Doing business — sales in particular — is not just about putting money from the customers’ pocket to your company’s pocket. A good business does not only produce good products and relate to its customers but also makes sure that transactions turn into loyal relationships.
What Is After Sales Service?
Establishing a good relationship with clients is everything but easy, especially once a sale, for example, has been done. Most businesses, particularly those producing consumer products, would end the interaction after a sale. They do not realize that what happens after the customer shells out money is just as important as convincing them to take their money out in the first place.
Taking care of what happens after a sale — after sales service or after sales management — is part of a company’s sales service. In itself, sales service is just part of the many customer services that you need to employ if you want to grow your customer base and make them patronize your products and services.
An effective after sales management shows customers that you are not just after raking in cash from their coffers. From an emotional perspective, it shows clients that you are concerned about them by making sure they use your product properly or your service has a long-lasting benefit to them. Customers want to feel that they are being taken care of.
On the other hand, from the business perspective, a great after sales service raises your value as a company, no matter what your product or service is. It shows customers that there is an “add-on” to what they are availing themselves of and, in most cases, this could help them understand that they are getting premium quality.
Many companies are conducting their own after sales management by themselves while a growing number of others are outsourcing this essential part of their customer services, depending on where they find value in the most.
How to Manage After Sales Service
After sales management is not difficult if you as a business owner or sales manager know the following by heart: (1) the unique value of your product and service, and (2) the potential needs of your customers once they have purchased your product or taken your service.
Following are the steps that you may take or perform as part of your after sales service or customer relationship management:
Accommodate complaints and concerns
This part of sales service is perhaps what many companies big and small have been trying to avoid — but to no avail. Some believe their products and services are perfect, while others are just too lazy to put in the extra work after the deal. Still others do not or are unable to dedicate resources to customer service.
But opening the lines of communication is crucial to serving customers after the sale. It is important that every call, text message, chat, or email gets a response. And the response does not have to be complicated. Most of the time, all the customers want to feel is that someone is listening to, trying to understand, and willing to help them.
Exchange pleasantries with customers
It would not hurt if sales representatives take some time off business and steer the conversation or turn the moment into something light. Doing this once in a while would allow you to further establish rapport with the customer and show that your company is composed of humans helping humans.
Maximize the technology that customers use
These days, reaching out to and interacting with customers have become easier, what with social networking sites and mobile chat applications that abound. Talk to the customer which ones they are currently using and make yourself available through those applications as well.
At the same time, you may also encourage your customers to use the application or communication channel that your company is using. What is important is to make sure that engaging with you will be as easy and comfortable for the customers as it could possibly be.
Provide the necessary support and empower the customer
Extensive sales service and support is most common among companies in the tech industry.
If you are selling a laptop computer, for instance, make sure that the programs have been configured in the system. This will allow the customer to use the product for its basic functions right away when they want to. If you are a telecoms provider, make sure the provided devices are working and the wires connected properly.
But what most companies often forget is how to empower the client, which starts by making them understand the product or service they have purchased and enable them to manage it on their own. Leaving a leaflet of instructions is not enough. Anticipate and identify common concerns, and explain and address them even before the customer brings them up or experiences them.
Simplify your Exchange Policy
Some products come with production defects and would need changing. What ticks most customers is when they get wound up in messy policies and conditions when all they want is to get their defective product replaced by one in good condition. Make your Exchange Policy easily understandable and transparent, and the process hassle-free. It must always be in favor of the customer.
Offer a Maintenance Contract
There are instances where products need a long-term regular service for them to function well. A Maintenance Contract as a staple option for customers for every product or service they buy from you makes for a good customer relations management.
Actively seek feedback
Encouraging customers to provide feedback will let your company know your customers better and apply the necessary changes to better satisfy your customers. It is a highly effective way to engage clients.
In your company’s website, for instance, you may create a section where customers can register complaints. You may also provide a number that customers can call and where they can discuss their queries.
Providing these channels is not enough. Your company’s customer service officers must act promptly on the customer’s concerns. Problems must be resolved immediately.
These Techniques Won’t Work If…
You may take all these steps — and more, if you have better ideas in mind — well and good, assuming you already provide something of good quality. No amount of after sales management can save a crappy product or service. Whether you do after sales service on your own or you get an outside team to handle it, everything will go back to your core product and service.