It’s unfortunate that most companies are blinkered to the customer’s predicament once they’ve closed a sale, which in fact is the period when the customer can help build your brand or destroy it. During the sales cycle if the customer doesn’t like your product or the experience they just walk away. Most of the time the customer hardly notices if the experience is slightly below par, especially if they are bowled over by the product (unless the sales person is particularly obnoxious). The customer has no affinity or allegiance with your brand and doesn’t really care too much about your behaviour, except to the extent that it convinces him or her to buy from your competition. Rarely do they voice their dislike of the brand vociferously.
But once a customer has paid to own a commodity (product or service), they stay with you for a much longer time during which they are now sensitive to the way you recognize and treat them. Every action and word by you is now measured and evaluated. Poor service quality or a sub-standard experience is not acceptable. They are very loud and very vocal, and can do a lot of damage to brand image, product credibility and perception of potential customers.
It is important to provide a great experience during the sales cycle, so the customer is convinced to buy from you. It is even more important to continue providing an equally good or better experience after the sale, so the customer is convinced it has been the right decision to buy from you. We all know how bad a wrong decision makes us feel. We also know the desire of wanting more. If the experience during the sale was good, the expectation is only heightened for what is to come.
Getting this right gives you the most effective marketing tool. And to get it right you need to create a Customer Journey Map that identifies and assists in evaluating the balance of experience, pre and post the sale. Effective strategies and prudently deployed budgets help to drive the experience for the entire life cycle of the customer.
Great experience gets you ardent loyalists that are unabashed advocates of your brand.
Leverage the opportunity.
Customer Journey Map – by @AnnetteFranz
Image: Still from the movie "The Walk"
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