Supplementing the Sales Funnel Part 5: Make Purchases Pleasant Experiences

When you make a sale, does it signal the end of your relationship with the customer? If it does, you're missing a huge opportunity.

And just like that, as we reach stage five of the sales funnel, you’ve made a sale!

Four short (ish) blogs ago, people were only just discovering your business for the first time. Now, your content has helped them learn about you and your offering, and given them the reassurance and information they needed to make a purchase.

While you should revel in a job well done as the purchase is confirmed, your thoughts must quickly return to the lead, who is now a customer.

At the point of sale, your content remains an important part of your armoury. Here’s what you can do.

Confirmation contact: obligation or opportunity?

There are two ways to look at a communication that confirms a customer’s purchase:

  1. A basic, necessary communication that confirms the sale and is accompanied by the invoice.
  2. An opportunity to show your appreciation to the customer and build on your relationship.

When you're impersonal in your contact with customers, it turns them off. And if your company sees confirmation contact as an obligation, your approach will probably come across as impersonal as a result. We think there's a better way.

While the customer’s main concern, after parting with their money, is the quality of the product or service they receive, a pleasant customer experience is always a bonus.

Show your appreciation

When you thank customers for choosing your product or service, it strengthens your mutual relationship. Small gestures can go a long way, and showing the customer that you appreciate and value them may be returned in repeat custom, positive feedback, or a referral to a friend.

Take a look at the template you use for confirmation contact. Does it feel forced and transactional? If so, add a short sentence that thanks the customer for their business and wishes them well. You may notice an increase in positive feedback, or no difference at all — either way, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Offer your support

Your relationship with the customer shouldn’t end the moment the purchase is complete. If your confirmation contact has an air of finality, it would be understandable if the customer felt a little betrayed.

Prove to the customer that you’re still there to help. In the communication, offer your support. Even better, provide the customer with contact details in the event that they have a query or encounter a problem. It’s another small gesture that can make a real difference.

Write content about the product

Is it your responsibility to help the customer get the most out of your product?

Contractually, no. Morally, maybe. For the benefit of your business, absolutely.

Whether you’ve sold the customer cutting-edge software or a pair of running shoes, they may not fully understand the product’s many features or uses. By giving the customer all the information and guidance they need, you will improve their perception of the product, as well as the benefits they gain from using it.

There are many ways you can do this in your content, and some are more common than others. Here are a few suggestions:

A user guide

Though often found in the form of a dreary instructional handbook, user guides can actually be engaging pieces of content. On the face of it, the guide’s purpose is to explain how to use the product properly, yet many people simply refuse to read instructions or user manuals. Why> Because they’re dull, boring, and uninspiring to read.

The user guide is an opportunity for you to motivate your customer to use the product. By reflecting your company’s personality in the content, and taking a step back from the numbered instructions that make typical guides so monotonous, you can produce a document that increases use and uptake, as well as informing the user.

A feature booklet

As technology advances, the capabilities of many products increases, and it’s easy for consumers to get left behind. Just 20 years ago, a mobile phone was used to make a call or send a text. Now, it’s a pocket-sized computer.

Can you honestly say you know absolutely everything your phone can do? You know every one of its features, and how they can make your life easier, or improve your productivity?

If your product has a long list of features that benefit the user, make sure they know all about them. It could increase the use of the product, provide the answer to a long-standing problem, or even make them order more. By highlighting each and every feature, you demonstrate the full potential of your product.

A list of suggested uses

Now, this isn’t suitable for every product. To hark back to an example we used earlier, there aren’t many other uses for running shoes except sticking them on your feet and legging it. But for other products, there’s no end to their potential uses.

Let’s look at WD40; that’s the well-known lubricant, not the Birmingham reggae band behind Red, Red Wine. WD40 is commonly used to prevent metal from rust and corrosion, or to remove grease and grime from a surface. However, did you know it can be used to soften leather? Or unstick chewing gum? Or erase crayon?

If your product is multi-use, then let it be known. This is not only great content for customers who have purchased your product, but also highly effective sales content.

Get in touch after the sale

All too often, businesses see the sale as the end of their relationship with the customer. This approach — ‘sale completed, job done’ — is not only a missed opportunity to gain a loyal customer, but also a potential point of negative feedback.

Your contact with the customer shouldn’t end abruptly at the point of sale. It’s important to make your customers aware they can rely on you, and that the relationship isn’t over.

A great way to stay in their thoughts and offer your support is to contact the customer around a week after their purchase (or the delivery of their item, if applicable). In this content, you should:

  • Thank them again for their purchase.
  • Link to your content about the product.
  • Remind them you’re there to help.
  • Provide contact details for your support team.

This thoughtful and supportive approach helps you to develop goodwill with the customer. Being in their good graces is not only useful in the event that something goes wrong, but it also increases the chances of the customer buying from you again.

Enter the final stage

On a few occasions in this blog, we’ve referenced customers becoming loyal to your company and making repeat purchases, which is apt, as the sixth and final stage of the sales funnel is ‘loyalty’.

Your content really is crucial in preventing people from just making one-off purchases and actually developing into the sort of repeat customers that sustain your business.

Until then, if you’d like some assistance in producing content for customers who’ve just made a purchase, we’d love to talk to you, so get in touch with the Prize Content team today.

Published by Dan Grey

Content Writer

Producing quality content and effective communications that help SMEs thrive.