Let’s say for every product you buy, there are one of three outcomes as far as your satisfaction with the purchase:
1 – Indifferent. The product does what you expected it to do, no more or no less.
2 – Upset. The product doesn’t meet your expectations.
3 – Excited. The product exceeds your expectations.
If you are indifferent toward your purchase, the odds are that you aren’t likely to praise or criticize the purchase to other customers. Likely, it was an inexpensive purchase, and you really didn’t have high expectations for it to begin with. For instance, if your purchase cost a dollar and was a complete disappointment, well you are only out a dollar, so you are less likely to be as upset with the quality of the product.
If you are upset or excited with your purchase, then that means you want to talk about it. You want to share your experience with others. Interestingly, Guy Winch has found that 95% of the time when a customer is upset with a purchase, they will tell other customers, and won’t tell the company that made the product! According to Winch:
“Research has found that 95% of consumers who have a problem with a product don’t complain to the company, but they will tell their tale to eight to 16 people,” he says. “It’s unproductive because we’re not complaining to the people who can resolve our issue.”
Venting also floods the bloodstream with cortisol, the stress hormone. “We tell ourselves that we need to get it off our chest, but each time we do, we get upset all over again,” he adds. “We end up 10 to 12 times more aggravated.”
Isn’t that fascinating, in a depressing sort of way? But it makes complete sense that retelling a negative experience with a product to other customers would make us more upset with the purchase. And the customers we are talking to would likely want to be supportive and sympathetic toward our anger, so they may say they agree that the company was in the wrong, which would make us even MORE upset with the purchase!
Which is honestly a bit unfair to the company, when you think about it. Because we didn’t reach out to them and give them a chance to help us with our problem.
Let’s come back to this in a moment and talk about what happens when you are excited with a purchase. You tell other customers, right? We know this is true from our own experiences for many reasons. We want to share with others what worked for us. Also, we probably want to ‘brag’ on ourselves to a degree by sharing what a ‘smart’ purchase we made.
The point is, we talk to others about our purchase in either scenario. But if you think about it, even when we have a positive experience with a purchase, are we really that likely to reach out to the company and communicate that to them? Probably not.
So the onus, rightly or wrongly, is on the company to do everything it can to encourage the customer to give feedback on the purchase. If the customer is indifferent toward the purchase, they will likely ignore the request.
But if the customer is either very upset or very excited with the purchase, an invitation to give feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Now, many companies aren’t thrilled with the prospect of hearing from angry customers. It’s just human nature. But, if you can give a customer the support they need post-purchase, you greatly increase your chances of converting the upset customer into a happy one.
And remember, happy customers are your best salespeople. They acquire new customers for you!
So think about how you can better connect with your customers after the purchase. This will only improve and enhance your customer loyalty efforts. And if you want to learn more, we will be discussing this topic tonight during #ContentCircus on Twitter, starting at 7pm Central. Follow me on Twitter, and watch my tweets, the topic will be How to Create Content For Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey!