A number of years ago my wife and I visited Seoul, South Korea.
If you’ve traveled abroad, you know there are times in your journey when you really start to miss the comforts of home.
Oftentimes, it’s little things you’d never think of missing.
Such as going to the local bakery and getting a jelly doughnut.
One day we were walking around downtown Seoul and we saw a bakery with all this mouth-watering eye candy in the window.
Frosted, glazed, and filled… fritters, Long Johns, and twists.
I was instantly transported back home.
So I went inside and I bought this big jelly doughnut.
Delicious looking on the outside, with a shiny sugar coating.
I remember getting outside and sinking my teeth deep into this jelly doughnut, followed almost immediately by the most awful taste.
What I had imagined being this delicious jelly center wasn’t at all.
Are You Serving Your Buyers a Korean Doughnut?
As it turns out, Koreans use a lot of red bean paste in their food.
What I thought was a jelly doughnut was, in fact, a red bean doughnut.
It was the same on the outside, but the experience on the inside was vastly different.
That’s exactly what a lot of people experience in the online world today.
They buy a training program from someone with a killer pre-launch sequence, including finely-tuned marketing videos and a beautifully-designed sales page.
But then they log into the member area and there’s an instant disconnect.
The program is uninspiring and difficult to follow.
Similar to my jelly doughnut, their experience is not at all what they imagined.
They buy because of a glossy front-end, but the back-end is a train wreck that immediately kills any hope of selling to them ever again.
So let’s take a look at five keys to ramp up repeat sales for your online programs.
Do these five things and you’ll have a greater likelihood of getting a new buyer to stick around, buy more stuff from you, and refer you to others.
Key #1: Intuitive User Experience
You don’t want to make a new buyer think too hard.
If they get confused, or overwhelmed, or have to think for even one second about where to go first or what to do next…
… Then you’ve already lost the battle for their future business.
Confusion and overwhelm are virtually guaranteed to trigger buyer’s remorse.
“I knew I shouldn’t have bought this. Maybe this guy isn’t as good as I had hoped. Once bitten, twice shy, I won’t be back.”
On the other hand…
When you lay out a clear, simple, step-by-step learning pathway right from the get-go… it helps to keep your new buyer engaged, focused, and productive.
It also serves to immediately reinforce their buying decision.
So hit them with a welcome video as soon as they land in the member area.
Give them an intelligible and clearly labeled navigation system.
Tell them exactly what you want them to do, how to do it, and in what order.
Don’t just assume they’ll figure it out on their own.
Key #2: Powerful Learning Experience
In the online marketing world, you’ll hear a lot about finding your avatar… and how you must understand the problems, needs and desires of your ideal target market on a deeply intimate level.
So you can attract the right audience and repel the wrong audience.
But that only serves to get your new buyer in the door.
If you want to keep them engaged, you must also understand how to create a powerful learning experience.
It’s not just about the information, it’s about how that information is delivered.
It’s about how people best learn, integrate and remember information… and that means you must stimulate an array of senses.
In every sense of the word, make your courses come alive.
Integrate multimedia into it, with visually engaging videos and presentations.
Provide multiple modalities of learning, including audio and written… not just video.
Incorporate vivid stories to illustrate and reinforce important concepts.
Include helpful exercises and activities into it to encourage and inspire action.
All of these things increase the chance your buyers will stick around.
In a previous post, I talked about how my daughter’s love of interior design was snuffed out in an instant due to one expert’s carelessness in this area.
This expert’s training course was boring, uninspiring and totally disengaging.
As Dan Kennedy says, “the purpose of making a sale is to get a customer.”
In other words, most of your profits come from repeat sales. If you create shoddy material, you can kiss any hope of making them good-bye.
Key #3: Enriching Community Experience
Humans are wired to learn in communities, not in isolation.
That’s because most people have a psychological need to connect with others.
There’s a learning and development principle used primarily in workforce training called the 70/20/10 Model.
70 percent of development consists of on-the-job learning.
This is supported by 20 percent coaching and mentoring.
Only 10 percent is formal learning with classes, courses, and programs.
Translation: We learn a lot from other people.
So why not facilitate that into your own training courses and programs?
You can do that through a private Facebook group… a group on Groups.io or another platform… or a simple forum on your own website.
Be accessible yourself as the expert.
If you have a larger community, have moderators that are accessible as well.
Interact with your members.
Answer their questions.
Get them to share and interact with each other, and learn from each other.
So it’s not just your training course or program that’s making an impact. Your community is making an impact as well.
People will stick around for your content.
But if you’ve built a community, it will serve as another sticking point for them.
Key #4: Awesome Service Experience
The majority of online businesses today have atrocious customer service.
On the one hand, this has given the entire industry a bad name.
On the other hand, it means you can easily stand out like a beacon in the night simply by providing extraordinary customer service.
I once worked on a team with a lady by the name of Betty who epitomizes this.
She cares deeply about the customers and clients she’s charged with helping.
She over-delivers in terms of giving responsive and helpful feedback.
She’s gracious in the way she communicates.
She responds in a respectful way, even when that respect is undeserved. In many cases, transforming seriously unhappy clients into raving fans.
As a result, clients and customers love working with her.
And they’ve established a deep working relationship with her.
Bottom line, an awesome customer service experience builds a level of confidence for people that you and your team have their back.
It goes a long way toward getting the next sale.
The best part is, it’s really not that hard to provide exceptional service.
Key #5: Authentic Experience
If you truly want to be successful, then be yourself.
Teach in a way that brings out your own beliefs, ideas, and stories.
Share your own personal trials and tribulations, so people can learn from the mistakes you’ve made along your own personal path.
That level of authenticity will really connect you to people.
In the online realm, you don’t have the same intimate connection that you would have with a small group of people sitting in a room together.
In order to create that authenticity, you’ve got to reveal parts of yourself.
You’ve got to let people know you make mistakes too.
You’ve got to let people know you’ve been where they are now.
When they feel an authentic connection with YOU, it creates an evangelist.
They stick with you… they buy more stuff from you… and they refer you to others.
You can be the smartest person, with the greatest expertise… but if you don’t genuinely care about your customers, it’s going to show through.
And that’s going to impact your retention rates in a big way.
If you’re like the typical online marketer, you focus a lot on getting customers.
You’re constantly working on writing sales pages and emails… creating marketing funnels… getting SEO traffic… marketing on Facebook… the list goes on.
And yes, all of those things are important.
But don’t spend so much time on the front-end that you neglect the back-end.
Don’t spend so much time focused on getting new customers that you forget to serve the customers you’ve already got.
Otherwise, you’ve merely created a job for yourself rather than an asset.