When your conversion numbers are rising it can be easy to think your work is done. You made the sale – transaction over… right? Sure, converting that sale is important, However, when it comes to sustaining growth in ecommerce, all the marketing and online expertise that won that hard-fought sale is only half the battle.
We value new customers so highly because of their potential to become repeat customers – that doesn’t happen unless you nail the full program – especially the final landing, aka the last mile, on your customer’s experience. What does that look like? Read on.
Build your next sale into your current one
A wise and likely misquoted person once said “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” If you want to see a hugely prolific marketing strategy in action, it’s time to start planting trees early. Why wait for your customer to decide to remember how awesome you are when you can send them a friendly little reminder with their very first order?
Pack coupons with attractive discounts into your orders, your customers will have tangible evidence that you value them – and a good excuse to come back for another sale. When it comes to promotional material, email has great instant conversion, but if you’re playing the long game, having your 25% off voucher magnetised to your customer’s fridge, or as a book mark in their fave book (yes, real books are making a come back), or as a tag on Fluffy’s new coat is a great way to stay present in the minds of your customers.
Make the last mile a priority – or get someone else to
Delivery – the final frontier – sometimes referred to as the last mile. Of all of the steps of the customer experience process, the last mile is easily the most rife with potential for disaster – or triumph! Wrong orders, lost orders, packaging that doesn’t protect the product, there’s not a person alive who doesn’t have a delivery nightmare story. So how do you keep those stories from being your customers’ stories?
You focus on the last mile – otherwise everything in the customer journey gets tarnished by a poorer than necessary outcome. The last mile is the part the customer journey that gets you into the customer’s home and hands. Sure your website is there and it’s pretty, and interesting and all, but you want your amazing product in their hot little hands asap, leaving them with that special glow customers get when all their latest hopes and dreams are delivered quickly and perfectly in a box or package.
And on the rare occasion that you do everything perfectly, and the customer decides that the product isn’t quite right on this occasion, you want your customer returns process, let’s call it the reverse last mile, to be flawless. You want the customer to still feel like they’re central to your business’ universe; that it wasn’t to be this time, but next time, it will be awesome and they’ll remember how wonderful you are all over again.
How do you make sure that’s the last mile your customers have? Well, the last mile is so critical you get help. Working with a firm that specialises in creating delivery experiences that ‘WOW’ your customers means you don’t have to wade through an unpleasant mess of trial and bottom-line-damaging error, you can skip right to the wow-ing and keep your focus very firmly on all the other marketing miles that get customers to being thrilled with their delivery.
Chase constructive criticism
When you work hard to build your business, it can be hard to get negative feedback. Don’t these people know the effort you put in? Can’t they see you’re trying your best?
No, no they can’t, and tying yourself in knots to get things right doesn’t change anything if your customer has a problem. The solution? Don’t wait for the bad review or angry phone call; follow up with your customers and wherever possible be on the front foot, ahead of the issue. Everyone loves a ‘fixer’.
By automating a quick follow up email to get some feedback from your customers, you not only avoid them choosing a more public channel to air their grievances, you give your customer support a chance to shine. There is nothing so memorable as business that went out of its way to fix an issue ASAP. You’ll likely earn yourself a repeat customer and potentially find something in your own business that you can improve.
If you want to really nail your last mile when it comes to your business, we’d be delighted to help. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 6300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below.