You don’t have to be a marketing professional to know that good customer communications are fundamentally important in building customer loyalty. We know it from personal experience: brands that communicate with us in the right way, at the right time, and with the right information make a good impression and we’re more likely to shop with them again.
However, what’s only now becoming clear is just how important one specific area of customer communications is to customer loyalty: those that take place after a product or service has been bought.
One-third of the consumers Narvar spoke to would shun retailers that fail to provide useful follow-up communications after a purchase.
Narvar recently undertook a study of UK consumers that revealed just how important post-purchase communications are; with customers increasingly judging their entire online shopping experiences on how retailers communicate with them after they click the ‘Buy’ button. We found that one-third of the consumers we spoke to would shun retailers that fail to provide useful follow-up communications after a purchase.
So, what makes for good post-purchase communications? Based on our latest research we’ve identified five key ways that you can improve your post-purchase experience to help build customer loyalty.
- Communicate across all channels.
The case for omnichannel comms is well understood, and it applies to post-purchase too: you need to be able to reach your customers on the channels and platforms of their choice – from email and live chat to social and messaging apps. Our research reveals that successful retailers will also look to imbed emerging technologies such as chatbots and voice-controlled systems to give them an edge.
- Share bad news as well as good. Fifty-three percent of consumers said they would shop again with a retailer that told them bad news straight away. Shoppers want to hear from retailers at every stage of the purchase journey – so, consider sending direct messages; even if it’s ‘sorry, we’ve encountered a problem – here’s how we’re dealing with it’. The important thing is to reassure your customers you are still working on their behalf.
- Be exact. The more detailed information you can provide the better. Consumers don’t want grey areas – 48%, for example, said that lack of information about when a product would arrive would stop them making a purchase online. It’s therefore important to provide customers with estimated delivery dates on your product pages and at checkout. This can reduce shipping anxiety and increase the number of people who click ‘Buy’.
- Be polite. It sounds simple, but it’s something brands often get wrong. People like to be treated online as they’re treated in a real-world shop: with courtesy. Our research shows that even something as simple as sending a ‘thank you’ message after a sale can increase loyalty.
- Communicate promptly. A clear takeaway from our research is that people like to get important information on their order in a timely fashion. Sixty-one percent of the shoppers we spoke to said they would return to a retailer that communicates to them directly and quickly about their order.
Post-purchase communication is a hugely important part of the wider holistic customer experience. Retailers that get these communications right stand to build brand equity and win that rarest of thing: true customer loyalty.
Customers judge their online shopping experience in large part based on how retailers communicate with them after they click the ‘Buy’ button. Download our latest study and learn how to optimise your post-purchase communication strategy.