Customer Experience News & Trends

3 ways to increase buying and revenue

“It is less expensive to keep the customers you have than to try to go out and win new customers,” said Bill Gessert, president of the International Customer Service Association. 

To that avail, it’s equally important to ensure that the experiences after the initial sale are seamless and memorable, Gessert said.

Here are three ways to increase buying and revenue through great post-sale customer experiences:

1. Spark word-of-mouth

Unfortunately, people love to share stories of terrible customer experiences. Worse yet, social media makes it easier than ever, and the consequences are often worse.

Now the good news: More customers talked about good experiences than their bad experiences across eight of 12 industries included in a Forrester study.

There’s no better time to get customers to talk about you in a positive way than right after the sale. You put a lot into making a good first impression — from an impressive website to quick, thorough responses from sales and service professionals. While that’s fresh in customers’ minds, encourage them to tell others about their experiences.

Send or hand them a survey. Leave space for comments, and ask if you can use those on your site, in social media or as part of other marketing collateral. Also, link them to your social media outlets or sites where your targeted customers hang out. And ask them to mention you in their social media messaging.

Then, perhaps more importantly, do the same. Post something about a great experience you had helping a new customer (mention him or her specifically, with permission).

2. Foster repeat business

New customers are just a step away from being loyal customers, as long as their experiences remain seamless. Second, third and subsequent purchases come natural when the first one moves into another without much or any customer effort.

It’s especially important to nurture the relationship in the first three years, experts say. B2C customers spend between 23% and 67% more in the final quarter of the third year than they do in the first three months of the relationship, a Bain & Co. study found. In fact, by month 36, most customers’ base spending, spending growth and referrals are up as much as 20%.

So how can you use the customer experience to encourage repeat business? Make every experience appropriate to the customer’s most current needs, says Christopher Bucholtz, content marketing manager for CallidusCloud, a provider of cloud-based sales, marketing and learning solutions.

It starts with keeping accurate records of customers’ activity with your company. You want a system that will track email, social media, calls and personal contacts for each account. Creating a customer portal can help you manage these interactions.

When front-line employees can refer to a customer’s history, plus make notes of things that are important to a customer, they can personalize every experience.

3. Explore new territories

Current customers are a valuable source of new customers, product ideas and territories to explore. When prompted, customers can help you identify unmet needs, unexplored customer segments and emerging trends for your industry.

They key is to constantly solicit feedback. Then respond to and act on it.

“Great service now allows you to move forward from a position of strength and positive recognition,” Gessert said.

Once customers have proven they want to be part of your organization — through repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth — make them part of your plan to grow. Engage them daily, weekly, monthly. Post one-question polls about a current or anticipated need in social media. Email short polls, asking them to rate your performance. Send them prototypes to test and get their opinions.

Most importantly, tell them what you’ll do with feedback, and then do it.

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