How to Give Your Customers a Remarkable Experience That Will Keep Them Coming Back
By Eric Keiles, Instructor of the ProThink Learning online course The Cyclonic Buyer’s Journey: Marketing Tactics and Tools
You need to wow your buyer the first time they buy. If their experience with your product is anything less, what’s to stop them from moving on to the next competitor? In our globalized, digital market where information is easily accessible and options are abundant, it’s critical that you give the consumers you do land a reason to keep coming back. If they have an experience that meets only the bare minimum of their expectations, you might have won their purchase but not their heart and soul.
You don’t want your buyer’s act of purchasing to be a transaction. You want it to be a remarkable experience, something worth remembering and retelling, that will create a lasting relationship.
You Only Get One Shot at a First Impression
Until your customers see the evidence for themselves, they will still have a degree of anxiety about deciding to purchase from you. In fact, that anxiety increases once they’ve made the purchase because now they’re locked in. They bet on you to win the race, and now you have to perform. That’s why their first experience with your product or service is so critical when it comes to long-term revenue generation.
With every buyer, having something remarkable or memorable is essential. Here are a few techniques you can use to make sure your customers walk away from their first transaction saying “Wow!” and want to come back for more:
Memorable packaging is a great way to wow your first-time buyers if you sell consumer products. If done correctly, your packaging can communicate the personality of your brand and create an exciting experience for consumers.
Apple has set the standard for product packaging. Whether you buy a new Mac or the latest iPhone, unboxing is an event in itself. Where most manufacturers just use the most efficient means necessary (think bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts) and then throw the instruction manual wherever in the shipping box it lands, Apple specially designs each product’s packaging to be as sleek, minimalistic, and beautiful as the tech itself.
Dollar Shave Club takes a different tack. Not only are the blades and other products delivered in custom-designed boxes, the packaging itself reflects the company’s voice and messaging, such as the quotes on the blade boxes: “Scratch off lottery tickets, not your face” and “‘I like shaving with a dull razor.’ — No one, ever.”
What if you don’t have something immediately for your buyer? What if it takes time to create and deliver your product or service?
The solution seems simple, right. Just send your consumer regular status updates that let them know how the work is coming along. But email sequences, progress and status calls, and other irregular, limited touchpoints in reality do little to satisfy and calm the buyer’s purchase anxiety.
Instead, give your consumers more personalized and controllable access to monitorization. For instance, BMW rolled out a program just a few years ago at its Spartanburg, North Carolina plant that lets customers watch their special-order X3 being manufactured. How cool to see your own custom car coming together! Even though BMW’s clients aren’t physically present, they are emotionally invested the whole time.
If your products aren’t amenable to capturing the creation process, try providing a prototype version to quickly deliver to customers. Our web design team at Square 2 Marketing delivers an immediate wow by quickly prototyping a placeholder website, in some cases within a matter of days. Clients love having something to look at and point to. The ability to take a lengthy deliverable and find a way to quickly delight consumers while also working toward the bigger goal will undoubtedly deliver that wow factor.
With a physical item, it’s relatively easy to create a remarkable delivery experience, but it’s a bit more challenging to create that same level of wow when selling company health-care insurance policies or corporate auditing services. While you can point to your services to demonstrate deliverables, they’re not tangible and often . . . quite frankly, boring.
Instead, try thinking of small gifts you can give to welcome or commemorate your clients that will add some pizzazz to your relationship. Plenty of larger companies have box seats at a stadium or bring their clients to a big event, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here. You want to create a remarkable moment ASAP, not according to the Philadelphia Eagles’ season schedule. It needs to be personal and really mean something. Here are a few ideas:
· Subscription to an industry journal or magazine: Ideally it should be relevant but not so prevalent that they already have a subscription of their own.
· Personally recommended book: Leave a note inside as to why you think it will help them, and make sure it’s relevant to you, your client, and your relationship. If you’ve written a book, feel free to send that.
· Custom made item: You’ll want to give items that are custom to the client, not your company. Rather than just slapping your own logo on random objects, show some thoughtfulness for your client with gifts such as:
o A hat with your client’s name juxtaposed with your logo and the date to commemorate an event
o A custom M&M’S package printed with the names of your buyer’s team members and their company colors
· Personal interaction: Reach out to new clients and schedule a fifteen-minute phone call to add that personal touch and demonstrate your appreciation.
· Punny gifts: At Square 2 Marketing, we welcome new clients by sending them a jar of Marshmallow Fluff with an attached note that reads, “This is the last fluff you’ll ever get from us.” These silly but thoughtful exchanges create an emotional connection between buyers and sellers.
A Little Goes a Long Way
A little bit of wow doesn’t have to be ringside seats at Madison Square Garden. Like the Marshmallow Fluff or a fifteen-minute phone call, creating a remarkable experience just needs to show your buyer that they are important enough for you to go the extra mile as soon as they click “buy” or sign on the dotted line. That’s what will keep them coming back.