It always amazes me when companies miss opportunities and leave money on the table. I had one of those experiences last week. I placed an online order for some books. The next day I discovered another book I wanted to read. I didn’t try to add it to the order because I had received a confirmation saying that the order would ship soon.
My definition of soon is within 24 hours, so it seemed unreasonable to add on to the order. Three days later, the order shipped. By then, I had purchased the book locally.
The confirmation email I received was a typical transactional memo. It listed the books I had ordered, gave a vague shipping time, and provided contact information. It served its purpose of preventing a customer service call. But, it also kept me from spending more.
If it had said that changes to the order could be made until a specific date and time, I would have added the extra book to my purchase.
Thousands of marketing opportunities are lost every day because marketing teams are thinking outside of their company.
They focus on traditional marketing plans, social media, and emerging channels. They forget that the customer most likely to buy is the one who just placed an order.
The best place to capture additional sales is within your order processing stream. Every customer contact is an opportunity to improve your relationship and increase revenue. While you have to be careful that you don’t overdo it, integrate marketing with your operational flow. Low cost opportunities include:
- Suggesting add-on items or accessories in your order confirmation email. If they happen to be on sale, that’s a bonus.
- Inserting catalogs or other promotional pieces in your outbound packages. Use the packing list to make product recommendations.
- Providing a link in every correspondence for the customer to check on their order status. Make sure that it lands on a webpage that has information about other items.
- Adding samples of consumable products in all orders. It introduces the items at minimal cost and makes the customer feel special.
Spend a little time thinking about how you can market from the back-end. Test your ideas until you find your perfect balance between marketing and service.