A sale shouldn’t end when the customer walks out of the door/ hits the checkout button. If you want customers to come back, you should be offering some kind of aftercare, whatever the product or service you provide. This is why in recent years we’ve seen a change of approach to customers service, with it being rebranded to customer success. How can you ensure customer success by caring for your clients after you’ve made a sale?
Why Did They Buy
An important part of having a happy customer is understanding why they brought from you in the first place. If you can’t understand why they made a purchase then you won’t truly be able to understand if it will solve their problem.
An example from our business could be a PPC client that wants to launch a new product. If we don’t dig into the ‘why’ enough we may run ads for them focused on conversions when in fact they were more interested in getting their ads ‘out there’, so impressions would have been a better metric to focus on. Then we could find ourselves in a situation where we think we have done a ‘good job’ by providing a good number of conversions, but in fact, all they wanted was impressions.
It’s easy to get caught up when you’re making a sale and to stop asking questions. Often you don’t want to ask why for fear that you’ll make the client question it themselves. But if you want to have a good relationship with your customers you need to dig into their motivation.
The next step is following up. Depending on what you’re selling this could take many different forms, but asking the client how things are going is very useful for a number of reasons:
- It shows you care
- You can try to fix problems before they become negative reviews
- You can get feedback on your process/ products
Asking clients for feedback, or if they need help, after a sale can be as simple as sending out an automated email, or as high touch as giving them a call to check everything is going well. Whatever you choose it’s integral because there are often very small margins between a happy customer and an unhappy one. If you’re selling software for example, maybe the user hasn’t noticed a feature that will help them. Or if you took photos for their wedding, maybe they didn’t notice you also included a link to the photos online as well as a USB with them on. Fixing these ‘problems’ won’t take long, and will drastically improve your customer’s satisfaction.
If the customer does have a serious problem with what they’ve brought that shouldn’t be the end of the conversation. Sometimes buyer’s remorse is terminal and you can’t turn a sale around, but if you manage the situation by offering them ongoing support you can at least change the perception of your company.
The initial response when seeing negative feedback is to cut your losses, but these clients often present the best learning opportunities for your business. Helping understand why things went badly will help your twofold; firstly helping you improve in the future and secondly by showing the customer that you care about them. Even if you can’t fix the problem, you have taken the time to hear them and take their feedback.
The road to customer success isn’t always easy, or even possible, to navigate but it starts with a simple question “why?”. Everything else follows on from there. What do you think about customer success? Is it the start of a new era of customer care or just more of the same with a different title?
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