Understanding your customers' journey will help increase repeat sales and boost the love of your brand.
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You have just sold your product or service to a new customer. They are off to explore the purchase and experience its value and benefits, and your attention may quickly turn to getting the next sale.
While a focus may be to engage in as many sales as possible, have you considered the value of following the initial customer’s journey? New business becomes moot if you give it so much focus that customer retention becomes a problem and you end up chasing your own tail.
Being aware of customers’ journeys with your product can provide valuable insights into consumer habits and the lifecycle of your products, which can help you to increase repeat custom. After all, you have done the hard work in winning the customer.
Engaging with your customers while they are using your product is a win-win situation: you keep them happy and make them feel special, and they continue to bring you business.
With the right tools you can determine how a customer is using your product and send appropriate information to enhance their experience.
As a small business, knowing your customers’ needs is key and one approach to communicate with them through the lifecycle is via email: a cost-effective channel that enables you to deliver personalised communications.
You know your product and you know your customer, but do not assume your customer knows your product, nor how to use it, as well as you do. It is vital for them to understand it completely to get the most out of it.
You understand your product back to front, but do your customers?
Small businesses can learn a lot from major brands and enterprises in how they approach retention. When Slendertone released its new app-driven toning belt Connect Abs, the brand created a smart opportunity for customer engagement, via an email marketing campaign, that encourages continued use of the product.
The campaign has driven success by re-engaging customers throughout different stages of their journey with the product, helping them to reach the toning goals they set out to achieve.
Aftersales is such a critical element of retention and this campaign is a great example of a company that has reimagined its email marketing and customer engagement strategy.
The key to success is utilising your data. Thanks to the dotmailer for Magento connector, Slendertone has access to a live stream of usage data which enables the company to deliver weekly progress emails to toning belt customers.
The usage data also enables the brand to identify areas where users begin to hit a wall with the product and share toning program recommendations and inspirational content to get them back on track.
The Connect Abs app and supporting customer engagement communications strategy has been hugely successful, driving a 21% success rate in getting people to pick their belt back up after six days without use.
The app is even able to react to user expectations – many users expect instant results, (within the first month), but as with many toning products, the belt starts to really show results after six or more weeks, so encouraging users to keep going ensures continued use.
Think about your own product / service and ask yourself where the customer disengagement line falls, and why this is: how can you encourage users to keep going; how can you keep the product fresh and purposeful; and how can you remind them of the purpose your service plays for them?
Replenishing or upgrading
When your product or service is nearing the end of its lifecycle, this is your opportunity to increase the chances of repeat custom with replacement emails and upgrade offers.
This also works if your product has a replenishable element to it: Slendertone’s customers are notified by email when they should consider renewing the gel pads that allow the product to work effectively. As a result, users receive the best possible experience with the toning belt.
You'll know when it's time to upgrade your product line
If you plan to expand internationally, tailoring your email marketing for different languages is essential for your brand’s credibility and international audience. There are some email marketing automation platforms, such as dotmailer, which can be set to display content in a specific language and time zone, plus the default encoding can be changed.
Given the Connect Abs app’s purpose, it is unsurprising that one of the biggest successes is the use of landing pages as unique user progress portals. The landing pages display personal usage statistics and the brand shares the information via its weekly email reports.
Getting involved in your own customers’ journeys by presenting them with visually engaging, useful information further positions you as a customer-focused and comprehensive service. When could you do this – is there a reason to communicate with customers on a weekly basis, helping them to understand the product / service and how they are using it?
At the end of the day, everyone likes to feel unique. If you can build out the right engagement model to constantly remind your customers of why they invested in you in the first place, you can build not just loyalty and repeat custom, but more importantly passionate advocates who know your product inside-out. The time and energy involved will rapidly start to repay itself.
Tink Taylor is founder and president of dotmailer.