It’s a pretty glorious moment when a prospective consumer officially crosses the threshold and becomes a customer. Once you’re done celebrating the moment, let’s think “next step.” When you’ve gotten someone to trust you enough to give your product and brand a try, the next step is getting them to “rinse and repeat,” in other words – to do it again.
There are three ways of looking at this. (1) You can either have the end goal of securing just another transaction; (2) you can try and get this person to rely on you for their products in the future on a steady drip pattern or (3) you can have this person trust you as a brand for their needs.
The Holy Grail of marketing is always, always option number three. The first option is for amateurs or the snake-oil salesmen mentality that is only looking to push the sale versus build a trust. Option number two is similar, again focused on the sale but this time in a pattern formation. Option 2 is how a more talented salesman thinks. Option three is the humanist approach to full-spectrum marketing. It considers both the needs of the company and the needs of the consumer. It looks to build a relationship.
The big picture view of a post-transaction moment is going to look at all opportunities to relationship build that will be in the interest of that consumer, other consumers, and of the company itself. This starts with asking for a review once the product has been purchased, received and used within a reasonable time. For how this is done in a humanistic way, look at Etsy where vendors send out personal notes ensuring the customer is happy. They don’t directly ask for a review but they do provide the link for a review or include a little line at the end of the email suggesting (not asking or expecting) the review. There’s another thing Etsy users do that has allowed some one-time sellers become big brands: they anticipate your needs.
Amazon is a pro at this when it comes to regularly used items. It lets consumers set something like a household consumable to an auto-purchase cycle to arrive regularly. This is where our idea of lean comes in. Lean doesn’t just mean what’s easier for you – what shaves off time for you. Lean is also about making your customers’ lives a little bit easier. What’s one less thing they have to think about?
Best Buy, a retail giant for tech and appliances and other home and office goods, goes a step further and tells you what else you’d want to buy in addition to what you’ve just purchased. Not only do consumers like this – especially if it’s positioned as what else people bought who’ve made the same purchase as the consumer – but it helps trigger a repeat transaction. The goal with any post-transaction follow up is that you want to explore all options to be present in the consumer’s mind. From a business perspective, it’s much easier to get someone to repeat a transaction than it is to try and attract a brand new customer. So from that perspective, the entire idea of post-transaction marketing is a lean pathway to keep a sales cycle going.