Post-Purchase Customer Experience Strategy Series: The Win-Win of Integrated Support

If you’ve been following my thoughts on the post-purchase customer experience, you know I believe in a concerted effort between global customer care and marketing teams—and hopefully, you agree.

In this post, I’ll explore other areas of post-purchase CX that are sometimes overlooked. In many organizations, various teams are part of the customer experience without even realizing the vitality of their role— and these parties can play a part in keeping buyers and/or end users happy with their brand, and integrated customer experience strategy can benefit everyone.

Customer Enablement

Another area of post-purchase CX that Marketing is now expected to take an active role in is customer enablement. Personally, my teams have been pulled into several on-boarding initiatives and were asked to re-architect existing materials and provide content. I was not prepared from a resource stand-point and hadn’t considered budgeting for these projects. The Service Delivery team put serious pressure on us, suggesting the old way of on-boarding customers needs to be adapted for a new agile reality and expectations, making it part of the overall CX—and they were right.

Let’s imagine the following scenario: a new customer is going through an on-boarding process and the end user is different from the actual buyer. The organization’s procurement buys services from the vendor to be utilized by 25 marketing teams across the globe. The vendor’s service delivery team sends over a traditional on-boarding guide that is 35-pages long, containing all sorts of different “useful and/or required” information. This gets distributed down to the end users, then… wait. Who has time to read and navigate that?! What does the Marketing end-user care about? How to log a project with a vendor? FAQs for technical troubleshooting? How to contact the dedicated customer success team and resolve issues?

Just give me a one-pager that is quick and to the point, please.

After all, if end-users receive a less-than-desirable experience and are forced to sit twiddling their thumbs figuring out how to log a job, they won’t wait around forever. In some organizations, they’ll go around centralization process and contract their own vendor and that will defeat the whole purpose of what their organization was trying to accomplish in the first place. And the buyer—who had the best intention to save the organization some money—will be kicked back to square one.

To keep providing flawless post-purchase CX, Marketing should also work closely with Service Delivery teams and I, myself, am considering getting a Marketing headcount for someone dedicated to customer on-boarding.

Who’s on deck to “join” CX?

Sales, Marketing, Service Delivery, and Customer Care all play a vital role in orchestrating CX—but is there anyone else? Let’s say you get a call from one of your large customers located in Europe. The customer buys two types of services from you—very large projects and small transactional projects. They are happy with the service, however, it is very difficult for them to pay for smaller transactional jobs via invoicing. They ask if those can be paid by credit card to make life much easier for their 25 global marketing sub-teams. You go to your Finance department to see if this is possible… three weeks later… your Finance team says it is too complex to change their internal processes and they decline your request. You deliver the news to the customer, their enthusiasm is diminishing and—right then and there—your post-purchase CX takes a hit.

Should you blame your Finance team? Of course not! But, if they are involved in orchestrating CX along with other parties and taking a closer look at what role they play—perhaps they could have identified more payment options for customers and offered other suggestions that customers would have loved.

The Bottom Line

Organizations and departments within have the budget to outsource services, and they make every effort to utilize that budget wisely. If buyers or end-users struggle to solve their problems and encounter a poor post-purchase CX that leaves them frustrated, they will not hesitate to jump ship—and they’ll feel no remorse when they do.

Finally, orchestrating and providing consistently stellar post-purchase CX is vital for customer retention. This rings true for all customers—large or small. This is no groundbreaking concept for any of us, of course, so I challenge marketers to be proactive: take ownership of this process, identify all other functions within your organization who play an important role in customer success, tell them about it, and invite them to the table. Orchestrate that experience together as a company and take pride in having the happiest customers around!