Why post-sale customer education is the secret to repeat business

Marketing and sales materials are primarily geared towards attracting and engaging customers. If they are enticing enough, customers will buy your product. But what happens after the sale is closed? To build relationships with your customers and secure repeat business, customer engagement shouldn’t end with the sale, in fact, the post-purchase experience can be just as integral as any pre-sale marketing efforts.

Thinking beyond the sale

To drive repeat sales, post-purchase customer education is key. As the customer unboxes or sets up their recent purchase, their expectations are at an all time high. This is your chance to support them to get up and running immediately. In the long term, ongoing educational support is key to inspiring trust and building brand loyalty, ultimately leading to increased customer retention and sales. Studies have found that repeat customers spend an average of 33% more per order than first-time customers and that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profits by anything from 25-95%. Quality educational content ensures your customers keep coming back.

What is customer education?

Customer education involves teaching your existing or potential customers about your products or services. This includes explaining the functionality and features of a product as well as providing practical use cases and troubleshooting guides. Customer education enables customers to make an informed choice about the product that’s best for them and ensures they get the most out of the product they choose.

How to create repeat customers

  1. Create instant post-sale value

    First impressions matter, and you don’t want to leave any room for doubt in the customer’s mind about whether their purchase was worth it. Right after the purchase, customers test out or try on the product, in a period known as ‘onboarding’. Providing them with educational information during this period can accelerate the customer’s appreciation of the product’s value. So, the sooner your customer is equipped to engage with your product, the better.

    However, be careful not to bombard and overwhelm your customer straight after the sale. Depending on your product, consider centering the information you provide them after the sale on how the customer intends to use it, instead of providing them with them with lots of product information all at once. For example, if your product is a complex software, providing gradual hints and exposing features over time will enable users to retain the knowledge more deeply, as they will learn it when it’s relevant.

  2. Continue the new purchase glow

    We all love the feeling of a new purchase, whether it’s a smart speaker, a subscription to dishwasher tablets or 100GB more photo storage for all of your holiday snaps. As a business, you have the chance to increase your product’s value by providing customers with useful how-tos, keeping them excited about your brand for longer. Your customers have a chance to dive deeper into your product, and discover information that wouldn’t be necessary at the research stage. This extends the new purchase glow, giving them a positive impression of your company and making them likely to return.

    You can delight customers with an “alternative” instruction manual, which could include fun suggestions on product use, or introduce them to an online community of other users where you share product tips and tricks. When your customers want to deepen their knowledge, they can use these resources.

How to maintain repeat customers

  1. Inspire long term trust

    Staying in touch with your customers by supplying ongoing technical support and information in the weeks, or even months, after their purchase ensures they get up and running quickly, and increases their trust in the quality of your product or service.

    Deeper troubleshooting leads to a better user experience, resulting in higher satisfaction with the product and fewer customer support calls. This could look like following up via email and asking if they have any questions about their purchase, providing live chat software, setting up a customer forum, or interacting with customers via social media.

  2. Make it personal

    The data is clear: customers want a personalized experience. 72% of customers will only engage with personalized messaging, and 71% of customers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences. Post-sale customer education is an ideal opportunity to create even more tailored and personalized content for your customers. Using their name in follow ups and email campaigns can make customers feel known, valued and connected to your company.

  3. Build brand evangelists

    Customers who believe in your brand drive sales. The more educated your customers are on your product, the more advanced features they will adopt and the more new products they will buy from you, expanding the value of your brand. The more the product benefits them, the more likely they are to promote you to other buyers. Research shows that 92% of people trust product recommendations from friends, and in comparison, only 24% trust ads.

    Customer education enhances the customer’s overall experience of your company. It provides you with an opportunity to develop and maintain relationships that make customers more likely to buy from you again and again and promote your brand to their friends.

To brush up on your customer education knowledge, read our customer education 101 article here.


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