Successfully guiding your customers through the sales funnel involves reeling them in with compelling marketing and discount campaigns. It also involves showcasing the perks of shopping in your store and ultimately securing a purchase. Hurray!
Now that the customer is in the post-purchase stage, you can call it a done deal or engage more with the customer and cultivate their loyalty to your brand. Sadly, most online retailers choose the former.
The post-purchase stage is crucial in the customer’s journey; if taken advantage of properly, it can increase sales to your store. This is where post-purchase evaluation is a valuable tool to help you engage and encourage customers to be part of your brand.
What Is Post-Purchase Evaluation?
Post-purchase evaluation is an assessment and appraisal of purchased products, the buyers’ decision to purchase, and the overall customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction with their shopping experience. It is a cognitive process that helps online retailers gain valuable insight into a customer’s post-purchase behavior.
The core concept of a post-purchase evaluation involves gauging the alignment of customers’ expectations and product performance. The evaluation also assesses the customers’ emotional responses to products, their willingness to share feedback, recommend the product to others, and become repeat buyers.
Why is Post-Purchase Evaluation Important?
There are numerous reasons why post-purchase assessment is crucial for both online retailers and customers:
Gives You a Competitive Edge
Not a lot of merchants assess customer satisfaction after a completed purchase. Therefore, setting up this post-purchase process for your customers will help you stand out from your competitors. Brands that consistently offer high-quality products, address customer complaints, and value consumer feedback always stand out in the marketplace.
Easy to Gauge Customer Satisfaction
If a customer is satisfied with their purchase, it boosts positive feelings about your brand. A satisfied customer is also more likely to leave a good review of your products on your site and other review sites.
Customer satisfaction is a trustworthy indicator that you’re providing great products and services. Satisfied customers often become repeat shoppers.
Word-of-Mouth Recommendations and Increased Brand Reputation
Customers who are happy about your products will often share their positive experiences with friends, family, and colleagues. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful advertising forms that leads to increased brand reputation.
Statistics show that 88% of consumers tend to trust recommendations from friends and family over traditional media. By providing great products and collecting post-purchase feedback, you can meet and exceed customer expectations, thus encouraging them to share their experiences with their loved ones.
Continuously Learn and Adapt to Changing Consumer Trends
Post-purchase evaluation allows online retailers to gather useful information and insights about consumer preferences straight from the source. You can stay ahead of emerging consumer trends by analyzing patterns and feedback from your customers. The data will allow you to refine your strategies, increase sales, and remain competitive.
Higher ROI (Return on Investment) and Business Growth
It’s no secret that listening to your customers and acting accordingly to give them what they need is a surefire way to financial success. Satisfied customers will not only become repeat buyers but also recommend your products and services to people they know, thus leading to increased sales.
This all starts with an evaluation of your customer’s post-purchase process and behavior.
Factors Influencing Post-Purchase Evaluation
Customers’ evaluation of your product begins right after purchase, even before they receive their package. Therefore, services such as order tracking and customer support may influence customer expectations post-purchase, meaning good after-sale services are important for creating a good first impression.
Assessing the product’s quality is the first thing a customer will do when their order delivery is complete. This is the most crucial part of the evaluation, as the customer actively interacts with the product to determine if it works as intended. This stage often influences the customer’s post-purchase decision to become a repeat shopper.
You can exceed your customers’ expectations at this stage by packaging the product amazingly to give them a satisfying unboxing experience.
Every customer harbors some level of expectation from their purchases. And it is based on their initial expectations that they’ll gauge your product. Customers usually measure their satisfaction with a product by evaluating whether it meets their expectations.
A customer’s expectations of a product can determine its ability to solve a particular pain point. In this case, if your product works as intended and helps the customer fix their problem in the way they want or better, they are highly likely to positively evaluate your product.
Post-purchase cognitive dissonance occurs when a product fails to meet customer expectations. As a result of dissatisfaction with the product, a customer may look at alternative brands. Many online retailers use alternative evaluation marketing to target dissatisfied customers and bring them into their stores.
Several methods exist to gauge a customer’s post-purchase decision after they have used your product. Analyzing customer feedback and reviews, as well as tracking whether they choose to keep or return the product, provides insight into their satisfaction. Furthermore, tools and platforms like Channelwill are specifically designed to facilitate convenient customer engagement.
How to Improve Post-Purchase Evaluation Process
Improving customers’ post-purchase evaluation process is a crucial step that helps understand customer satisfaction.
Here are some strategies to improve on this process:
Provide Professional and Reliable Customer Service and Support
A lot can happen between when the customer completes payment for a product and the delivery of the product. The customer may want to cancel their order, exchange products, or have questions about your delivery protocol. Providing reliable and timely customer support should be an important part of your business since customers always evaluate customer service performance.
You should review your business’ communication history and customer support engagement rates. Other customer service evaluation examples include monitoring phone calls and tracking key performance indicators.
Create a System for Tracking Customer Feedback, Reviews, and Social Media Mentions
Not every customer will leave a review directly on your site; others leave reviews on chat boards, social media platforms, and forums. You mustn’t overlook this information, as it can offer valuable insights into how customers engage with your product. Tracking customer feedback across many platforms can help your business better understand your customers and their needs.
Trustoo.io is a reliable review tool that can help you collect and display product reviews on numerous platforms.
Streamline Feedback Collection Process
You should make it as easy as possible for your customers to reach out to customer support, post reviews on your site, and rate your products and services. You can do this by
- Minimizing fields on forms
- Making survey forms shorter
- Using open-ended questions
- Making the user feedback interface easy to use
The easier customers can review and rate your products, the more they’ll be encouraged to participate.
Use Customer Feedback to Deliver Quality
While exceptional post-purchase services such as shipment tracking and customer support are great, they cannot compensate for poor product quality. Always strive to improve your products and services by referring to customer feedback. Use the information in reviews to create a product development plan that ensures your customers get what they want.
A high-quality product, packaged correctly and coupled with fast shipping, is sure to exceed customers’ expectations. You also offer your customers a convenient tracking solution like ParcelPanel, which provides proactive shipping notifications.
Use Multiple Feedback Collection Channels and Strategies
Reviews should not be your only feedback collection channel. Diversify your collection channels by leveraging email questionnaires, social media platforms, focus groups, and customer interviews. The easiest and most commonly used feedback collection methods are surveys and feedback forms.
Using various channels allows you to capture a wide range of feedback, as different customers will respond to different channels. Popular brands know this and thus implement different channels while focusing on one as part of their feedback collection strategies. For example, HubSpot and Slack use NPS surveys, while Amazon focuses on product reviews.
Don’t Forget to Track Key Metrics
There are tons of metrics that you can use to figure out the satisfaction rate of your customer base. These metrics include;
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Repurchase rate
- Return rate
- Reviews and ratings
In other cases, you can figure out how satisfied your customers are by looking at how they engage with your shop’s loyalty and reward programs. If many users actively use discounts and limited-time offers in a loyalty program, then it means they are satisfied with the shop’s products.
Post-purchase evaluation is an integral part of e-commerce, as it provides benefits to both businesses and consumers. Online retailers can gain valuable insight into their products and services and how to improve them.
On the other hand, customers receive quality products, post-purchase services, and a sense of empowerment and control over their purchasing decisions. The way customers evaluate your product after purchase is important for the long-term success of your business.
Post-Purchase Evaluation FAQs
What is the theory of post-purchase evaluation?
Customers evaluate their satisfaction level with a product after purchasing and using it. The evaluation usually leads to particular post-purchase behaviors where customers seek consistency in their beliefs and opinions.
What determines whether the buyer is satisfied or dissatisfied with a purchase?
Product quality, expectations, price of the purchase, post-purchase services, other available alternatives, the importance of the purchase, and the customers’ values and perceptions.
What do consumers do after making a purchase?
Consumers evaluate the products to see if they meet their expectations and compare them with other alternatives.
How is the success of a product evaluated?
The success of a product can be evaluated using the customer satisfaction score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), repurchase rate, and return rate.