or service you’re selling. For example – you could be a small business call center offering bespoke customer service solutions for clients.
Your clients aka your customers need to know that you care about them and their needs. They need to feel valued so they can continue putting their trust in your business. In email marketing, a post-purchase email is not just a confirmation of a transaction. It is an opportunity for you to thank a customer for their patronage. You can personalize this process according to each unique buyer.
In the earlier example of a business call center providing customer service solutions, the thank you email could include a step-by-step run down of what happens next. How does the outsourcing work, what are the deliverables from the customer end? Granted the business would have shared all of this information beforehand, still, it’s a useful summary that tells your client that you’re invested in them.
You can also use a post-purchase email to guide customers to your blog. Blogs are an excellent platform for after hours customer engagement. You can use it to post a variety of content on industry-related topics. You can share articles, videos, infographics and more that customers can find useful.
For example – if you’re a digital marketing company, your customers will be interested to get your expertise on the latest marketing trends. A blog post on what is an affiliate marketing program is a good way to inform and educate customers. If they find your content useful and relevant, they will likely return to your blog and continue to engage with your brand.
2. Ask for Reviews
Did you know that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a positive review? A great way to keep customers engaged post purchase is to ask for reviews. When you ask for a review, customers feel like you value their opinion. Also, reviews tell you exactly what’s working and what’s not in your business.
When you ask for reviews, don’t be afraid to receive negative feedback. Remember, negative reviews help pinpoint any feature that needs fixing. For example – you’re an ecommerce business. You receive a review that mentions you need to improve your online buyer’s shipping experience. You can immediately work on resolving this issue. It could be a matter of changing your fulfillment partner.
You could try incentivizing reviews by offering discounts and other benefits like free shipping on the next order. This encourages customers to make additional purchases. Just be careful that offers are extended to all reviews – regardless of their nature. Asking for reviews is one of the most effective customer engagement strategies.
3. Send a Product Guide
A product guide is a great way to continue engaging customers even after their buyer journey ends. Guides and tutorials can be very useful in informing customers about how to get the most out of a product. For example- you’ve sold an HD conference calling phone. An in-depth guide on its features will certainly be helpful to optimize the value your customers get from it.
The great thing about product guides is that you can share them in different formats. Infographics and videos are usually the most effective methods for tutorials. Again, you could very well have shared this information beforehand. But sending a product guide post purchase keeps the line of communication open for longer. It demonstrates your interest in your client. This is how B2B marketers can stay customer-centric.
You could choose to provide links to your website’s FAQ section or even live tutorials which give your clients the chance to ask any questions they may have. Solid instructional guides address most customer queries and this ultimately reduces the pressure on your customer support.
4. Create an Online Community for Customers
One of the best ways of keeping customers engaged post purchase is to give them a platform to discuss and analyze your brand with other customers. Social media is a great platform for this. If you’re wondering how to use social media to promote your online shop, building an online community could be the answer.
For example, you are a startup women’s clothing company. You could set up a group on Facebook where customers can discuss your brand and maybe even share styling tips. In this way your customers become ambassadors for your brand. They also continue to engage with your business long after their actual purchase journey has ended.
This evidently creates brand loyalty. You could take an even more proactive step by directly engaging with customers on your social media platforms.
5. Upsell Other Products
A good way to use a post-purchase follow-up email to your sales advantage is to upsell or cross-sell related products or services. For example, a customer has just purchased a business conference phone system from you. A good and relevant upsell here would be an additional feature to forward a voicemail.
Businesses often try to push their latest products and services but these may not relate to the customer’s order. So, if a customer has bought a tennis racquet from you, it would make sense to try and upsell tennis balls. Sending them links to baseball bats wouldn’t be relevant. Any suggestion you make for cross selling or upselling should be tailored to your customer’s interests.
6. Offer Discounts on Their Next Purchase
One of the easiest ways to encourage repeat sales is to offer customers discounts on their next purchase. Ecommerce businesses in particular can benefit from this approach. You could send an offer or discount right after the first sale as part of your ecommerce email marketing strategy. A customer who has recently done business with you will feel valued by your offer. It shows that you want them to return a second or even third time. This also helps boost your ecommerce conversion rate.
To Sum Up
In this article we explored how customer engagement strategies post-purchase help you retain both existing and newly acquired customers. On top of that, you need to diversify your content strategy and approach to customer engagement. This could be by creating an online community for customers on your social media channels, or asking for reviews.
Whichever approach you choose, your customers need to be at the heart of it. They need to feel valued to keep coming back to your business.
About the Author
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud PBX and communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.