Massive amounts of money are channelled into attracting new customers to both online and bricks and mortar retail outlets. Yet it’s widely reported that a fraction of that spend can reap a healthy return on investment when it comes to building brand loyalty.

For retail businesses, this means shoppers spending more, and more often.

Yet the easy to access and cost-effective tools and techniques to retain an existing customer base are not always fully exploited. Especially when it comes to ways to keep customers happy after transactions have been completed.

Keep retail relationships strong

If the relationship between the retailer and shopper breaks down post-payment, not only do you lose traction for future buying, you could also see your exchanges and returns going up. This is due to a predisposition to feel slightly ‘cheated’, especially if customers felt they were ‘rushed’ away from payment desks.

The ways you can ensure customers stay connected to your brand post-payment are relatively simple.

Payment systems to enhance personal service

One of the most important ways to improve post-payment satisfaction in physical stores is to offer seamless payment, with highly automated technology. This gives sales staff more time for eye contact and personal service as customers move away from card terminals and cash desks.

Having a smooth transactional journey online can also build satisfaction, especially if it includes efficient receipts.

Post-sale customer service

Research shows that 32% of shoppers expect at least the minimum of customer service after they pay.

For e-commerce platforms, this could be emails with additional product information for example, or to check in for product feedback.

For physical stores, post-payment customer service can be as simple as the sales assistant thanking them warmly, asking if they need anything else, and wishing them a great day. That contrasts sharply with store staff who mumble something before switching attention straight to the next customer.

Returns and complaints policies

This level of post-sales service must also include a responsive and friendly returns and exchange system. Making customers feel like they must jump through hoops of fire – or dig deep into your website small print – can put them off returning goods but will also ensure they don’t shop with you again!

In a survey, around a quarter of shoppers (26%) cited unclear policies about returns as being the reason to switch allegiance to a different retailer.

Being willing to listen to customers and empathise can also extend to being ready to take complaints ‘on the chin’. The above research suggested that 40% of shoppers classed complaints procedures as ‘rubbish’.

Fall short on post-payment methods, and you don’t just risk customers taking their business elsewhere. They could also share their dissatisfaction with friends and family online.

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