How and Why to Improve Your Post-Purchase Experiences

Five paper shopping bags and a shopping cart on a laptop keyboard.

177
Filed under - Industry Insights, ,

There is a world of difference between consumers’ behaviour and expectations when it comes to pre- and post-purchase experiences.

Research and shopping around are almost consumer sports because investing wisely and choosing the right product is about taking control of personal spending and already stretched budgets. It can also be fun.

Post-purchase experiences are very different. The customer has done their fact checking and once money changes hands it’s time for the organisation and its customer support team to take responsibility.

Do Post-Purchase Experiences Delight Customers?

There’s a well-known saying ‘no news is good news’, and it applies to many post-purchase experiences as they often have problem-based intents.

Unfortunately, some queries which once would have been considered minor have had their severity amplified by uncertainty and the cost-of-living crisis. The potential consequences and urgency have changed.

For evidence, look no further than the ECCCSE’s Voice of the European Contact Centre Consumer research, supported by Odigo.

There are a host of challenges impacting consumer opinion of service. While many originate outside the contact centre, the outcome demands action all the same:

The pressure is intense and the weak spots in contact centre strategies are beginning to show.

What Do Customers Need to Feel Supported?

Understanding the nuances of consumer opinion provides useful clues for improving post-purchase experience strategies and customer satisfaction.

In fact, in the ECCCSE’s research, the variation seen in customer service ratings across industries and countries suggests a ‘simple’ solution for improving experiences:

Provide Appropriate Post-Purchase Care

Although post-purchase is a term often associated with the retail sector, it’s an element of many customer lifecycles and there are lessons to be learnt by analysing other sectors.

For example, the utilities and government sectors, across all six countries surveyed by the ECCCSE, consistently grappled with large gaps between customer expectations and service delivery. And it’s dramatically undermining satisfaction.

These organisations are either publicly owned or being heavily impacted by the geopolitical climate. The result is that tight budgets and, in some areas more than others, slow or delayed digital transformation, are creating a melting pot of insufficient agents, underwhelming digital options and rising levels of complex support challenges.

Complex support needs are agent territory, but the bottom line is many organisations have a cap on how many agents it’s viable to employ.

There’s also no point investing heavily in self-service touchpoints for queries that customers feel they need and are entitled to agent support for. Although there are unique challenges within these sectors, the right approach is universally applicable.

Practical Tips for Better Customer Support

1. Customised Touchpoints

Understand the specific needs of customers, through research and data analytics. Focus time and effort on the touchpoints customers need and skip the ones they simply won’t use, regardless of how great it would be if they did. Rarely used touchpoints still need updating, they’re just not an efficient use of resources.

2. Proactive Engagement

Tracking reason codes or listening to agent feedback can highlight areas where proactively engaging with customers helps mitigate concerns before they escalate.

It’s Not Just Why, Consider Who Is Making Contact

Selecting the appropriate strategy for post-purchase interactions also means considering customer preferences; channel or tech adoption rates vary with age.

This means there are two major customer factors which influence choice when interacting with post-purchase touchpoints:

Demographics

Younger cohorts, as seen in the ECCCSE data, are both more positive about service in general and quicker to adopt new technology.

So, in some cases providing more core digital services is appropriate. If, like in the public sector, though, customers proportionally represent the entire population, a full spectrum of services is wise.

Analysing internal data to identify trends between age, channel and satisfaction can uncover strategies to improve customer loyalty and the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Vulnerability

Depending on the sector, customer base and changing economic climate the proportion of new and existing customers who class as vulnerable will vary.

It’s an important factor in forecasting. Vulnerable customers often have complex queries or need more empathic support.

Identification during qualification and prioritisation of services for these customers is crucial. As is in-queue messaging and automated alternatives for those who effectively get deprioritised.

These strategies for post-purchase interactions aren’t just about aligning with industry and demographic trends but also promoting positive interactions between agents and customers.

Front-Line Challenges During Post-Purchase Experiences

When a customer has an urgent or complex problem and encounters poorly functioning self-service touchpoints and/or difficulty accessing services, frustrations and emotions can rise quickly.

This is further compounded by vulnerability. Particularly in Spain and France, contact centre professionals end up on the receiving end of a lot of anger and upset.

Offering appropriate customer experiences will help the situation but it’s not possible to shield agents from every challenging conversation.

Rising to the challenge of these conversations, provided the customer isn’t being abusive, can actually contribute to agent satisfaction.

In turn, agents with a positive problem-solving approach also improve customer experiences. It’s draining, though, and too many calls like this can rapidly burn out even the best agent.

That’s why supporting agent wellbeing should not be overlooked:

Implement Stress Management Programs

These programs can include mindfulness techniques, counselling services, and periodic wellness check-ins.

Foster a Supportive Environment

Support networks, open communication and allowances for time out after particularly difficult calls or temporarily changing which queries are routed to an agent to boost recovery and resilience.

Adapt Your Post-Purchase Experiences With CCaaS

Getting the right balance of touchpoints post-purchase depends on several factors. To make the right decisions industry research is great but it’s even more valuable in tandem with your own contact centre data.

Driven by AI, Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions can help analyse intent during qualification and provide agents with next step suggestions based on speech and text analysis.

Armed with this, omnichannel management tools can help create the range of touchpoints you need, prioritise customers when appropriate and monitor performance.

No one ever hits the nail on the head first time so choose a solution which can be adapted to your needs and configured to provide the data and alerts that drive improvements.

Whether it’s proactive, pre-purchase or post-purchase experiences, CCaaS solutions support agents, customers and business needs.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Odigo – View the Original Article

For more information about Odigo - visit the Odigo Website

About Odigo

Odigo Odigo helps large organisations connect with individuals through world-class, cloud-based contact centre solutions. Our cutting-edge, proprietary technologies enable a seamless, efficient, omnichannel experience for your customers and a satisfying, engaging experience for your service agents.

Read other posts by Odigo

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Odigo

Published On: 13th Feb 2024
Read more about - Industry Insights, ,

Follow Us on LinkedIn