What does your company do after the cash register rings? Do you view a sale as the start of the relationship, or the end? Do you exert as much effort to keep customers as you do to acquire them?
Sometimes, the most effective marketing and selling efforts take place after the first transaction.
The customer you just rang up is a walking, talking ad. If she's pleased, she can have her family and friends on board and ready to buy from you in minutes. If she's unhappy, she can spread a seed of discontent just as quickly.
She also holds purse strings and is looking for an excuse to buy from you again. Ignore her at your peril.
You Can Spin, But You Can't Hide
No matter how hard you try to spin or excuse your product or service mishaps, the interconnected world will stop you in a heartbeat. Tomorrow's businesses must be transparent. Reality can no longer be altered.
Even a cult brand like Apple isn't immune to this reality. The iPod nano and the word "scratch" are now synonymous. Check out this thread on a Mac-friendly Web site.
Our senior conversion analyst, Howie Kaplan, shared an online chat he had with HP support:Howie: I just popped the CD tray out of my r3200 to burn some files, and the tray is now stuck. It only closes 80% of the way with or without a CD in it.
After more heated chat and no resolution, it wrapped up:Shirley: I am certainly glad to have received an opportunity to assist you. Anything else I can be of service to you today?
You simply cannot ignore the experience a customer has after the sale. Bad service and bad products cancel out all current and future persuasive efforts.
Most marketing efforts zero in on first-time acquisitions to grow top-line growth numbers. Yet the most cost-effective way to grow is to apply more effort and more budget to customer retention.
Here are four ways to ensure you're maximizing post-transaction customer retention opportunities:
What have you done for your customers lately?
Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
June 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT