Avoiding the unpleasant aftertaste: why it’s critical to keep investing in CX after you’ve made a sale

CX, success, personal experience

Ramping up your sales and marketing efforts to take advantage of the pent-up consumer and business demand the COVID crisis has created? You and half the business owners in the country. After an uber-challenging 2020, the Australian economy is bouncing back with a vengeance. GDP, which dropped by 1.1 per cent last year, is on the rise – up by 1.8 per cent in the March 2021 quarter.

Where last year’s headline news was the Centrelink queues stretching around the block, we’re now seeing widespread staff shortages, as employers struggle to attract and retain the skillsets they need.

In this climate of newfound economic optimism, a compelling value proposition and a concerted campaign from your sales and marketing teams will help your business connect with prospects and clinch sales.

The journey continues

But that’s not where the effort should end, at least not if you hope to turn one-time purchasers into loyal, repeat customers and enthusiastic advocates for your business and brand.

At ActiveCampaign, we see too many businesses put too little focus on the aftersales segment of the customer journey and it’s to their detriment.

Why? Because research shows we, as human beings, don’t remember experiences in full. We tend to focus disproportionately on the ending, rather than recalling and evaluating everything that happened, from go to woah, and forming a verdict based on all the ‘data’ at our disposal.

Thus, a helpful interaction online, a great instore experience and an on-time delivery can – alas! – all count for nought if something goes awry later in the piece and your customer doesn’t feel the issue was resolved promptly and fairly.

Delving into the data

Just as analysing customer data can provide insight into why and when individuals buy your products and services, exploring the data generated by your service and support systems can be illuminating when it comes to determining whether your aftersales customer experience sizzles or sucks.

For example, counting the number of customers who seek assistance, via your contact centre, web site or social media channels, shortly after making a purchase can be a good gauge of whether you’re delivering a quality product or service. If the figures are high, providing customers with additional training or support at the time of sale may be an option to consider. 

Keep digging and you may discover how many calls, emails and messages the average customer is having to send before an issue is resolved to their satisfaction. If it’s more than a couple, there’s a high likelihood that a potential repeat customer is in the process of persuading themselves they’d be better off going elsewhere next time.

If getting into the nitty gritty is your thing – and it’s worth your while to do so, if you’re serious about delivering an end-to-end customer experience that sees your business stand out from the pack – you’ll also take a deep dive into the details of those conversations and interactions. Doing so will allow you to see if your customer support process is effective or obstructive and, if the latter, to do something about it.

From satisfied customer to enthusiastic advocate

We live in a highly connected world, one in which customers can share thoughts, opinions and recommendations with friends, and the universe at large, quickly and easily.

This is good news for business owners whose quality offerings and outstanding customer service see them rewarded with glowing online reviews.

However, this sort of always-on advocacy can only be earned. Providing a seamless and superlative customer experience, before, during and after the sales process, is the best way to earn it – and to ensure the new customers you’re working so hard to attract don’t just buy once but, rather, keep coming back for more.