While most brands help customers feel valued, appreciated, and loved during the sales phase of their journey, customer love wanes after the sale is complete. Accordingly, customers often wonder, in the words of the 1961 Shirell’s song, “Will you still love me tomorrow?”
The shift from sales to service is just one of many “transitional moments” where customers decide if they will remain loyal or defect. As such, transitions are MTMs (moments-that-matter).
You can think of transitions as: Moments where customers move from one state of being to another and where the trust earned in a prior stage must transfer to the next.
Common transitions occur across phases of a customer’s lifecycle. For example, transitions happen when a person shifts from lead to prospect, prospect to buyer, and buyer to a follow-up service customer. Transitions also occur during complex processes within a phase. For example, there are many transitions in the home-buying phase, such as qualifying for a loan, participating in design meetings, and signing purchases documents. As a homebuyer moves through each process in the buying phase, they hope their positive prior experiences carry over, and their pain points are left behind.
As you think about transitions in your business, here are five tips:
- Consider what your customers feel as a phase comes to an end.
- Anticipate the questions and uncertainties your customers experience as they approach the transition.
- Provide information in advance of the transition to anticipate customer needs and foreshadow the journey ahead.
- Look for ways to ensure a positive ending (more on the importance of phase endings in next week’s newsletter).
- Whenever possible, provide a warm human-to-human transition to those who will serve the customer post-transition.
Positively memorable service experiences occur when a customer’s trust builds from phase to phase. By contrast, poor experiences fuel a customer’s anxiety during transitions and leave the customer fearing the worst is yet to come.