Do companies care about their customers after the sale is made? While most brands would probably say “Yes, of course!” that’s not the vibe that consumers are getting. Only 17% believe that a brand cares about them once the sale is over, at least according to a recent survey by the CMO Council.
The study, “Product Ownership: Lasting Satisfaction or Painful Distraction,” took a close look at product ownership and found that the post-purchase experience is lacking from the customers’ point of view.
More than 2,000 North American consumers were polled in May 2017 with regard to their post-purchase experience regarding the home appliances, power tools, electronics and other durable products they had purchased during the previous 12 months. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) said that they were disappointed with manufacturers’ post-sales actions, and 56% reported dissatisfaction with retailers and e-Commerce sites.
According to the CMO Council, the report confirms that “the aftermarket ownership experience remains dramatically under-served by most retailers and manufacturers in a landscape in which chief marketers are more focused on demand generation, customer acquisition and product sales—despite the fact that the aftermarket has shown to be a lucrative area of ongoing value creation, revenue growth, higher profit margin, relationship building, referral and customer enrichment.”
In addition to a lack of focus on the post-purchase experience, there seems to be a disconnect between what customers want and need regarding ownership and what brands are offering. For example, when it comes to getting information on how to use a product or help with a non-working product, respondents cited a number of issues, both at the retail and manufacturer level.
Image Source: cmocouncil.org
According to the study, product owners generally look for brand assistance in the following areas:
- Technical help or assistance – 51%
- Warranty claims processing – 38%
- Repair and maintenance – 35%
- User instruction and training – 28%
Product owners also expect 24/7 accessibility to brands and rapid responses to their questions.
The study also found that, while many consumers value having a record of their purchase (52%) and access to instructional documents or manuals (45%), some don’t want to deal with the paperwork – 16% say they simply throw away receipts, manuals, registration materials and other purchase documents.
Speaking of paperwork, the survey found that one-third of consumers don’t return warranty cards or register products. Thirty-six percent said they find the terms of returns and warranties complex and/or confusing.
What’s the takeaway for brands?
Simply put, don’t neglect the post-purchase experience. When it comes to post-sales customer service, most brands have room for improvement. But service and support is only part of the story.
While a consumer purchase marks the end of the initial sales journey, it also marks the beginning of the ownership journey. As the CMO Council report demonstrates, consumers need and want to connect with both retailers and brands after the sale, and their expectations are greater than ever. In turn, brands that recognize not just the requirements but the huge opportunities present in the post-purchase journey are realizing greater loyalty, advocacy and lifetime value.
At Registria, we make it straightforward and simple for brands to implement a winning post-purchase strategy. Learn more about how global brands use our onboarding, engagement and revenue generating solutions.