Don’t Let An Invoice Be The Last Thing Your Customer Sees From You!

Recently, I decided to spring for an indoor spinner bike. You know, one of those exercise bikes you’d find in a workout club?

I’ve wanted one for years. When I could see, I loved to ride bike. An afternoon ride out to my parent’s place and back twenty-miles away was not all that out of the ordinary.

The Walkman radio piping tunes in, riding along the river on a fall evening, taking in the aroma of the country, checking out the wildlife, getting chased by Cujo–for those old enough to remember that movie.

It was great exercise. I loved it. So, I wanted to get back into biking indoors to get the cardio exercise rolling again, and see if I can get the old muffin top back down to flat-belly.

Here’s the point.

I researched all these spinner bikes and thought I had one picked out until I ran across this outfit in California.

They had some YouTube spots that were, and are, just awesome. Jeff, unfortunately no longer with us, did an excellent job of making you feel his place was the place to buy a bike, and really it is. I totally recommend Tell them I sent you… What the heck.

Anyway, this place is top notch, they really know there stuff, they saved me from making a wrong decision on a bike, they are awesome in every area accept for one.

The last communication I had with them was something like:

“Your bike is shipping, attached is a copy of your invoice, and here is our purchase policy below.”

Not only that, the reply, obviously an auto-responder e-mail, was filled with those character artifacts one gets by pasting in a Word document into an e-mail management system.

You know, “Thank you for ™ú purchasing ™ú your ™ú new bike ™ú from us!”

Oh boy, aren’t those characters so much fun with a screen reader, not.

Here’s the thing though, even though I really like this company, and I would recommend them, I was really disappointed how they left the seller-purchaser relationship.

As a marketer, I absolutely know they are missing an opportunity with every sale to sell more, and as a purchaser I felt like someone dropped the conversation in mid-sentence.

What should they have done?

As a purchaser I would have really appreciated an e-mail stating something like:

“Congratulations on making the right choice for your new bike! We’re excited for you to get riding, and we want you to know we’re here for you anytime to ensure you get the most from your new purchase.

And to prove it, here is a 7-Point check on how to properly set up your new bike so you don’t’ injure yourself by exercising with an improperly adjusted ride.”

That is the sort of thing they should have done. Education, a company can never go wrong educating their customer after the sale. Even if I was an experienced rider, I would have appreciated the effort.

As a marketer in that same e-mail, I would have taken opportunity to offer some workout videos one can follow along with. People go to clubs or take their bikes to live workout classes where an instructor instructs to gear up, bump down, or double time the cadence; but one can follow an instructor at home too with a video workout.

Why would they not take that opportunity to add to their annual sales by helping a customer use the product they bought? I don’t have a clue.

It wouldn’t end there. I’d offer a daily tip for the first week, and maybe one a week for the next three-weeks.

Each time I’d be helping them with some aspect of their health plus offering products like protective mat, bike maintenance and polish kits, digital counsels to be attached, SPD bike cleats or shoes, proper biking attire…

The list could go on.

As a customer, I would appreciate the tips and education, and I’d be willing to look at their offers too. Why? Because I trust them and I have confidence in them.

As a marketer, even after all that, I’d still send my customers some sort of update or other reason to contact them at least once a month, because if they bought a bike from me, they likely know others who ride, and there is no better sales tool than word of mouth from a trusted source, a friend.

And that is the main point with this follow up system. You, or a friend of yours, are more likely to buy from someone who you’ve already laid out cash to once before, than someone totally new.

As an entrepreneur? Do not let that opportunity pass you up. Don’t’ let the invoice be the last thing your customers see or hear from you.

Once you’ve got a customer’s trust, respect it, but use it as well. A customer is 80% more likely to purchase from you again if they are happy with the initial purchase. Don’t leave them feeling as though they’ve been sold something, make them feel they’ve purchased more than the product, they purchased your experience and support which goes beyond the credit card transaction.

Do this in your business, and you’ll build a solid customer base and strong word-of-mouth advertising.

Until next time…

Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… try-try-try until you succeed!

About Brad Dunse'

Freelance writer, entrepreneur, and life student of personal development with a passion for writing, learning, and helping others... a winning combination to live the writer's life! Looking for e-mail campaigns, web content, case studies, or more?
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2 Responses to Don’t Let An Invoice Be The Last Thing Your Customer Sees From You!

  1. Joe Orozco says:

    Just yesterday I received an e-mail from a software vendor. It was nothing more than a reminder of my invoice and how it would appear on my credit card statement since so many people apparently can never make heads nor tails about the company name, and while not quite the extra mile on helpful instructions like you describe here, I appreciated the followup several weeks after purchase. It makes me think they’re listening to customers, albeit in a small way.

  2. Brad Dunse says:

    What I’ve taken to doing now is, when I get an e-mail from someone–either solicited or not, or from something I’ve bought or not, I stuff them away in a special folder on my computer.

    If you know the story of Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda company, you might know that during WW2 he sent his workers around the city to pick up discarded refueling tanks that U.S. airman dropped after bombing the city to make their planes lighter for the trip home. Honda used the discarded tanks for raw goods to make his products. “Gifts from President Truman,” he called them.

    That’s what these needy e-mails I salt away are, gifts from potential clients.

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