6 steps to create loyal customers in e-commerce
So much is written about how to attract new customers, how to move them down the funnel and convince them to buy, how to convert them. But growing your business isn’t just about conversions.
The customer experience doesn’t end with “Pay now.”
Customers are still experiencing your brand after they buy. The webpages they see, the follow-up emails they receive, the customer support responses — all of these touch points continue to shape their view of your business.
How customer experiences continues after the sale
Gartner defines customer experience management as “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”
Let’s break down the last three components:
- Satisfaction = happy with their purchase or interactions with your business.
- Loyalty = returning to your business for future purchases.
- Advocacy = recommending you via reviews and word of mouth.
All three take place after the first sale. You need to nurture these customers beyond the transaction.
Ultimately, in the realm of customer experience (CX), you want to make a good last impression. Be memorable...in a good way.
Because you want customers to come back!
Positive post-purchase CX creates return customers
Despite what they say, you can put a price on loyalty.
In nearly all business models, customer retention is more cost effective than acquisition. It’s easier and cheaper to bring a buyer back than to find a new one!
Plus, people will pay more for a pleasant experience, and they’ll switch brands after a bad one. An Oracle study on consumer and brand relationships found that 86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience, and 89 percent of consumers went to a competitor following a poor customer experience.
Poor CX leads not only to lost customers, but also potentially to negative reviews, missing out on potential customers, and further lost revenue.
Enough about the benefits of a positive customer experience. Here’s how to make sure a customer stays happy even after they’ve made a purchase.
Six tips to create a positive post-purchase CX
1- Keep your visual branding consistent. The colors, font type, logo and other design elements should stay consistent through check out, to the payment confirmation page, receipts/invoices, “thank you” emails, newsletters, and whatever other marketing you have going on. The professionalism of consistent branding builds credibility and makes a customer feel good about choosing to hand over their money (and personal details) to you.
To keep the customer experience consistent and personalized across all your channels, consider using a content management system or CMS. In order to automate some of these customer touchpoints, try using email marketing services and Quaderno's customizable automatic billing feature.
2- Tax accurately. Here’s another trust building tip, and it’s an important one because the law is actually involved! Complying with local tax policies is a crucial part of your credibility, and whether it’s done right can impact the post-purchase customer experience.
- Apply a rate that’s too high, the buyer will be rightfully angry that you took more of their money than necessary. (What accusations could that lead to?)
- Charge too little, and you either have to:
- Contact the customer after the sale and explain the problem (YIKES). Pay the tax out of your own pocket.
3- Follow up with an invoice or receipt in their native language. If you’re selling across borders, consider sending post-purchase documents that have already been translated into the customer’s language. This not only shows high-quality, thoughtful service — but also shows professionalism and builds trust that you’re a successful international business. There are various translation tools at your disposal to help you show this simple but powerful gesture.
4- Add other human touches and personalization. Small actions can make a customer feel seen and appreciated, and help build a personal relationship with your brand. Call them by their first name in emails. Using Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? Shout out the customer on social media! Find ways to automate these friendly gestures so that they’re scalable as your business grows.
5- Keep customer support simple. Make it super easy for buyers to contact customer service and super clear how to do so. Give them a time estimate so they know when they’ll hear from you. Do you usually get back to requests within 24 hours, within two business days, or longer? Many customers won’t mind waiting as long as they know there’s a wait. Expectation setting is key to building trust! You can consider investing in a customer support software to make the customer support process smoother thereby enhancing your customer's experience
6- Provide self-service billing options. If your customers have a question about their payment, want to check their billing history, or change their credit card information, allow them to access and edit such records on their own. If they have a messy email inbox, no problem — their receipts will all be digitally logged in one place.
A self-service billing portal is better for both your customers and your business. That way, small tasks are handled on the spot, and you get a break from customer service requests. :)
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