9 Easy Ways to Increase Customer Engagement Post-Purchase

via Flicker, Brian Solis
via Flicker, Brian Solis

Anyone in retail should be able to tell you that getting a customer to purchase the first time is only half the battle. Once they’ve purchased, you have to work to keep them engaged so they stick around, become a loyal customer, and make repeat purchases. But it can be a real struggle to keep a customer engaged post-purchase. How do you get in contact with them? What do they want from you?

Well, the good news is, keeping in contact with your customers isn’t very hard anymore. Email and social media make it easy to find and connect with your customers outside of a physical store location (or even outside of your online store location). Collecting customers’ email and relevant purchase information isn’t even hard anymore – implementing digital receipts in your store makes it a snap to ensure your customers are giving you correct, active email addresses. But once you have those emails, what do you do? Keep reading for 11 easy ways to engage your customers post-purchase.

1. Encourage social media sharing.

Getting your customers to share about their purchases and interact with your social media profiles is a great way to keep them engaged and excited about you. An easy way to do this is to include social sharing buttons in your digital receipts to allow customers to quickly share about the purchases they’re excited about. (Be sure to autofill those sharing buttons with a short message that includes your handle to make it easy for them.)

You can get more advanced than this, though, by creating a social community among your followers. Morphe, a beauty brand, is excellent at this. They created a hashtag for their customers (#MorpheBabe), and encourage their customers to share the looks they create using Morphe’s makeup and brushes by resharing their customer’s best looks. This community benefits Morphe in a myriad of ways, but it also benefits the customers: Morphe users who share to the hashtag gain more followers. Users Morphe reshares gain hundreds or even thousands of followers and an unofficial stamp of approval as a beauty guru. It’s a phenomenal way to keep your customers engaged with you even when they’re not purchasing (and to keep your products in front of their face).

2. Give your customers instructional information.

Customers who are able to get the full use out of their purchases are happier. In a digital receipt or in a follow-up email, be sure to send your customer instructional or inspirational material to help them fully utilize their purchases. You may want to send a set-up video if they bought furniture that needs to be put together, for instance. You could also send a customer who purchased a food item a recipe for that item.  flexReceipts client Pro Fireworks puts firework safety information in their emails, along with links to articles about creating great fireworks videos and more.

3. Offer complementary purchases.

In a dynamic eReceipt or a follow-up email, you’ll want to send your customer items that complement their purchase. A toy store, for instance, might want to send an email that allows customers to purchase batteries for their new mechanical toy. Ensuring a customer has everything they need shows them that you care about them post-purchase (and helps you get a re-purchase more quickly).

4. Send out a survey.

Shortly after purchase, you can email your customer a survey to get their opinion about their experience at your store (or online). You can ask them about your staff, environment, layout, items, or anything else. This is a great opportunity for you to learn how you can improve and it ensures the customer is still talking to you and thinking about you after purchase. And hopefully, if their experience was great, it’s a way to remind them about how much they liked shopping with you.

5. Send a thank-you note.

There are a few ways you can do this. What you decide will depend on your brand and how much time you have.

  • You can have staff write handwritten thank you notes. This is obviously the most time-consuming method, but it’s also the most sincere. Customers will appreciate the fact that the sales person was appreciative enough to remember them after their purchase. If you don’t have enough time to do this for everyone, you may want to consider just sending handwritten thank you notes for large purchases.
  • You can create an automated email. Marketing automation (even Mailchimp’s marketing automation) allows you to create a track that is triggered by a purchase. One of the emails on that track can be a thank you email. You can include what the customer purchased using dynamic content. To make it as personal as it can be, have it sent from a staff member’s name (preferably the one who helped the customer). You may even want to have each staff member use a different personal sign-off at the bottom, to personalize this note as much as possible. (This, again, can be done using dynamic content.)

6. Send a Write a Review request.

Another email you’ll want to put in the post-purchase track is a request for your customer to leave a review on your website. Similar to the survey, this allows customers to let you know what they think of their purchases. Some best practices for review request emails include:

  • Have the email come as a personal request from a person the customer knows rather than just your company. (Again, this should most likely be the salesperson that helped them.)
  • Include a clear CTA button that draws the customer’s attention and makes it obvious what their next step should be.
  • Test, test, test. Test the email copy, the subject line copy, the button copy, the button color, etc., etc., etc.

7. Send updates on their reviews.

Once your customer has left on a review on your website, you can follow up with them to let them know when it’s gone live. You may also want to follow-up over time with the success of their review. TripAdvisor, for instance, periodically sends emails to reviewers telling them how many times their reviews have been viewed. If there is a social component to your reviews, up-voting, for instance, you could also email updates about how many times their review has been up-voted.

8. Send a replenishment reminder.

If you sell items that run out over time, like shampoo, you can email out a reminder around the time they would need to repurchase that item. Depending on your email provider, you may even be able to allow them to make a purchase straight from the email.

9. Bounce-back coupons.

A very successful way to re-engage customers is to send out bounce-back coupons. You can include these bounce-back coupons right in the customer’s digital receipt. Some best practices for bounce-back coupons:

  • Be sure to include a deadline on the offer so that your customer feels a sense of urgency.
  • Consider using the bounce-back to drive traffic during off-hours. (Have the discount only active at certain times.)
  • If you’re just starting a bounce-back program, test out different discounts to find the sweet spot that allows you to drive repeat purchases without cheapening your brand.

Conclusion

Post-purchase customer engagement is paramount. Keeping a customer is far cheaper than acquiring a new one, after all. By utilizing these nine simple strategies you can improve your post-purchase customer engagement greatly, but don’t forget that these methods need to be implemented as a part of a larger strategy of excellent customer support and service post-purchase.