Next Offer Or Action: A Key To Increasing Customer Satisfaction

Written by Mike Shapiro | | June 8, 2017

By now most everyone’s heard of the marketing and sales technique called “Next Best Offer (or Action).” Here’s one definition:

“Next best offer (also known as next best action) is a form of predictive analytics that helps marketers and their organizations better judge customer spending habits and guide marketing efforts toward connecting with customers to close a deal.” from NG Data, What Is Next Best Offer, January 11, 2017

Sounds kind of technical and manipulative, doesn’t it? But it’s really just a cynical-sounding description of the kind of needs analysis that’s at the heart of virtually every sales interaction, whether of a complex product or a simple sale at your local retailer. Though it calls up the image of a chess match — the sales person vs. the customer — the goal of which is just to get the customer to buy something, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Imagine you’ve selected a suit at a clothing store. While you’re standing in front of the tailor while he takes measurements for alterations, the sales person is laying out some shirts and ties for you to look at. There’s no pressure for you to buy. But you’ve just bought a brand new suit. Maybe you’d like to complete your new look with some new accessories that actually go with the suit instead of taking some of your old stuff and trying to make it work. Though he or she may not call it that, your sales person is making a natural “next offer.” You may decide to take one or more of these offers or to just take the suit. The choice is yours. But at least the salesperson has done what he or she could do to introduce you to some complementary products you might appreciate and want to buy.

Regardless of whether or not the customer actually makes the next purchase, the sales person’s very act of making the next offer — or taking the next action — automatically enhances the customer’s buying experience.

The Next Offer or Action doesn’t even have to be for the purpose of inducing a follow-on purchase. I was recently in a coffee shop and ordered a hot cup of green tea. The barista handed me my tea and then said: “Here’s a cup of ice. We need to make the water really hot to brew the tea. But you might want to cool it off so you can drink it sooner.” No inducement for a second purchase¬†here. The cost to the coffee shop was minimal, but it definitely improved my satisfaction with the experience of buying my tea.

What opportunities exist in your business for a Next Offer or Action that may or may not lead to a Next Purchase, but which would exponentially increase customer satisfaction with every interaction?