This month, we're talking about the customer life cycle experience and how companies can best optimize the way they engage with customer throughout their journey from discovery through purchase to brand ambassador. While there are many ways companies can engage and entice prospective customers, what happens after a purchase is made or a transaction is completed?

What Happens After The Purchase?

We know from personal experiences that the way we are treated by brandsafter we've given our money can often influence if we become repeatcustomers or if we recommend them to others. So why do so many companiesthink the customer experience ends after purchase?

Now that there are many more online and offline touch points through which companies and customers can interact and engage, it's harder to ensure that all inquiries, concerns and comments are being addressed. Yet, it's even more important than ever that they are. Once a purchase has been made, customers expect to have a relationship with a brand, especially since many may have been courted for so long beforehand. Consumers intentionally seek out brands after they become customers because they want to feel appreciated, connected and most importantly valued.

Companies are behooved to make an effort to engage customers after the purchase not just because it's good for the customer experience, but because it's good for business. A majority of customers will spend more with a company after a positive experience. Additionally, for every bad experience a customer has, 53 people are told -- that's 11 more than if it's a good experience.

Learning Opportunities

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The Perks of Being a Customer

But it's not just good for business to deliver a satisfying customer experience after purchase, it's what customers want and they're willing to pay more for it. Consumers view the customer experience as a long term relationship. They take the time to research brands, browse reviews, query online communities that by the time they get to purchase, it isn't by accident. As such, they expect to be treated even better after having made a commitment. Because they put in the time and effort to commit to a brand, they expect something extra in return.

Customers don't necessarily need fancy rewards programs, but they do want to feel as if they have earned a direct line to report issues, ask questions or receive information about new products and services. If companies fail to deliver after the purchase, it can be much harder to regain the trust of customers lost.