I recently navigated the minefield of buying a new mattress for the first time in years. The geek in me relished the challenge.

The mattress industry has been through a huge transformation over the last decade. It’s a classic example of bricks-and-mortar, flipped on its head by digital challenger brands (think, Simba, Casper...). 

I was dizzied by the process. Countless awards, thousands of reviews, glossy websites, 10-year guarantees, 200-night free sleep trials. The list goes on.

Multiple spreadsheets, hours of research, and countless trips to lie awkwardly in bed shops. Finally, I made a choice. Being the clever man I am, I went for one online that I haven’t tried yet.

I was genuinely buzzing to part with £2,000, even with a 10-week lead time. I was confident and excited by my choice.

Not sitting comfortably

This is where the real point of my story begins.

I’m not going to name names, but fast forward and we're now at week 8. I've not had a single email from them since confirmation.

No update on delivery times, nothing to build excitement, not even an upsell for pillows or mattress protectors. I had to chase them!!

I know, as high-quality marketers, you are all horrified here, and so you should be. What a missed opportunity! However, this is something I see go wrong all the time. Too many brands getting the post-purchase experience wrong.

Think about it, I should be getting more excited by the day as the prospect of a better night’s sleep. Instead, I’m left to get buyer's remorse.

Now, I know that as soon as I ordered I was probably no longer the job of the CRO or acquisition teams. I’m now a customer. Likely handed over to the fulfilment and CRM team to manage. Different departments, different KPI’s. Moving from CPAs to something far more intangible and difficult to measure. But it’s no less important.

This is a call to arms. Look at your whole customer journey. Take a lifecycle approach to marketing or growth, and measure accordingly. You risk leaving a lot of value on the table (or bed).

Are brands asleep when it comes to post-purchase customer care?

A better way.

Here’s how to get happier customers;

  • Week 1 – estimate on delivery & why it takes so long. Be reassuring and communicate your quality.
  • Week 2 - reminder of why you bought in the first place. Repeat the guarantees. Build excitement - "our mattress geniuses are hard at work preparing your new mattress"
  • Week 3 - share some of the great reviews (social proof) - "we're confident you'll love it, here’s what hundreds of others have said”
  • Week 5 – update on progress, delivery date, add some interest - "the finest materials from across the UK are being assembled into your mattress"
  • Week 9 - what to expect on delivery day

This is a 2-minute brainstorm. I know you can do better. My point here is to show how easy this is. Your customers are begging to be reassured, you have a captive audience.

Use the opportunity to show off your company's personality. Bonus points for fun touches like special offers or handwritten notes.

You all know what it's like to be in customer's shoes. Try not to forget that as marketers.

But Adam, does this really matter?

I know some of you will be sat there thinking “why should I waste money on someone who’s already bought?”. Eyeing the profit margins as I eagerly spend money on CRM journeys.

This is why you must think wider than your department metrics. The best companies in the world see growth as a total picture. 

These customers will likely have cost small fortune to acquire in the first place, and the post-purchase experience is the best time you have to build excitement. It's also the time when people are most likely to share with others.

A good experience is vital for customer retention and brand loyalty. Especially when people don’t expect it.

Like my old gym, which suspended all membership fees amid the pandemic lockdown but also continued to send me home work-out plans every week. Great experience and I spoke to countless people about it. 

Think about your customers. They have chosen you. They are looking for reasons to validate their purchase. They are a captive audience. 

A challenge for you

Spend time planning your customer touchpoint map. Think about their mindset at each stage, and how you can add excitement or ease pain. Try and spot any points where there might be a communication vacuum. Don’t let people fill it with negativity.

The post-purchase experience is an incredibly important part of the customer journey. It's a chance to build excitement and create a sense of connection with your customers, without being overbearing. 

Think about how you can give them the best possible experience during this time. What kind of content can you deliver that will really make their day? What kind of communication is going to be the most relevant and meaningful for them?

Start to look at marketing and growth holistically. Believe me, you will thank me for it.

Adam will be writing a regular column for MAD//Insight throughout the year. He also spoke at MAD//Fest 2022. Here's his session .