Aftersales services are the various processes that ensure customer satisfaction after you deliver goods or services. These services are provided in a follow-up communication, such as email support in most cases.After-sales services positively impact customer satisfaction since they communicate that you value your clients. They show that your business is not just interested in taking money away from the customer and cutting off communication until the next purchase. After-sales services are critical in retaining customers through repeat business.
By fulfilling your customers' needs after the transaction, you increase the probability of the client recommending the business to their family members and friends. After-sales services have a positive impact on positive word of mouth.
Strong after-sales services can transform customers' perception of your products and services. It may change their views on the utility of the products. You can easily increase the value of your brand by leveraging customer support after every successful transaction.
Providing after-sales services is not limited to online retailers with rating features enabled on social media and other platforms. It applies to all kinds of businesses regardless of platform. It's also critical in various sectors linked to commerce, such as manufacturing, third-party customer services, and training providers.
A typical after-sales service covers several key elements, including warranty, repair, upgrades, and training. Some businesses rely on strong after-sales services to market their products and services. In such cases, they take pride in offering superior after-sales services compared to the industry averages or their closest competitors.
You can strengthen your company's after-sales services by increasing the number and quality of connections to your customers:
- Use highly customized interactions such as email support
- Reach customers on their favorite platforms such as social media
- Elicit feedback via customer surveys
Reaching out to customers only when you want to sell them something is disrespectful and may cost you. A better approach is maintaining contacts and requesting ways to improve the products they've already purchased, sometimes for free. That's how you create loyal fans that'll stick with you for all their future purchases.
1) Send Product and Company Updates via Email Support
Sending product and company updates through email support is critical for after-sales customer support. It keeps your customers informed about products they bought, or you've got in stock.
The communication creates an avenue to talk to your customers about changes in business operations, such as terms of services. For instance, it allows you to share more information about the company stock, which may be useful for customers planning to make new purchases.
It allows you to tell your customers about new releases they're likely to buy. You can also use email support to announce upcoming events to your customers.
If you run an e-commerce store, keep in mind that you've got an even bigger use for email support. It's one of the most reliable ways to update customers on the shipment of their orders. It helps them plan accordingly.
Normalize sending notification emails to your customers since they focus on retention, raising the lifetime value of your customers, and setting them up as your word-of-mouth marketing agents down the road.
Remember, keeping existing customers is easier than getting new ones. Therefore, ensure your customers are happy and engaged with new services or products.
The following are some tips for sending product update emails to your existing customers:
- Know your audience
- Skip unimportant updates
- Think long-term
- Go easy on cross-selling
Knowing your audience means understanding the proper way to segment your subscription list so that different groups receive appropriate communication. Some customers will appreciate an email every day; others can only handle a single email weekly. Respect their wishes.
Not all updates should be included in the newsletter. You should skip unimportant updates as they may bombard your contacts. Don't bother your subscribers with minor bug fixes or unimportant announcements.
Thinking about the long-term relationships you want with your customers helps you cultivate the interaction. It allows you to accommodate their views, wishes, and opinions.
Excessive upselling and cross-selling will look desperate and unprofessional. If you want to draw your customer's attention to new products or services, use clever techniques such as free trials and discount announcements.
2) Encourage Customer Feedback as an After-Sales Service
After-sales services encourage your customers to provide feedback to improve future interactions. Email support is a great way to do this since most people go through their inboxes at least once daily. You may also consider integrating other useful tools such as customer satisfaction surveys and rating systems.
The best way to utilize after-sales services to encourage communication with your customers is by showing them that you're there for them. Your customers want to know they can depend on you for all their needs related to the services of products.
If you cannot show this level of commitment to creating a relationship with your customers, they'll conclude that your only motivation is making money off them. They'll feel neglected and will be looking elsewhere for their next purchase.
Showing your customers that their opinions count is the easiest way to guarantee repeat business. Allowing them to provide input in developing the next product iteration shows that you care.
By nurturing a strong bond with your customers, you'll increase the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth, which is critical in modern marketing.
Customer feedback is critical in modern business. It presents the following data:
- The customers' likes and dislikes
- A sense of involvement
- An opportunity to improve
Requesting customer feedback gives you a chance to learn what clients like or dislike. It prevents you from repeating mistakes you may not have noticed. Customers may shape your products from an unbiased perspective.
Your customers want to feel involved in developing different products and services. This is mostly true if they've purchased from your before. Giving them this opportunity strengthens the relationship further.
Constantly improving your products or services is the easiest way to stay ahead of the curve. Your customers may know something that you don't. Listening to them transfers their insights into your products, usually at no cost.
3) Offer Discounts and Promos
Email support creates the perfect opportunity to announce discounts and promos to your customers. Companies that understand customer psychology often create special offers to improve brand image. It also makes customers happier and ensures they return in the future.
Attracting new and maintaining existing customers isn't hard if you understand how to leverage your stock through discounts and offers. You can do this through markdown techniques.
The following are some advantages of markdown marketing approaches:
- Driving traffic patterns
- Inventory management
- Increased sales and profits
- Raising customer expectations
You can drive crazy amounts of traffic to your store by promoting a one-day-only markdown. Customers who would otherwise ignore your products will want to check out what they can get. The approach works out since it introduces you to new customers.
One-day markdowns are an excellent way to manage your stock effectively by offloading slow-selling items. The technique works since it lets you create room for inventory that enjoys higher demand. You can recoup any losses made from the next batch.
One of the main reasons stores don't discount their products or services is the risk of losses. Granted, this fear is real, especially for products enjoying steady movement off the shelves.
However, you've got to think strategically about your stock. There are some cases where slow-moving or old stock holds up cash and space that could be used on better products.
Discounts are contentious in the business world since some companies seem to perform well with them and others without them. For example, Apple Inc., the world's most valuable brand, rarely runs any discounts on old or new inventory. This hasn't prevented it from reaching a US$3trillion valuation in record time.
However, most small and medium-sized businesses could benefit from strategic discounts, especially short-term ones. Some of the key reasons include:
- More traffic and sales
- Meeting targets
- Strong relationships
Giving discounts encourages customers to act quickly to avoid missing out on an opportunity to land a good deal. Most new and repeat customers will likely make an immediate purchase after confirming that you're running a legit discount. Keep in mind that customers are aware of some tricks used by marketers to trick them into paying full price.
Your customers will likely compare your previous and current prices. Most importantly, they will compare your current price with that of the competitors. If the discounted price is not significantly lower than your competitors marked price, it'll create a negative impression. You'll come off as a liar and trickster, which means they may never consider your products. The word discount will have no meaning coming from your company.
One of the most important aspects of running a business is hitting various targets such as annual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly. Seasonal fluctuations in consumer buying behavior make it impossible to hit the targets consistently. Sales discounts are an excellent way to meet such goals regardless of last-minute forecasts.
Giving discounts to your customers improves the relationship since it shows you care about their needs. For example, you may decide to extend special discounts to your past customers as a form of appreciation. If you do this frequently, they'll likely inform their friends about it so that they can enjoy being part of the club as well. Your competitors are unlikely to steal such customers from you.
4) Send Follow-Ups and Personalized Emails
Follow-ups and personalized email support are excellent ways to strengthen your business-customer relations. It shows that you haven't forgotten about them and are interested beyond the purchase.
Customers that feel that you forget about them as soon as the purchase is over only to hit them up again with a new item won't stay with your company for long. They'll feel manipulated and will likely advise their social circles to avoid your company since you're just trying to make a quick sale.
Follow-up is everything in modern business since it helps maximize the value of each customer. You can maximize the utility of follow-up through:
- Building relationships
- Maximizing social media
- Enhanced mail support
You should do follow-ups regularly since it develops a bond between your brand and the customer. Contacting your customers too frequently is a turnoff. Contacting them too infrequently will make them forget about your company. Find a sweet middle-ground.
Social network platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide a great way to connect with fans. Keep tabs on all your customers and run surveys to ensure that the products they bought from your company serve them appropriately.
Sending regular emails to your prospects keeps an active connection. It's important to personalize the email support since many prospects will direct them to the spam box if they are generic.
5) Dedicate a Section on Your Website for Customer Support
Showing your customers that you're ready to offer assistance for free will play a huge role in maintaining a loyal following. A customer who receives a free after-sales service when they expected to pay will tell friends about it. They are also highly likely to make additional purchases as reciprocity for the kind gesture.
You should cultivate such a relationship with your customers. Don't charge for after-sales services. You'll lose that customer, their friends, and family members if you do. In the age of social media, you'll also lose as many people as you can tell about the negative experience.
Your customers shouldn't jump through hoops to reach you. While they can tolerate such inconvenience if you're the only company offering the service, they'll dump you as soon as a more respectful company shows up.
You should create avenues for customers to reach you. Live chat services such as Helpware provide handy features for all kinds of websites. The service is excellent for companies struggling to process emails.
All the communication channels need to be open and easy to use. Your customers will appreciate being prioritized through fast responses to their issues. It'll make them feel important and increase their likelihood of staying loyal.
Expand Your Customer Support Services Through Helpware!
Email support improves your business by offering after-sales services to customers. These services are your key to creating a good relationship with clients.
Maintaining open lines of communication after a sale shows that you weren't after a sale. Your customers are more likely to approach your company for future business. They'll also feel obligated to share positive word-of-mouth offline and online.
After-sales services can be conducted through different platforms. The most popular ones are chat, email, and social media. Many customers prefer these avenues since they don't take away their attention. They're also relatively well-developed and integrated with modern feedback features such as customer surveys.
If your company is overwhelmed by email or chat, you can consider outsourcing the after-sales service to a reputable third party such as Helpware. Shoot us an email to learn how we can shape your digital customer experience today.