Often times, the post-sale phases of the customer lifecycle are considered to be the responsibility of the customer service department, not the marketing department. Of course, customer service plays an important role in post-sale nurturing, but it shouldn’t be the solitary focus of your efforts. You should treat your post-sale efforts as proactive marketing, not solely as a reactive customer service function.
Customer nurturing can play a significant role in your product’s replacement cycle. When the replacement cycle is shorter, customer service typically plays a larger role in customer satisfaction and retention. In contrast, products with a long replacement cycle will need more advanced nurturing efforts. This is particularly true for recreation and leisure OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), who are responsible for driving brand loyalty and retention post-sale, while retailers tend to spend more time addressing service issues and accessory sales.
Sophisticated retailers also engage in post-sale nurturing, but it’s important to remember that most retailers sell a variety of brands – brands that are competing for the same consumer. Most retailers are less interested in promoting a single OEM brand; therefore, OEMs need to take responsibility for building brand loyalty and retention. The channel won’t do it for them.
Remember, direct experience with the manufacturer and their product(s) ultimately drives advocacy and repurchase. OEMs must take charge in building deeper relationships with customers in order to improve retention rates, generate brand advocacy and shorten the replacement cycle.
If you are a marketer in a sales organization, you likely have access to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to support the business development and account management divisions.