190408_Blog_consultative-selling

Communicating with customers beyond the sale

That isn’t all she wrote: 6 ways to nurture your customers after they buy

Most companies are great at communicating with customers when they’re ready to purchase. But what about in between transactions? That’s where a lot of businesses fall off.

Only 29% of companies nurture customers after the initial purchase. If you don’t take time to build meaningful relationships with your customers between transactions, the chances of creating loyal, long-term relationships plummet.

Customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight or in one transaction. It’s a much slower process – 54% of people need to buy from the same brand four or more times before they’re loyal, and 33% need to buy at least three times.

And 72% of people expect customer service and sales agents to already know who they are when they reach out.

In short, customer loyalty efforts are a marathon, not a sprint. But how do you ensure customers get to that fourth purchase if you’re not talking to them after they buy? How can you learn more about your customers (beyond customer surveys – we talked about those recently) so you can speak to them as individuals when they reach out to you?

Start by communicating with customers between purchases. Here’s how.

Putting in the effort between transactions: 6 customer communication tips

Here are six of our favorite tips for nurturing your customer relationships and turning one-time sales into long-term loyalty.

1. Send proactive communication about customer service.

It pays to take the lead when communicating with customers. 68% of people say their perception of a brand improves if the company sends proactive customer service notifications. Put this into action by sending 1:1 emails to offer assistance. For example:

Hey Jack,

I wanted to touch base with you on our newest software update. Do you have any questions or issues so far? Email me back if you do, and I’d be happy to walk you through these changes.

This illustrates your willingness to help and helps you keep in touch with customers long after the transaction. Plus, you eliminate the need for customers to contact a customer service number with problems – giving them a direct line to assistance should they need it.

2. Provide multiple engagement channels.

Your customers are on more than one channel, are you? Companies that adopt omnichannel customer engagement methods retain 89% of their customers. Companies that don’t only keep around 33%.

Why? Different people have different communication preferences. Companies that have multiple engagement channels do a better job at catering to everyone.

Some engagement channels include:

You don’t have to offer every engagement channel, but it pays to take time to understand who your customers are and provide the channels they need to stay in touch and engage with your brand between purchases.

3. Prioritize customer service and response times.

Customer service is a critical part of business relationship management. The secret is quick and courteous response times – and no canned responses. When people reach out for support, work to get to the heart of the issue and offer a reasonable solution quickly.

How you handle customer service complaints can turn a bad experience into a loyal customer. When customers’ complaints are handled appropriately in five minutes or less, they go on to spend a higher amount of money on future transactions compared to other customers.

Customer service plays a crucial role in communicating with customers because they’re coming to you for help. Do your best to turn the conversation into a positive impression and learn more about the customer during the process (and then add notes into your customer relationship management software for future reference).

4. Amp up your content marketing efforts.

Your communication doesn’t always have to be 1:1. Instead, cast a wide net with inbound marketing by leveraging content like:

  • a blog
  • a podcast
  • an educational video series
  • a thorough customer self-service section of your website
  • an active social media presence
  • eBooks or whitepapers

By creating engaging content, your customers can engage with your brand on their own without actually speaking to you. And while this doesn’t take away the importance of personalized communication, it pays to offer numerous touchpoints for people to engage with your brand.

Another idea adjacent to this one is hosting events and inviting past (and future) customers to engage with you and your brand. Whether live or digital, events are terrific for communicating with customers.

5. Have an email plan.

At a bare minimum, you should consider creating a touchpoint email series after a customer purchases. This type of automatic, 1:1 series sends emails right after the purchase, a few weeks following, and then once every few months afterwards to keep a one-to-one communication line open with the customer.

It’s just as important to have an active email marketing strategy in play to continue communicating with customers long after the first transaction.

Here are several of our favorite email types to keep customers engaged and coming back:

  • Onboarding emails – Don’t miss the opportunity to introduce new customers to your brand with a stellar onboarding email or email series.
  • Inactivity emails – If you haven’t heard from your customers in a while, send them an inactivity email. These are the ones that say things like, “Come back, we haven’t seen you in a while!” or “You haven’t updated your profile picture in six months. Want to update it now?”
  • Activity emails – Activity emails contain updates, notifications, and summaries of the user’s activity. They’re popular with social media, activity trackers, and productivity applications. These can say things like, “You checked out six houses in Miami this week and put an offer on one!” or “You ran twelve miles this week – your personal best.”
  • Exclusive offer emails – Customers love getting exclusive discounts.
  • Survey emails – An occasional email asking for feedback can work well to keep customers engaged with your brand.
  • New product or service announcement emails – Adding new offerings is always a reason to reach out.
  • Newsletters (but only if you have something to say!) – Newsletters are a great way to keep customers informed on the happenings of your brand, but don’t fall into the trap of sending newsletters all the time. Instead, only send newsletters if you have something exciting to share, like important milestones, company news, open positions, insider tips, etc.

6. Segment your communication and keep the human touch.

You want to keep in touch with your customers, but you need to be intentional. There is such a thing as communicating with customers too much. This is especially true when the communication is impersonal and irrelevant.

One survey found:

  • 77% of customers have opted-out of brand emails in the last six months
  • 45% of those people said it was because the communication was too frequent
  • 30% said the messages were irrelevant to them
  • 25% blamed redundancy, way too much information, and a lack of the human touch

Make sure you’re segmenting your lists, personalizing, and testing. Don’t just mass send every email to every customer or add every person on an SMS list and send daily texts. You need to know who your customers are and personalize the communication type and frequency to meet their needs.

Improve your customer relationship management

Improving your customer relationship management starts by communicating with customers after they purchase. If you take the time to engage with customers between transactions, they’ll be much more likely to turn into long-term, loyal customers. Who doesn’t want more customer loyalty?

Copper CRM makes customer relationship management easy. We help with segmentation, personalization, automation, and more, so that communicating with your customers doesn’t turn into a tedious chore.

Ready to streamline your customer follow-ups? Try our free trial.

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