How you end a customer interaction is just as important as how you begin one.
After a customer has completed a transaction, do you:
- Offer something that makes them feel you care and want to continue a relationship
- Kick them out of the door, saying "thanks for the money, now scram."
You'd be surprised how many customer "transactions" end in situation number 2. And that's the problem, businesses look at it as a "transaction" vs. an "interaction." And they're losing money because of it.
What I learned in the Macy's women's lingerie department
I was out shopping with my mother. (How's that for a buzz kill after that nice racy header) After ringing up my mother's purchases, the sales woman came around the counter to hand my mother her shopping bag. She then offered up, "If you'd like to continue browsing, please let me know if I can be helpful with any further purchases."
This was so smart for two reasons:
One, when someone comes out from behind the counter to hand you your bag, they have removed a physical and mental barrier between the two of you. It is a surprisingly warm and intimate gesture. It garners instant trust and rapport.
Two, the sales woman was inviting my mother to continue to look around, gather more ideas and information and, wait for it, continue to shop.
Bottom line: Give customers a chance to continue shopping, even after they've checked out. And make sure they come away feeling connected to you with a personal gesture or message.
The online order confirmation page – a huge lost opportunity
How many times have you gone online to purchase something and the last step in the process is a "thank you for your order" confirmation page. This is the equivalent of "thank you for your business now scram." The problem is, companies look at this as the end of a "transaction" vs. the end of an "interaction."
Yes, perhaps the customer has completed an action and wants to leave. That is their right. But they have just signaled they are very interested in you and what you have to offer (aka plunked down cash). Offer them the opportunity to continue the interaction if they wish.
Big Fish Nation knows how to hook customers
For example, I recently signed up for a course with Big Fish Nation, headed by Lorin Beller Blake. Lorin is very smart about her business. She knows it's all about building relationships with her customers. After the order confirmation page, I was automatically taken to the Big Fish Nation blog/website where I could read the latest post from Lorin.
At that point in the process, yes, I had finished signing up for the course. But I was also in prime "relationship building" mode. I enjoyed reading more about the company and Lorin which made me even more excited about my purchase.
Bottom line: What other actions could your customers take once they have completed a purchase? Provide links to other content or take them to your latest blog post.
Sales Divas tells customers what they can do next
Kim Duke at Sales Divas does an awesome job with her newsletter. At the bottom of every newsletter, she clearly spells out what customers can do now to continue the relationship.
Bottom line: After someone has finished reading your newsletter, clearly spell out other steps they can take to continue the relationship.
Conclusion: When a customer completes an action, it does not necessarily mean they want to run off. Don't kick them out of the door. Offer them the option to stick around, browse around, get to know you better. Think of it as a customer interaction rather than a transaction. There could be lots more business to be won and done.