Is Your Sales Funnel Breaking Your Customers’ Trust After The Sale?

Let’s look at the exact moment in every sales funnel that makes or breaks your customer relationships and determines whether they become a brand champion or someone else’s customer.

Silver text on green background that says, "Is your sales funnel breaking your customers' trust after the sale?" and an illustration of a mechanical heart with gears and pipes representing sales funnels designed for ethical businesses.

As an ethical business, your content, offers, and sales funnels already inspire trust. But sometimes well-meaning brands pick up lazy or harmful marketing practices without realizing it (or without knowing another way.)

Which is why we’re going to make sure your customer relationships are deepening trust in your brand instead of chasing customers away (and into the arms of your competition.)

“Global studies reveal that when consumers think a company has a strong purpose and positive impact, they are: 

• 4 times more likely to purchase from the company
• 4.5 times more likely to recommend the company to friends and family
• 4.1 times more likely to trust the company”1

B1G1, the impact app

As an ethical brand, people want to trust you, buy from you, and tell everyone about you! But as we learned in part 1, sometimes being ethical isn’t enough. You have to communicate it in a way that gets people excited and makes them want to support you.

On the previous page of this series, we looked at some of the different ways brand champions will help you with your marketing, for free, because they love your brand so much. Which increases your profit margins and reduces expenses.

We also established that brand champions aren’t a unicorn you can attract with your ads, social media posts, or other lead gen efforts.

But you can create brand champions with your post-sale customer experience IF you have the right elements in the right place to tap into their own internal urgency, motivation, and desire to help.

The real problem with customer trust is that it’s easily broken.

And when you’re on that tightrope between ethical marketing and manipulative marketing, it’s easy to end up with processes that are “the norm,” without realizing they’re hurting your brand by breaking the trust you worked so hard to create. Because the “norm” doesn’t always care what happens after the sale is complete. (🤯 I know.)

I like to think of customer experience as the sales funnel that doesn’t stop after the first sale.

an illustration of a traditional scale made of bamboo with the stack of money on the left side and the branch on the right side, representing ethical businesses weighing decisions based on profits and impact.

Here in part 3, we’re taking a raw, honest look at the temperature of your buyers before and after the sale. And we’re going to identify the #1 MOST IMPORTANT moment in your sales funnel that makes or breaks your ability to turn buyers into brand champions.

Because the flip side of brand champions are customers who lose trust in your brand. And those buyers rarely come back (and worse, they comment on your ads about their bad experience!)

I mentioned this in Parts 1 and 2, but I’ll say it again real quick for anyone who landed here first ~ I use “customer” as a catch-all phrase that includes clients, students, etc. Everything you’re about to read applies equally to service-based businesses, coaches, agencies, info-products, physical products, etc.

And while we’re at it, I also use the term “sales funnel” to refer to whatever your sales process is, even if it’s a high-touch, face-to-face conversation.

We’re an all-inclusive community here at Customer Delight Team!

Most Businesses Let Hot Leads Go Cold Immediately After The Sale

Quick story ~ Imagine you visit a restaurant for the first time and the menu is absolutely mouth-watering. It has some of your all-time favorite foods and the photos make everything look better than anything you’ve ever had before.

You order a dish with your favorite ingredients and the waiter walks away to tell the kitchen. You’re sitting on the edge of your seat with anticipation, getting more and more excited as you wait for the food to arrive.

After a short wait, the waiter returns to your table and places this in front of you:

A gorgeous table setting with an empty bowl on top of an empty plate, representing the disappointment of being handed nothing after getting excited about the sale.

And he stands there, waiting for your reaction.


WTF?!? Where’s the food?

When you ask the waiter, he explains that the food is steaming hot and currently being delivered to your home. All you have to do is go home and eat it.


Well that’s a bit of a letdown, isn’t it?

You’d leave the restaurant feeling disappointed, even if the meal at home ended up being incredible, right?

OF COURSE you would!

Even if it was the BEST meal you’d ever tasted, you’d still be wary of that restaurant, right?

When your online customers buy from you, if they land on an order confirmation page (aka Thank You page) that says, “Check your inbox for [next steps…]” then you’re literally serving them an empty plate immediately after they paid you money. 😬

Maybe it’s not as extreme as getting an empty plate at a restaurant (because let’s face it, that’s not normal.)

But it’s still JARRING.

It still chases them away with the promise that “your meal is waiting for you at ‘home,’ just pop over to your inbox to get it.”

Why do that when you can serve it up hot right there on the Thank You page?

Why give a 🔥hot lead time to 🥶 cool down before deepening your bond with them?

There’s NO SHAME if you’ve never thought about it like this before!
Most people don’t until someone points it out.

But once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

And let’s celebrate the fact that you’re hearing it from me instead of an irritated customer! 🙌

As a marketer inside businesses of different sizes, in different industries, I’ve noticed that roughly 83% of all order confirmation/thank you pages say something along the lines of:

  • “Check your inbox for next steps…” 
  • “Join the Facebook group…”
  • “We’ll email you once your items have shipped…”

This type of page does NOTHING to help your customers/clients fall in love with buying from you!

Ok, maybe your first touch point after the sale isn’t this generic. (Click on this sentence if that’s you.)

Maybe you’ve already thought about this, or the person you hired knew better than to leave you with an order confirmation page like this. I’ve got something specifically for you in part 4 (the last part of this series.) You could scroll to the bottom and click over to the next page where we’ll dig further into the 3 types of customer experience, yours included. But I think there’s still a gem left for you on this page before you skip ahead. Choose your adventure!

And heads up coaches, agencies, and product-based businesses ~ this applies to your post-sale experiences too. (Click on this sentence if that’s you.)

Whether your clients enter your onboarding process after paying the first invoice or your customers have to wait for their products to be shipped, these same principles apply. And the same solutions will help you boost your retention rates, repeat sales, profit margins, and all the things you’re here for.

No matter what you sell or how you deliver it after the sale, keep reading because I’m going to show you how to keep those hot leads hot (and turn up the heat so they become passionate about buying from you!)

The Temperature Of Customers/Clients Before And After The Sale

If we were to measure the temperature of a customer as they travel through your sales funnel, here’s what it would look like:

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a cold temperature, representing cold leads in the sales process.

Your lead gen (ads, social media posts, blog posts, YouTube videos, lead magnets, etc.) goes out into the world and makes contact with cold leads.

At this stage, your leads are cold, aka neutral to your brand.

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a warm temperature (one heart on the scale), representing warm leads in a sales process.

Your lead gen warms them up enough to make a micro commitment ~ to click through to your sales page. (Some sales funnels have extra steps of course like webinars, which would fall in between this and the next step.)

At this stage, your leads are curious, aka warmer than cold, but not by much.

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a hot temperature (three hearts on the scale), representing hot leads in a sales process.

By the time they land on your sales page, they’re warm enough to hear you out. They get hotter and hotter as they read the page. The words, images, and promises are lifting them higher and higher until they reach a feverish desire for what you’re selling.

Your leads are HOT at this moment! And they need to be to survive the next stage…

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a cooler temperature (two hearts on the scale), representing hot leads that cooled off in a sales process.

Some of that heat cools off as they enter their payment info. Reality is starting to temper their fever. Doubts and questions start to slow them down. If the sales page did its job, they’re hot enough to keep going, despite the cool down effect.

The temperature goes down slightly, but that’s ok because they were hot enough to make it through this stage.

GIF animation of a red heart (the shape, not the organ) beating faster in anticipation representing a customer's nervousness after the sale.

They click the button to complete their purchase and they wait for the next page to load.

Their heart is thumping with anticipation. All their doubts, fears, and excitement are swirling together and getting muddled as they wait for the page to load.

As soon as it loads, they either get hotter or colder.

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a very hot temperature (four hearts on the scale), representing hot leads that got even hotter during a sales process.

If they immediately receive something on the next page that warms them up again (after the cooling off of the checkout experience), then they’re on the path to becoming a brand champion.

A delightful order confirmation page will crank the heat up again so that they become passionate lovers of your brand.

An illustration of a thermometer indicating a cold temperature, representing cold leads in the sales process.

If not, they’re on the path to becoming someone else’s customer.

A meh order confirmation page will cool them off like an ice bath and break their trust in your brand.

It takes more effort/money/marketing to warm up a broken lead than a cold lead.

The Disconnect Between Your Sales Funnel And Customer Experience Funnel

Ok, time for another mental exercise. This one is all about you and your sales funnel.

Imagine your ideal customer (or client) going through your sales funnel. (Feel free to actually open your sales page in a new tab and refer to it as you go through this section!)

Think about all the energy and hope and desire baked into your sales page. Think of the energy building up in the person reading it as they imagine what their life would be like after using this offer.

↗️ Your leads are riding a wave that you created and the flow is taking them to the checkout page.

↗️ All they have to do to start seeing results and living a better life is to enter their payment info.

➡️ And they do! With nervous hands and trusting hearts, they complete the payment and wait for that first step into this new world.

And then the “Check your inbox for next steps…” page loads. 😕

Whomp whomp…

↘️ What a letdown!

↘️ All that energy fizzles.
⬇️ All that excitement fades.
🥶 All that work to warm this lead up for the sale cools off as they click away.

Your order confirmation page literally chases them away from your website to a place you have no control over.

Sure, they’ll go on a scavenger hunt to find you again (if they have nothing better to do right now.)

screenshot of a gmail inbox with 8,241 unread emails and 99 updates.

🗺️ First stop: their inbox which is likely overwhelmed with messages from other brands all competing for their attention.

Not to mention all the emails they’ve been putting off.
Newsletters they haven’t had time to read,
bank statements they’ve been trying to ignore,
reminders about all the things on their calendar.

They start feeling the stress, guilt, and overwhelm that has most of us turning off email notifications after hours.

I don’t know about you, but this is not the vibe I want my potential superfan wallowing in when they’re thinking about my brand.

And don’t even get me started on chasing them away to Facebook where they’ll see actual ads from your competition, notifications from the other brands they followed while they were researching solutions, and the anxiety/depression/low self-esteem that social media causes for many people.

On your website.

💞 Full of excitement and totally absorbed in your brand, your vibe, your world.

💞 They were looking at your fonts, your brand colors, and hearing your voice as they read the sales page.

💞 They were ready to fall in love with buying from you and become a brand champion!

Why on earth would you ask them to change locations before bringing them closer? Why wait to continue the conversation the sales page started? Why chase them away and risk that they’ll get distracted?

This is the difference between keeping your hot leads hot after the sale (which turns them into brand champions) and letting them cool off (which makes it harder to warm them up again.)

Why do so many businesses chase customers away at the peak of their excitement?

The reason: Because the business has been listening to sales and marketing experts – not retention and customer relationship experts. (Until now!)

Ethical Sales Funnels Don’t Stop After The Sale Is Made

Whoever taught/sold you the sales funnel stopped after the sale was made. They didn’t tell you that the first page buyers see after completing the payment was your BEST opportunity for creating a lifetime connection and a loyal fan.

(And it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad people or unethical business owners. Their specialty is helping you with traffic and sales, not customer experience.)

As a result, most business owners ~ even ethical brands with the best intentions in the world ~ are chasing customers away immediately after the sale instead of bonding with them and turning them into brand champions.

Of course, most businesses don’t even realize they’re doing it because it’s been the norm for decades.

I’m here to change that.

I’m forwarding the revolution in customer experience so that sustainable, eco-friendly, world-changing brands like yours outperform the Bezos, Musks, and Zucks of the world. So you can make a difference every time you make a sale and keep (or donate) more of your income.

After analyzing countless customer experience funnels, I’ve noticed that most fit into one of 3 categories.

Each category has a different level of success ~ 2 of which will limit the overall success of the business. And only one of them is designed to create brand champions.

So let’s take a closer look at each so you can see where yours sits on the spectrum and pinpoint which areas will bring you closer to the one you really want.

Click to continue:

Or, if you’d prefer to stop reading and take action, sign up for our CX Starter Kit and we’ll look at your after-the-sale sales funnel together and create a checklist of optimizations that will turn your buyers into brand champions.

Click to learn more: CX Starter Kit

  1. B1G1 (sometimes known as Buy 1 Give 1) shared these statistics in this Instagram post titled, “Customers are now expecting your business to do more.” ↩︎
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About Mollie

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