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There are reasons the best customer experience continues post-sale.

There’s a scene in Toy Story 2 where Andy drops Woody, his favorite toy, on the floor while saying: “I don’t want to play with you anymore.”

That scene broke my millennial heart back in ‘99. Woody wasn’t shiny or new anymore, but he’d been there since day one. 

Perhaps a dramatic comparison, but modern businesses act similarly. Plenty of business models focus so much energy on acquiring new customers that those efforts eclipse the experience of existing customers.

New customer acquisition is obviously important, but the customer journey doesn’t stop once those new customers sign contracts or make a purchase. If anything, their ongoing customer experience is more important after the sale. 

There needs to be a balance between CX in customer acquisition and customer retention. How do we achieve this balance? It’ll vary per organization, but we know a few places to start. 

 

Customer Retention Starts With Customer Attention

The quality of your product will never replace human contact. The best UX design will never cover 100% of their questions. 

It’s the people behind the product that connect with customers. Why should that stop once a prospect turns into a customer? 

It shouldn’t. 

Certainly not unique in this regard, we use Customer Success Managers at Heretto. They connect and talk with our customers in weekly meetings (sometimes more often). The point is that CSMs are wholly dedicated to their book of customers and monitor their experiences in real-time. 

Nothing falls by the wayside with this check-in rate. This is the simplest way to ensure customer experience continues beyond the sale. 

 

B2B VIP? Why Not? CX Should Feel Exclusive

We’re human beings. Feeling like VIPs is something we enjoy. While the exclusiveness of purchasing your product might not feel on par with dining at The French Laundry, the concept is the same. 

In-app updates, SMS alerts, push notifications, release notes and release jokes, newsletters, whatever it is, make it unique to your product, your brand, and your audience. Go beyond generic updates and build content that gives the information they need and makes them feel a part of something bigger. 

What does this look like IRL? Retail and subscription companies are really good at this. Let’s take a page from their book. 

HelloFresh, for those unfamiliar, is a meal subscription service that drops pre-chosen meals ready to cook at your door. Pretty simple concept. The way they win so many new subscribers and upsell to tons of current subscribers is brilliantly simple.

They give you free food en masse. Some meals are exclusive to an offer. Some are just plain ‘ol free to give folks a taste of what it’s like to be a part of HelloFresh.

When Customers Give Feedback, Act On It

Another modern business pitfall is asking for feedback, receiving said feedback, then doing nothing with it. We’ve got numerous channels we get feedback through. It’s pivotal to be dedicated to parsing feedback and applying it to actionable solutions. 

One step further is bringing these solutions back to the customers who left the feedback in the first place. Want to make someone feel special? When you receive a piece of feedback and make a change, dedicate that customer to the solved issue. Name an update after them, call them out in the release notes, make them a showcase (with permission, of course).

The point is that feedback isn’t a one-way street, it’s a conversation that leads to a better customer-business relationship. 

 

Content is the Cornerstone of Post Sale Customer Experience

Each of the previous points can be included in this final one. Your content is crucial to the post-sale customer experience. 

As your product evolves, so will the information your customers need to inform their learning and proficiency as users. We’ve made it a habit of saying an educated customer is a more valuable customer. 

Valuable, sure, but confident, too. Confidence in their skill with your product translates into good CX. People want to be good at things, and when they’re good at something, they tend to talk about it. 

And folks thrilled with the positive experience of using your product and being good at it will be much more likely to share that with others. What an arrow that is to have in your quiver.  

There are plenty of ways you can keep exceptional customer experience alive beyond the sale. Personal communication, exclusivity, true feedback loops, and content that supports them throughout the customer journey all contribute to making the value of your product more than just a quantitative one.

Tim Ludwig
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