So you closed the deal and you’re thrilled. For many, that’s the time to take a moment to take a breath and enjoy the success. You’ve established a solid foundation of valuable customer relationships.

Or so it seems.

What about how your customer is feeling? Whether it’s their money or the money of the company they work for, they’re prone to the common emotion that is known as “buyers remorse.” They’ve just made a big commitment to you — and now you have to come through. Of course, most customers want to avoid a bad experience — but many don’t relish the thought of having to tell you when your product or service isn’t meeting their expectations.

At this point, your job is to make them feel as comfortable as possible about their decision. This is particularly important for your small business, since much of your ongoing business will and should rely on customer referrals and repeat purchases from loyal customers.

This means going above and beyond the specifics of the product or service you just sold them. Your job is to make the experience so enjoyable that they can’t wait to brag to their friends and colleagues about how smart they were for picking you — which isn’t bad for your business either.

Why Do People Have Buyer’s Remorse? While it’s a natural human reaction, buyer’s remorse is an emotional state where a person feels regret after the purchase of an item. It’s usually associated with the purchase of higher value items, such as property or cars. An equally common source of disquiet is a sense than one cannot actually afford the item or that it represents more of a want than a need, despite any protestations to the contrary.

Basically, buyer’s remorse occurs out of a sense of caution. The bottom line: developing a trusted relationship with your customers at the outset will ease any potential worries they may have. However, buyer’s remorse can destroy many seemingly successful sales. Lack of referrals, talking bad about the company, and outright canceling the order are all symptoms of buyer’s remorse. It only takes a few extra steps and a head full of brains to stop its development within your customer.

Here are some ideas for pre-emptying possible customer remorse:

Create a “Thank You” packet:
The goal of the packet is to show your customer that you are grateful for their business. This is a tactic that many auto companies use after customers have purchased a vehicle. It can be as simple or complex as you’d like, but possible items could include gift certificates or inspirational books. If you have a more intimate knowledge of their interests, cater a gift or note to meet that need. It reinforces the relationship with your customers and validates their decision to buy from you.

Communicate with them:
Send a personal e-mail to your customer immediately following the purchase. It’s really that simple. If you have the resources, you can give your customers something to say by regularly communicating with them post-purchase via e-newsletters. Not only will it demonstrate that you are engaged in a dialogue with them, it gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise with your product or service, which will further assuage their concerns and build confidence. Include other customers testimonials or stories about how other customers are using your product or service in unique ways. Ultimately, this helps to reinforce that they are not alone.

Make customers partners:
Actively solicit feedback from your customers, both good and bad. Let them know up front that this is something you regularly do and request that they partner with you. Not only will they provide insight on how you can improve your product or service, they will feel like trusted partners in your business.

And that’s your ultimate goal: to become the trusted agent that your customers come to rely on. For the long-term.

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