With attention span plummeting and loyalties fluctuating, companies need more than new customers. You need to convince your existing customers to stay with you and keep on using your products. And to ensure that, you need more than a great product and a compelling marketing strategy. You need to implement tactics that guarantee consistent post-purchase customer engagement.
In this post, you'll learn about proven contactless marketing strategies, like using QR code generators and replenishment marketing, which you can deploy to increase post-purchase customer experience.
By: Akshay Deogiri
Why Should You Focus on Post-Purchase Engagement?
Acquiring new customers is an essential part of running a business. The ease with which you get new customers on board can determine your product's popularity and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. However, many companies overlook the cost of customer acquisition.
A report by Invespcro showed that acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer. Besides, increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can boost your profits by up to 95%.
So, we've established the fact that customer retention is more important than new acquisition. Now, how can you retain customers?
Nowadays, customers have a plethora of options. Take Nike, for example. The company sells sports footwear, and it has a significantly loyal customer base. But, don't Nike customers have options? If Nike fails to deliver, these consumers can move to Adidas, Reebok, Supra, and myriad other alternatives. And all these brands make amazing products.
However, the unique factor that stands out and encourages customers to stay loyal to brands is post-purchase engagement. The way you treat your customers after they make a purchase dictates whether they'll purchase from you again or not.
Hence, by focusing on post-purchase engagement, you can increase customer retention and drive consistent revenue. Let's discuss some key reasons why you should invest in post-purchase engagement.
- Increased Customer Loyalty: As discussed, improving post-purchase engagement can go a long way in increasing customer loyalty. When you provide a pleasant experience to your customers, they'll likely stick with you in the long term.
- Reduced Complaints: More customer complaints mean your product or service isn't living up to the customers' expectations. However, by collecting post-purchase feedback and solving problems promptly, you can improve customer experience and mitigate the damage.
- Increased Sales: In this vying business landscape, generating consistent sales and revenue is a never-ending challenge for companies. By providing a superior post-sale experience, you can increase customer retention, resulting in more sales.
- Improved Customer Advocacy: When you deliver a seamless experience to your customers, they become your brand advocates. They recommend your products and services to others, helping you leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
- Enhanced Brand Equity: When more customers talk positively about your brand, the perceived image of your brand improves. This eventually results in increased brand equity and brand worth.
Using Contactless Marketing Strategies to Ignite Post-Purchase Engagement
While post-purchase engagement is an essential business strategy, only a handful of brands are able to do it the right way. Here are a few tactics you should use to provide a seamless post-purchase experience to your customers.
1. Send Engaging Follow-Up Emails
Do you know what average brands do? They have a killer pre-purchase communication but a below-average post-purchase engagement strategy. What's worse, some companies don't have a post-sale communication plan at all. As soon as a customer purchases their product, they cease the communication, leaving the customer all by himself.
Great brands prioritize post-sale communication. They send a follow-up email immediately after the purchase, showing the customers that they're not alone. So, if you want to engage your customers after the sale, start nailing the follow-up emails.
Let's say you sell smart televisions. After customers purchase from you, you can send them an email showing the best features and functions of the device. Similarly, if you're a hotel business, you can share with your customers the best spots near your hotel.
2. Seek Product and Service Reviews
Another helpful tactic to drive post-purchase engagement is to ask for feedback and reviews. When you ask for feedback, you send out a message that you care what your customers think. You make them a part of your brand. And when people feel a part of something, they're more likely to engage with it.
However, collecting customer feedback and not acting upon it can elicit an opposite impact. When you don't take action, you send a message that you don't care about how your customers feel. This can turn off your customers and hurt your brand in the long term.
So, collect customer feedback, analyze it, and make the necessary changes. For example, let's say you offer a SaaS product that helps small businesses create invoices and manage their finances. Upon collecting feedback, you discover that the majority of your consumers want you to add an inventory management feature.
If you respond to this demand quickly and add the feature, you'll largely improve the customer experience. But if you ignore the feedback, you'll be at a higher risk of customer attrition.
3. Use QR Codes on Product Packaging
The use of QR codes on product packages has surged over the past couple of years. Quick-response or QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be linked to an array of digital information. You can link them to explainer videos, images, infographics, GIFs, text content, contact information, and more.
Let's say you're a CPG brand like Lays or Nestle. You can put up a QR code on the product package and link it to in-depth product contents and ingredients. Nowadays, customers have become increasingly conscious of the products they consume. By providing informational QR codes, you can answer their common queries and provide a superior post-sales experience.
You can also link QR codes to tutorials and how-to content. Let's say you sell complex machinery and setting up and operating it requires assistance. You can include a custom QR code on the product package and link it to content that explains how to use the product. As a result, you'll make it easy for the customer to use your product, thereby increasing post-purchase engagement.
Lastly, you can also link QR codes to feedback forms and contact information. Many FMCG brands do this. When customers use a product, it takes them seconds to create an opinion as to whether they like the product or not. By including feedback QR codes, you can provide them with an easy way to share their comments.
Or, you can link the code to contact information, such as email or phone number. If customers want to get in touch with you, they can easily do so by scanning the code.
4. Provide Easy Returns and Refund
More than 30% of products online are returned, compared with about 9% in the case of brick-and-mortar stores. If you sell online, you need to accept the fact that not all customers will like your products. Not that your products aren't good, but customers have different requirements and expectations. And one business can't fulfill all of them.
Let's talk a bit about buyer psychology. Do you know why customers resist while purchasing? It's because they don't want to be wrong. They don't want to buy a faulty product and end up wasting their money.
By providing easy returns, you eliminate that fear. If customers don't like your product, they can simply return it and get their money back. This drastically improves the post-purchase engagement and encourages customers to buy from you again and again.
5. Implement Replenishment Programs
Have you ever ordered medications online? Online pharmacies offer an automatic refill option. When your prescription's end date approaches, they send you emails and messages asking you to refill your orders. Other businesses that sell dog food and baby products also utilize this strategy.
Implementing a replenishment program has two benefits. First, of course, it increases post-purchase engagement. Customers nowadays live busy lives. They don't have time to check in on their medicine and dog food levels every month. By setting up a replenishment program, you automate this process for your customers.
Second, it helps you increase revenue. When customers opt for auto-ship orders, you don't have to sell to them every month. This enables you to generate more revenue. You can also offer additional benefits, such as a flat 5% discount on auto-ship orders, to encourage customers to opt for automated shipping.
6. Use Social Media the Right Way
Social media can play a crucial role in driving post-purchase engagement. While it works especially well for lifestyle and food brands, it can be tailored to benefit all types of business.
Let's say you're a fashion clothing brand. You can encourage your customers to click pictures wearing your clothes and share them on social media. You can include rewards and incentives to encourage more shares.
This way, not only can you improve customer engagement but also leverage user-generated content (UGC). This type of content can help increase your brand's social media popularity and awareness.
Providing customer support is another way to use social media to increase post-purchase engagement. Almost all the major brands have a Twitter handle dedicated to answering customer queries.
More than 50% of consumers prefer social customer service, showed a report by Conversocial published on Adweek. By allowing your customers to interact with you on social media, you can greatly influence their post-purchase experience.
How to Devise a Post-Purchase Engagement Strategy?
Creating a post-purchase engagement strategy is more or less similar to devising a marketing plan. You need to set goals, address impediments, execute the plans, and test the strategy. Here's a quick step-by-step process to coming up with a post-purchase engagement strategy.
- Design: Develop an engagement program based on your brand values and customer expectations. Ensure that your plan caters to the customers' needs along with adhering to your brand values and identity.
- Strategize: Once you have the goals in place, develop a roadmap that would enable you to achieve those objectives. Also, deploy a robust team that will help you achieve the goals.
- Test: Once you've devised an executable plan, deploy it, and test its performance. If it performs well, scale it so that it caters to a larger audience.
- Track and Improve: After deploying the plan, track, and measure its results. If there are any deficiencies, make the necessary changes to optimize its performance.
As customer behavior continues to change, brands need to tweak their engagement strategies accordingly. However, at its core, superior post-purchase engagement is all about knowing your customers well and giving them what they want. By using the contactless marketing strategies discussed above, you can engage your customers and turn them into loyal consumers.
Akshay Deogiri is an SEO Outreach Specialist at Beaconstac, enabling businesses to bridge their gap between the digital and offline worlds through custom QR codes.