What do OnePlus, Airbnb and your small business have in common? The constant need to conduct after-sales customer service of course!
The right way to do it is to improve their customer experience and therefore, optimise your customer service.
In this guide, you’ll learn about how to provide the best service after a customer has completed a purchase.
- 1 Customer Experience Vs. Customer Service for small businesses:
- 2 What is After Sales Service for a small business?
- 3 How important is after-sales customer service?
- 4 How can small businesses do after-sales service for customers?
- 5 Getting after-sales customer service right: Top tips for small businesses
Customer Experience Vs. Customer Service for small businesses:
When a customer wants to use/buy your product or service, the first person they talk to is a customer service executive.
It is just a part of the customer experience.
For example, a friendly, amicable team member on the phone helping you create a payment link for your website is a part of customer service. But providing you free shipping on your first ten orders once you sign up on the payment page is part of a good customer experience.
What is After Sales Service for a small business?
After-sales customer service is simply based on how your business treats customers after they make a sale.
You need to make sure they had a smooth shopping experience and got the product they were looking for. Here are some things you can help customers with after they make a sale:
- Regular shipping information
- Guide on how to use the product
- Feedback on how their shopping experience
- Cross-sell related products
As a small business, customers expect a personalised experience. And after-sales customer service is a great way to provide a unique brand image and show customers that you truly care.
For example, Ugaoo, a D2C brand selling plants, sends a short and personalised customer survey form to their customers a few days after sale:
So, when was the last time your business provided excellent customer service – after you made the sale?
How important is after-sales customer service?
Retain your existing customers over trying to acquire new ones. According to a ‘Marketing Metrics’ survey, your business has a 60-70% higher chance of selling a new product/service to your existing customers over new customers (5% to 20%).
This is why after-sales customer service is important. You show your customers you care, just the right amount. Customer lifecycle values are getting shorter. Retaining older customers is not just a matter of recreating value, it is also cost-effective.
Rule of thumb: It is 5 times more expensive to gain new customers than to retain existing customers – Harvard Business Review
But is it only customers who benefit from after-sales service?
Your customers are engaged with your brand, therefore, you are building your brand image. With the right after-sales customer service strategy, you don’t just build a strong audience, you build a fan base.
- Sales work a lot around word-of-mouth recommendations. Talking to your customers after they make a sale ensures the right words are spoken.
- After-sales service to customers balances the cost of future maintenance. Prevention is better than cure. So keeping customers happy the first time around reduces the chances of an expensive cover-up later.
Apart from customer service, there are a bunch of other things a D2C brand should be doing to ensure their customers feel special even after a purchase. Read this free eBook to know more!
How can small businesses do after-sales service for customers?
Before you pick up the phone or send the post-sales email, remember to optimize. Keep these 3 points in mind about effective customer service:
- Reducing the cost to serve- this means fewer calls, escalations and technician visits.
- Capturing longer-term revenues and loyalty
- Improving overall satisfaction.
How are Indian businesses doing it wrong?
The road to failed customer service strategies is paved with good intentions. Business owners want to see quick and fast end results, so we chase customers down for good reviews or a good smile for the front page of the company website.
Instead, focus on more satisfied customers, increased loyalty, a lower cost to serve, and more engaged employees.
Getting after-sales customer service right: Top tips for small businesses
Over 45% of dissatisfied customers stated they were unhappy with after-sales customer service because they were not delivered the value they were promised by the company.
Your business can change that.
Good after-sales customer service is all about being present, from the signup process to the Thank you emails. Keep an action plan ready, along with a script and a Taskforce or ‘Customer success’ team.
Assign customers based on demography (regional language), function (payments, online store, product) and keep a foolproof exit strategy for emergencies.
For example: when a customer threatens to sue. (Hopefully, you will not have to worry about that.)
Treat every customer with the same level of service:
Hire customer executives who have a broad-minded yet diplomatic take on your brand. Your regular customers, as well as those who contact your team for seasonal offers, are all equally important.
Referrals and former customers can be a huge asset for your business, so you don’t want to keep them waiting.
Instant refunds? Go ahead!
Commit to refunds, repairs and warranties. Product-based businesses need to streamline refunds, referrals and warranty services.
Offer instant refunds if customers’ payments failed. This reassures them immediately that they are not being duped.
Leverage email marketing:
Send emails your customers would want to read after you make a sale. The customer should feel like they’re getting some sort of value, and business owners can maintain a contact list of returning customers who would like regular email updates. The kinds of emails you can send are:
Thank you emails: Every time they make a purchase/payment on your website or store, send them a short email appreciating their time and effort to be a part of your business growth. You can also give a discount coupon with the thank you email and encourage them to purchase from you again. Here’s a sample:
Surveys and Feedback: Did they like your product? Do you think it could be better? Ask! Send your customers an email asking them if they enjoyed your product or service with a form and how can you improve.
It is not just a survey, it is also a feedback. This way, you avoid it being plastered on your company website if it is negative in nature, and you quickly douse any fires that might ensue.
Pro tip: Make sure that your email content is personalised to get better results.
If you are looking to interact with your customers better, we have you covered. Now, you can keep your existing customers happy as well as find potential new customers using the Instamojo leads manager app. Collect leads, send them payment links and live chat with them on your online store!