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Win customers for life with post-purchase evaluation
Customer Delight

Win customers for life with post-purchase evaluation

Versha Kamwal
November 9, 2021
6
mins read

Customer loyalty is the only way to ensure long-term success. But there’s one challenge —the ecommerce landscape is bustling with endless ecommerce brands giving a plethora of options to the customers.

Even after a shopper makes a purchase from your brand, the ongoing ecommerce standards of easy returns and obsession of the perfect product can make the shopper think and wonder, “Is it worth a purchase?” or “Should I get a refund?”

Nowadays, most of the ecommerce brands are making returns and exchanges as customer-centric as possible. But is it enough to make the customers come back for more? Well, yes! You can experience repeated purchases in the post-purchase evaluation stage where loyal customers are won or lost.

In this blog, you'll learn, the importance of customer experience in the post-purchase journey, what is post-purchase evaluation, what is the consumer post-purchase evaluation process, and what are the ways to win life-long customers.

Importance of customer experience in the post-purchase journey

Customer experience focuses on the relationship between your brand and your customers. And when you decide to continue this relationship with your customers after making a purchase from you, it’s called the post-purchase experience.

Such customer experience after the conversion determines if the customer will be loyal to your brand. Thus, if you focus on improving the customer experience in the post-purchase stage, you can increase the customer lifetime value (CLTV).

Now, you must be wondering that as a business, it’s important to attract new customers. True! But, while acquiring new customers is necessary for growth, you should also improve the post-purchase experience to reduce the customer churn.

Factually, customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition as it costs 5 to 25 times more money to acquire new customers. Moreover, the success rate  when selling to existing customers is 60-70% as compared to 5-20% while selling to new customers.

However, keeping customers loyal to your brand is extremely tough. According to a book, Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman, the author discovered an alarming reality that customers leave a brand within 100 days. This means, getting new customers is a necessary goal. But the real make-it-or-break-it moment happens in the post-purchase period.

Now that you know why customer experience in the post-purchase stage is important, let’s see how you can evaluate the customer satisfaction.

What is post-purchase evaluation?

Post-purchase evaluation is the stage after an order has been delivered and used—then the customer decides whether the product or the order delivery journey met expectations, exceeded them, or was disappointing.

What is the consumer post-purchase evaluation process?

The post-purchase evaluation process begins as soon as a customer hits the buy button. It includes everything from order confirmation, to order delivery or sometimes, returns and exchanges and beyond.

Here are a few ways, you can evaluate the post-purchase experience:

  • Did the product meet the customer's needs?
  • Is the customer happy with the order and the order delivery?
  • Would the customer recommend the product or write a review?
  • Will the customer be loyal to the ecommerce brand?
  • Would the customer buy the same product again?
  • Will the customer buy another product from the ecommerce brand?

As an ecommerce brand, you can know the answers to all the questions by asking for feedback from your customers. You can send a survey after a few days or sometimes months from purchase, so the customers get quality time to use the product. Nevertheless, you still have control over the satisfaction of customers. By doing everything possible to make sure customers are satisfied, you can dominate the post-purchase evaluation stage and win more loyal customers.

What are the ways to win life-long customers?

There are various ways to increase customer loyalty by influencing customers at three stages:

  1. Before the customers makes a purchase
  2. Before the customers receives the order
  3. After the customers receives and uses the product

1. Make a return policy that your customers will love

To create a great experience while shoppers are deciding whether to or not make a purchase, build their confidence by a customer-centric returns policy. So that shoppers don’t have to wonder, “what if i don’t like this product” but “I can return it easily, if I don’t like it”.

Even if your customers don't like their purchase, you can deliver a great customer experience and make them come back again to buy something else.

You can start by framing a clear and concise return policy that can give reassurance to the shoppers. Here are some ways to ace your returns policy to ensure customer satisfaction post-purchase:

  • Make sure your returns policy answers all the questions like what is the return window, how to initiate a return, if there are additional charges, how much time does it take, is there anything a customer cannot return, what is the expected condition of returned products, and what are the return requirements
  • Keep the language of returns policy easy-to-understand and concise
  • Create a dedicated page for the returns policy on your online store
  • Make sure your returns policy is easy to find on your website
  • Provide multiple methods of reimbursements for refunds, such as source account or wallet

Adidas' returns policy
Adidas' returns policy

2. Build excitement before the customer order is delivered

Buying a product online takes a few seconds but customers have to wait long enough to receive their orders. Meanwhile, they can question their purchase, get anxious about the order delivery, or maybe cancel their order.

This is the exact moment you should capitalise on! Ofcourse, you are sending order confirmation, and proactive order notifications or even real-time order tracking, but why stop here. You can build some kind of excitement while your customers are waiting for their orders.

Let’s take an example, BluMaan is a premium haircare brand for men that sends an email with a few simple hair styling tips to customers. Now, instead of worrying about order delivery, customers get excited about styling their hair as soon as their orders arrive. Such exhilaration can help you retain your customers for a long time.

Here are some ways to build customer excitement:

  • Send emails with easy-to-understand tips and guides for your product
  • Send emails with various usage of you product

BluMaan builds excitement before order delivery

BluMaan builds excitement before order delivery

3. Make returns easy and offer exchanges

As an ecommerce brand, you don't want people holding onto products they aren't overjoyed with. While offering returns seems mandatory, you can ensure that customers continue their relationship with your brand by offering easy exchanges.

Of course, you can also drive exchanges instead of refunds by  extending the return window for exchanges or offering incentives on exchanges. But the aim here is to make the returns and exchange process as easy as possible to enhance the customer experience—ultimately, building loyalty.

Here are a few ways to offer hassle-free returns and exchanges:

  • Ensure a quick and easy process for initiating a return
  • Schedule a quick return shipping of the product
  • Suggest alternative products for your customers if want an exchange
  • Conduct quality checks and processing the refund quickly

Easy exchanges
Easy exchanges on a Shopify store

Customers that exchange products are 33.8% more likely to purchase again compared to customers who did not.

We aren’t done yet. Here’s a bonus tip!

If a customer is having an issue with your brand at any stage—before, during or after the purchase,  it doesn't mean you have to lose a customer. You can use such situations to establish that you will provide your assistance to your customers if they face any difficulty throughout their buying journey.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Provide dedicated customer service via toll free number or emails
  • Leverage chatbots for live support
  • Curate elaborative FAQ section

Charles & Keith's live support with chatbot
Charles & Keith's live support with chatbot

Bottom line

In this competitive ecommerce landscape, ecommerce brands must create brand differentiation based on customer experience. If you’re keen to deliver an exceptional experience during the post-purchase evaluation stage, you can win your customers for life! You can start with going beyond an easy returns and exchange policy and build customer excitement throughout their purchase journey. This way, you can successfully offer a wholesome customer experience, retain more customers, and enjoy repeat purchases.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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