When’s the last time you felt valued?

Maybe a friend you haven’t talked to in too long sent you a heartfelt email. Or a waiter arranged for you to get a free dessert on your birthday. Or someone simply told you they loved you.

We all want to feel valued.

It makes us feel warm and gooey inside, cared for, appreciated. It makes us want to stay connected to the people, places and businesses that give us that fantastic feeling.

So much of what we do as marketers is focused on the sale. Once a customer converts, our instinct is to slap a big red rubber stamp on them that says “DONE.” Then we forget about them and move on to the next sale.

But how would you feel if a person or a company wrote you off that way?

It’s the same kind of “Morning After Syndrome” you get when that cute guy or gal you hooked up with doesn’t call you the next day. (Not that that’s ever happened to us…we swear.) You thought things were going great, and suddenly you’re dropped like a hot potato. It doesn’t feel very good.

Never give your customers a reason to feel that you’ve dropped them.

This isn’t just for touchy-feely purposes, either. Any smart business knows the monetary value of keeping customers feeling valued, even after their purchase. Here’s why:

It’s easier to maintain a repeat customer than convert a new one.

Not only is it easier to keep your existing customers buying, their purchases will earn you more money. According to McKinsey, “eCommerce spending for new customers is on average $24.50, compared to $52.50 for repeat customers.”

You’ll reduce your refund rate.

It might sound obvious, but satisfied customers are less likely to refund. You can see your revenue decimated if you don’t make the effort to keep your paid customers satisfied. Why risk it?

You’ll get more positive word of mouth.

According to Harris Interactive, 72% of “adults who had a memorable product purchase, use or service experience” took action to communicate about it positively to others.

You won’t lose business to your competitors.

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related,” says Bain & Company. Customers can tell when they’re being written off, and they won’t stick around for long.

You’ll save money in the long run.

In their book Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmett and Mark Murphy explain that “a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.” Not too shabby.

Always look at the sale as the midpoint in your relationship, not the end point.

Your prospects are like caterpillars in the garden of your product. Once they become your readers, they’ve started to wrap themselves in a cocoon. And when they become paying customers, they’ve fully transformed into butterflies.

Everyone likes butterflies, right? So why would you let them fly away when they get to this stage? This is important: don’t let the butterflies fly away!

You want to keep them coming back again and again for more of your products. But customers, like butterflies, don’t respond well to being chased with a net…or with any large object, really.

Instead, entice them to stay. Make your garden a welcoming place full of beautiful products, and they’ll feel like they’re right where they belong.

Here are four simple ways to do it.

1. Show your support.

Always follow up on your customers’ purchases. You should be sending at least two followup emails.

  1. Email immediately to ensure that they’ve received their product and to see if they need assistance getting started.
  2. Follow up a bit later to ask if they have additional questions and if the product is meeting their expectations.

Here’s another example of follow-up from right here at Summit Evergreen:

Everyone who signs up during our beta period gets a free concierge experience. In addition to a personal onboarding walkthrough, we’ll input your initial course content for you.

It might seem like we’re going a bit overboard, but we believe it goes a long way in making new customers feel at home with Summit Evergreen and ensuring they’ll get the most out of the product.

2. Stay in touch.

Emails, phone calls, and even handwritten letters keep your connection with your customers strong, although we advise you to resist the temptation to show up at their door unannounced.

Now that they’ve purchased, it’s okay to reduce the frequency of communications and the hard-hitting sales talk. You’ll want to focus instead on establishing a back-and-forth dialogue to strengthen your relationship. Provide content that’s relevant and fun, and always ask for feedback. (And actually listen to it.)

3. Deliver on your promises.

Customers are like kids.

If you promised to take them to Disney World, you better take them to Disney World! Anything else simply will not do. If you promised your customers they’ll learn how to knit a cute dog sweater, it better be the gosh darn cutest dog sweater they’ve ever knit.

Anything you promised in your sales pitch, you have to deliver. No excuses!

4. Go beyond your promises.

What’s your version of the chocolate on the hotel pillow? Going the extra mile and adding a human touch will make your customers feel appreciated and excited to come back for me.

Just a few ideas you can try:

  • Send free bonus content.
  • Create a custom video addressing your customer by name. Even better: include kittens.
  • Offer a temporary upgrade or a trial of a new product.

It’s all about showing your customer how much you value them. Once you establish that, you’ve got it in the bag. Like the Marines…or the Mafia…once you’re in, you’re in.

Now you can avoid the risk of Morning After Syndrome and grow your first-time purchaser into a lifelong customer. It’s amazing how far your customers will stick with you if you exude just a little extra appreciation.

Want to see customer appreciation in action? Click here to sign up for our personalized concierge onboarding service. 

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