The Post-Purchase Communication Guide is the ultimate guide to maximizing customer loyalty, retention, and revenue after the sale.
In part 1, we focused on why post-purchase experiences drive loyalty and the benefits of post-purchase communication.
In part 2, we went over the 6 guiding principles for creating the perfect post-purchase experience.
Now we’re going to show you how to build a post-purchase engagement process, including recommended alerts, data, accessibility requirements, and more.
Proper communication is essential in all aspects of life, no matter who you’re talking to. But when you’re talking to consumers, they expect the right message at the right time.
And lucky for you, you have access to all the information you need to give consumers exactly what they want while building a relationship and driving customer loyalty.
First, let’s dive into what to send and when to send it with alert types.
Alert Type #1: Direct Consumer (The Problem Solver)
In this 1 to 1 conversation, you’re usually seeking more information from the consumer to solve a specific problem.
Some examples are:
- Missing address info
- A follow-up to a problem
- Delivery scheduling
These are direct, concise, and urgent because they can impact delivery arrival and post-purchase experience.
**Tip: Make sure your reply-to email address goes to an inbox that your CX Team monitors.
Alert Type #2: Bulk Consumer (The Widespread Problem Update)
You can send a bulk consumer alert when a one-time problem affects delivery expectations for a broad group of consumers.
Some reasons for sending bulk alerts include:
- Slowdowns during peak times
- A truck fire
- Segments of shipments set as Predicted to Miss
Traditionally, you don’t need to ask for a response. It’s just an update. However, you should include when the consumer will hear from you again, so they know what to expect next.
Alert Type #3: Automated Transit (The Status Update)
An automated transit alert should always be sent if there’s an update to the shipment’s status, such as reaching a milestone or experiencing an issue. Here’s an example of a basic automated alert informing a consumer of their estimated delivery date, including everything it should contain.
To keep your customers informed of and excited about their purchases, we recommend starting with these transit alerts:
- Estimated Delivery
- In Transit
- Out for Delivery
**Tip: Auto-subscribe consumers to order alerts during the checkout process and confirm their preferred method of communication.
- Scheduling Available
- Scheduling Confirmation
- Scheduling Reminder
Carrier Reported Exceptions:
- Cannot Schedule
- Cannot Deliver
- Available for Pickup
- Incorrect Address (all types)
- Scheduled for Next Day
- General Exception
In cases with exceptions, you need to reset the customer’s expectations about the delivery or ask them to update their information if necessary.
It’s never fun to be the bearer of bad news, but 98% of customers want an alert if their package will be late. As mentioned in part 2 of the Post-Purchase Communication Guide, the service-recovery paradox can turn a negative experience into increased loyalty.
Here is an example of an email message used by a Fortune 500 brand to alert customers of potential shipment delays. Alongside the order number, item details, and customer service contact info for further question, the alert reads:
It looks like your package is not going to make the originally communicated delivery date. We are committed to keeping you informed and will notify you when your package is out for delivery.
We value you as a customer and appreciate your business. If you should have additional questions and/or concerns, please contact customer service.
[Brand] Customer Service
**Tip: Give consumers an option to sign up for SMS or email alerts on the tracking page. Convey internal data shows that about 15% of customers subscribe to SMS updates on the tracking page.
As you can see, there’s a lot to communicate after a purchase. It’s all a necessary part of building trust and a long-term relationship with the consumer.
The more specific, personalized, and detailed you can be, the better.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how data and variable tags can help you put these alert plans into action.
Personalize Alerts Using Data and Variable Tags
You can create personalized templates and even automate a lot of your post-purchase communications using variable tags. Variable tags are small pieces of code from data typically stored in your CRM that you can use to personalize your customer information.
Think first name, order number, delivery date, and so on.
The data you can use relies heavily on your systems, processes, and integrations, so a sophisticated Delivery Experience Management partner can help turn more data into usable tags.
All this data allows you to personalize your alerts with:
- Information about the specific customer order
- Multiple shipments, if applicable
- The products in that order/shipment
- Subscription details
- Preferred language
- Shipment events and details, like the tracking number
- Carrier name and contact information
- Delivery Appointment Data
For an even better post-purchase experience, you can use algorithmic and predictive data in your communications to automatically:
- Update customers if their Estimated Delivery Date changes
- Reduce “Where is my order?” (WISMO) calls
- Reship and escalate orders if necessary
- Improve customer experience
When you put it all together, you get customers who are well informed, happy and loyal.
“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”Jim Rohn, Author and Motivational Speaker
The Post-Purchase Experience and Accessibility
Now that you know what to send, let’s talk about making sure everyone can access the information.
Why is accessibility important? 15% of the world’s population has some sort of disability, after all–that’s over one billion people.
Your post-purchase experience should consider the following accessibility requirements:
Content and Structure
No matter who views the page, you want to make sure users can easily find content and navigate through it. Ensuring consistency with links, color, and navigation can help.
Color contrast, the typography you choose, plus letter spacing, word spacing, and font size all matter when looking at the site. You want to make it easy to read and distinguish foreground information from the background.
You can help users navigate your content more easily by adding captions, audio, and video elements, whether using a screen-reader or just skimming it.
If you’d like to evaluate your web content for accessibility issues, you may want to consider testing out the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool within your browser.
You can also see a complete list of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) success criteria here.
**Tip: Did you know that the Convey default tracking experience meets WCAG 2.0 compliance? How does your current experience compare?
Wrapping it up
“At the end of the day, intensive post-purchase communication sends this powerful key message to your customers: ‘You are important to me.’ And customers ultimately reward this signal with their loyalty.”Harald Mösel, b.telligent
You can make customers feel important by meeting them where they are (email, SMS) and communicating with them in all the right (and relevant) ways.
This Post-Purchase Communication Guide lays out the foundation for you to create or improve a post-purchase experience that engages customers and rewards you with their loyalty.
If you’re ready to start crafting a better post-purchase experience that drives ROI, we’re here to help. Get in touch to see what the perfect order–from purchase to delivery–looks like for you.