Buyers Remorse is the # 1 Reason Why You Don’t Have Customer Loyalty!
Does it seem like your customers are excited to buy but suddenly apathetic afterwards?
With the rise of information over digital channels, customers are thinking and acting differently.
Even after customers buy, their mood can change quickly. Increasingly, buyers remorse sets in preventing customer loyalty.
Many businesses are focusing on taking care of their customers by meeting their hidden needs. For them, retaining customers happens naturally. As such, all the new digital channels make the emotionally intelligent businesses more profitable.
What is Buyers Remorse?
Psychologically speaking, buyers remorse occurs each time we realize that we might have made a bad decision.
In business, professionals speak of “buyers remorse” most commonly in the real estate market. It explains why first-time home buyers get “cold feet.”
But buyers remorse is just as real with any purchase. And it doesn’t matter if the purchase is a house or produce at the grocery store.
As an entrepreneur in any industry, you can dig a little deeper to enhance your own emotional intelligence.
So what conditions cause a person to feel that they may have made a bad decision? More specifically, what causes your customers to feel that they may have made a bad decision by spending money with you over your competitors?
Of course we will discuss those conditions in a moment. But first, we need to get in the heads of your customers.
Buyers remorse (as it relates to customer loyalty) is not necessarily an indicator that your products/services are poor. Not at all.
Instead, your customers suffer from cognitive dissonance as a result of their purchase.
Cognitive Dissonance and Customer Loyalty
In your brain (and in the brains of your customers), you have values. Your values dictate why you choose one option over another. You’re making judgment calls every day.
Often in the moment, it feels that a particular decision is a good one. But later on, more realities (or anxious thoughts) sink in causing you to doubt that you made a good decision. As a result, you start to think that you may have made a mistake.
Our brains are programmed to fight this. We don’t want to be wrong. The cognitive dissonance begins to scream, “Something is not right!”
When most people feel cognitive dissonance, they look for a scape goat. Often, the last person anyone wants to blame is themselves. So they blame someone else, if at all possible.
So when your customers start to second-guess their buying decision, guess who they blame?
That’s right. They blame you.
Granted, they may not get angry or litigious. But if they suddenly “go dark” or just have no interest in doing business with you again, it’s probably because they blame you for a not-so-great decision.
Is it your fault? Maybe, maybe not.
Did your customers make a bad decision to buy from you? Again: maybe, or maybe not.
One thing is for sure: you cannot afford to keep chasing new customers all the time.
Why is Retaining Customers Important?
One of the first things an MBA-candidate learns in university is this:
Customer acquisition costs vastly more than retaining your existing customers.
In this digital age, businesses that fall short of “delighting their customers” lose to the competition.
If your business is not consistently generating great reviews and ongoing, positive interaction with customers (to include continued purchasing), something is off. You do not have customer loyalty.
Instead, your customers are feeling a lot of buyers remorse.
And thankfully, it might be a simple fix.
3 Ways We Manage Clients That Makes All the Difference in Customer Loyalty
More than anything else, your customers want to feel Empowered.
When they spend money with you or anyone else, they want to feel satisfied with the way they solved their problem.
If you sacrifice an opportunity to make your customers feel empowered, you won’t earn their loyalty.
On the most basic level, coercion threatens an individual’s autonomy.
Not all coercive salespeople are dominant people. People often assume that outgoing, dogmatic people are always going to be the coercive salespeople. But that is not always the case.
Don’t get me wrong! Most of the time, it doesn’t serve customers to be overly dogmatic, or to overpower a customer with loud assertions. They may buy, but they will feel violated.
Rather, many coercive sales reps drown their customers in a lot of words, many of them beyond the understanding of the customer. Customers end up feeling “convinced” to buy in the moment, because the rep seemed knowledgeable.
And later, those customers realize that the rep more or less convinced them to buy before they knew what they were doing.
Information is important. But it is never a good thing to “blackmail” a customer into a sale just because you know more but can’t explain it in a way that empowers the customer.
Lastly, many sales departments conveniently leave out information that would have impacted a customer’s buying decision. Of all the manipulative sales tactics, this is perhaps the most dangerous form of coercion.
(Bad) Never-ending Transactions
If you and your colleagues fail to see the customer’s deeper needs, they will walk away dissatisfied.
Sometimes, the sales process drags on and on as a result of the customer’s tentativeness.
For example, your prospective client might be plagued with indecision. You are afraid to “push” them “too hard” for fear that you scare them away.
Don’t make regular meetings with customers to “commiserate” with them in their indecision with the hopes that your “nice guy” routine works over time. The longer you take to challenge them with next steps, the more likely they are to lose confidence in your ability to help them.
Other times, your product/service takes longer to deliver than expected. The company you work for (or you own) can’t seem to get past certain roadblocks quickly. These high-pressure moments are hard for customers and company reps alike, as no one likes delays.
If the customer already spent money and roadblocks occur (often beyond your control), be frank with your client. Give them an “out,” but remind them that the product/service is in progress. Keeping in contact with extreme transparency will help your customers stay loyal through the hard times.
Once the transaction is finished, take time to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it the next go-around. Never-ending transactions should be as rare as getting struck by lightning. The longer you take to complete the transaction is time the customer uses to begin doubting their decision.
(Good) Collaborative Momentum
On the other hand, if you can see every interaction with your customer as an opportunity to empower them, then you will naturally begin to collaborate with them.
The best sales teams are the ones that know how to make challenging “asks” of their customers. But they do it as respectfully as possible. Additionally, the best sales teams know how to provide the right information in digestible amounts for the customer.
If you deep down believe that your customer’s indecision is going to hurt them, then gently tell them and challenge them. For example:
Okay, you’ve given me a lot to consider here. I think you are right to be cautious. But I also think that if we don’t solve the problem you came here to solve in a timely manner, you’re going to miss an opportunity. Because of this, I have a plan with a couple different options. May I discuss this with you now?
What you need from the customer is collaboration. You will not violate their autonomy, but you’re also not in good conscience going to let them walk away while the solution was staring them in the face.
Make sure they know exactly what the next steps are. Most importantly, always ask them if they are ready to take any next steps now.
If they say, “yes,” then you have their permission to move forward.
But if they say, “no,” then you need to have something for them. They most likely need more information and some solitude. Give it to them.
Companies that embrace a content marketing strategy do this best. Sales and customer service staff can give indecisive customers all kinds of helpful content online to go through on the customer’s own time.
As you “let go” of your indecisive customers, affirm their autonomy.
Thank you so much for your time. Since you’re not ready yet, I’m going to give you some space to think about your options. Please do yourself a favor and read this and this. You’re probably going to have questions when you’ve finished. Give me a call at that time. In the meantime, I’ll check back with you in [so many days, weeks, months].
Though this is fairly uncommon, some of your customers are buying from you too fast.
If you suspect that this impatient customer in front of you is not fully understanding what he is getting, you can “bet your bottom dollar” that he/she is going to blame you for their buyers remorse.
Nip it in the bud. Be kind, but you must put on the breaks so that they are fully aware of what their purchase entails.
If it is clear that they fully understand their purchase, then move at their pace. But again, business is collaboration between you and the customer. Your ability to retain that customer is only as strong as the collaborative relationship you have with them.
Helping Customers the Way They Long to be Helped
By and large, customers crave information before they buy.
As more and more quality content hits the Internet, buyers are getting smarter. And this is a good thing!
But if your business has not made the effort to meet customers online where they are researching your products (and your competitors!), then it’s time for you to take a look at your content marketing.
If you’re unsure of how to begin building your own content marketing, talk to a content marketing specialists today!