Making the Sale is Just the Beginning

Rebekah Pike

Hi there! This is the 4th post in our 5-part series on the Customer Journey! Our goal is to help you understand how to optimize your customer’s experience from start to finish and help you develop loyal customer relationships. Need to catch up? Start here with, How to Get Customers for Life!

Don’t lose momentum – this next phase is critical

You did it! 🎉

Your marketing plan worked. Your website did its thing. The customer saw your brand, checked out your site, did some research and, out of all the products on the World Wide Web, they picked yours.

Sooooooo …. now what?

Just like any other relationship, company-customer relationships require some inputs. Your goal for this next phase is to connect with the customer and continue to offer opportunities for them to engage with your product and your values.

Customer Journey Step #4: Retention

There’s a commonly quoted marketing stat that it costs a company 5X more to make a new customer than to keep an existing one. This might be debatable in the modern world of hyper-targeted marketing strategies, but it just makes sense to assume that a person who’s already bought your product or service once is likely to be interested again in the future.

It’s also important to consider the holistic customer experience here. Constantly chasing after new leads instead of focusing on the customers you have leads to burnout and poor customer service. A customer who feels valued and appreciated by your company is not only more likely to give you their future business but is also more likely to recommend your company to their friends and contacts. So what you’re potentially gaining in this Retention phase is not only the loyalty of your existing customer, but future sales via their 5-star reviews.

Use the data you have on your existing customers

If you’ve optimized your entire customer journey properly, you probably already have some key information and data about your customer that can help you put together a solid retention strategy. For example, you’ve likely collected their email address, which opens up a world of marketing possibilities (more on this in a sec). If a customer landed on your website via a digital ad, you may be able to see which ad was the most successful and which ad platforms are driving the most conversions. This is incredibly valuable data because it makes it possible to advertise other products directly to existing customers.

If you don’t have a solid strategy for digital advertising yet, no worries. Let us help you out!

There are tons of other creative ways to use connections with your customers to get their repeat business. Here are some examples:

  • Run a giveaway or contest – ask your customers to tag a friend on social media or repost your content in order to win a free product or service.
  • Start a loyalty program with rewards for repeat business – we’re all familiar with the thrill of getting that freebie after 5 or 10 purchases!
  • Coupons – what better way to earn a repeat customer than to offer a discount on their next purchase?

Email Automations – your new best friend 🙌

Want to know what the easiest customer retention strategy is? So simple that you can literally set it and forget it?

It’s the automated thank you email.

You probably have a bunch of these sitting in your inbox right now. Especially if you’re like me and you clean out your inbox every … um … never? 😅 These are a popular marketing strategy for a very good reason. As soon as the customer completes their transaction, they immediately receive an email thanking them for their purchase and confirming that their order is on its way.

Saying thank you is just good manners, right? But there’s a hidden opportunity in those thank you emails that many business owners don’t even realize.

Research shows that these types of emails have higher engagement rates, meaning that the recipient is more likely to open a thank you email and more likely to click through the links you include there.

Here’s your chance to nudge the customer toward their next purchase! Need some ideas? Here you go:

  • Include a discount code for their next purchase – no one out there hates getting a great deal!
  • Link to related content on your site – this could be a video or blog post highlighting another product or service, a “getting started” or training type resource, etc.
  • Suggest another product they might like – this is a great time to say, “Thanks for buying X Product! Check out Y product – I think you’ll love it!”
  • Ask for some feedback about their experience – this is a potential treasure trove of information that can be used to improve your customer experience and generate ideas for future product lines. Even better, offer the customer a discount in exchange for completing a quick survey about their experience.

Remember: it’s all about building that relationship!

Setting up an automated email flow is an important part of your marketing plan. The automatic thank you email is just the beginning! With a service like ActiveCampaign, you can create flows based on whatever conditions and customer actions you select and make the sequence as simple or complex as you like. If you need help getting started with email marketing, let us know!

Remind your customer why they chose you

In the 2020 marketing world, shared values are everything.

As more and more customers prioritize purchases that align with their values, it’s important that companies acknowledge and reflect those concerns in an authentic and personal way. As a retention strategy, values-based marketing means reminding customers that your company supports goals and causes that they care about.

Keep in mind that every interaction you have with a customer – in an email, a social media post, or face to face – is a chance to remind them why they chose you over the competition, so really take some time to analyze your branding strategy and refine your storytelling skills.

Only one more step to go!

That’s all for our fourth stop on the customer journey! Stay tuned for our next post (have you signed up to receive our emails yet?? 😉) where we’ll talk about how to turn those happy, loyal customers into dedicated, brand ambassadors for your business!

See Also: Is this marketing product right for me?