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    What’s Your Consumer Relationship Status? How To Improve Loyalty

    January 11, 2017
    5 minute read
    What’s Your Consumer Relationship Status? How To Improve Loyalty

    Customer Loyalty.jpg

    Takeaway: Shoppers view delivery and post-delivery as part of the brand experience.  Retailers must take a hard look at the “After-sale” or “Post-purchase” stage and the critical content needed to keep a consumer engaged and loyal to a brand.

    Traditionally, the end-goal of the buyers’ journey has been the sale: The moment when the consumer clicks ‘buy.’ After that, the journey starts over and the consumer is not a retailer’s concern until he or she is on the verge of becoming a repeat shopper by entering the “Discovery” stage again. Or at least that’s the old, costly way of thinking.

    Only 16% of companies make consumer retention a priority, which is odd because studies indicate retaining a consumer can save a company between 5-25 times what it costs to gain one. More importantly, times have changed and consumers expect a brand relationship throughout and after the product’s shipment, arrival, assembly, and complete welcoming into the home – the “After-sale.”

    Now, the revamped end-goal of the buyers’ journey is that there never is an end, meaning the consumer remains engaged with the brand cyclically through original, additive content, and becomes a consistent, relationship-based shopper.

    To do: Give consumers 24/7 access to support resources 

    Start by: Your goal is to enrich or simplify your customers' lives and make them feel less alone during the “After-sale” experience. Keep content refreshed and current throughout the product details page and other places on your website, like a blog. Consumers expect quality content to be updated and accessible all the time.

    For example: Include how-to-assemble or how-to-use videos, tutorials, printable set-up instructions, recipes, FAQs, care instructions, warranty details, and styling ideas. On the mobile app, take it even further with augmented or virtual reality.

    Obstacle: Like all good content, it takes resource time and quality ideas to stand out.

    To do: Support consumers and their questions. 

    Start by: Through content and support, answer each and every question on every customer relations platform your company employs: Product page Q&A forums, social media, call centers, live chat.

    For example: Take the time to post answers to other past consumer questions on the product detail page, even if the questions were on social media or through the call center.

    Obstacle: Connecting the consumer relations dots throughout various departments will require training.

    To do:  Follow up after a product arrives.

    Start by: Reach out after shipment with a friendly notice of when the product is due. Avoid making them seek it out on a third-party website. This makes the brand appear just as excited about welcoming the product home as the consumers are. “How did we do?” surveys do not count.

    For example: Going beyond the basic remarketing email is essential. Enclose a personalized “thank you for your purchase note” in the box, make the packaging Instagram-worthy, and invite the consumer to leave a product review of their own.

    Obstacle: Think simple, non-obtrusive, yet impactful.

    To do: Take a bad consumer experience and make it what it should have been – and then some.

    Start by: Acknowledge and be accountable for any errors, and then think of a creative and caring way to remedy the situation. The first thing the consumers want to do is enjoy their new addition, not have to call in with a problem. Make the experience enjoyable and rewarding.

    For example: The item arrived damaged? Ship out a replacement next day, with a small, sweet gift. The item arrived too late? Engage one-on-one with the consumer on how to make the situation better.

    Obstacle: Scale. And if something does go wrong with a product or service, it’s troublesome news. Dealing with the issues head on, though, will help your company get ahead of mass issues, and at the very least, make a loyal consumer’s day.

    This is the final part in a series on Supporting the Buyer’s Journey, read Part I - Bringing Discovery to Shoppers, Part II - When Shoppers Research, and Part III - Helping Shoppers Buy.


    Written by: Michelle Burtchell

    Michelle is the head of marketing at Salsify. She's into data and finding the fastest way to solve market problems. She's mom to an awesome son who can draw a better-than-average stick figure, and slightly obsessed with her Olde English Bulldogge. When she isn't with her family (and sometimes when she is), she's up...

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