Do you know what your customers value the most about your company? Well, we are sorry to break it to you that it is not your sales figures, your huge turnover, or your market value. None of these are the most important metrics for customers to choose your company over the competitors. All that really matters the most to them is the way you treat them. Customers will prefer choosing your company only when they feel that you are worth their time and money. Turns out, providing good products/ services is not all that it takes to gain happy customers. Your sales strategy comes into the picture here. A well-established sales strategy does not end when you achieve a targeted number. If your company is making excellent sales figures but struggling to retain customers, we are worried that your sales leaders might be missing out on a big piece of the jigsaw i.e ‘defining your after sales techniques’ in your sales strategy.
A Complete Sales Strategy:
An effective sales strategy starts way before you make an actual sale and continues way beyond that. A good sales strategy comprises of three stages:
- Pre Sales – Includes planning, identification, research, strategy formulation, and defining an action plan.
- Sales- Includes the actual call/ meeting, negotiation, networking, relationship building, and closing the deal.
- After-Sales- Includes activities such as seeking customer feedback, offering after sales support, gathering customer feedback, evaluating it, and formulating future sales forecasting.
A good number of sales leaders plan out their sales objectives and the ways and means to achieve those. But, they often tend to miss out on the ‘after sales’ part and end up with disastrous outcomes.
The Importance Of After Sales In Your Sales Strategy
When you implement a sales strategy, that misses out on the after sales part, it becomes similar to having a good wedding and ending up with a bad marriage for your customers.
Think about these two scenarios. We’re sure you must have experienced something similar:
- You buy a book online and find out that some pages are misprinted. You go to the website and see that defective products are eligible for return/ replacement. So, you call the customer service helpline with relief. The customer service executive tells you that the defect covers only torn out pages and therefore, they wouldn’t be able to help you. You try explaining the issue to them but they just don’t seem to understand and try to convince you to keep the misprinted book.
- You buy an expensive laptop from an electronic appliances store in your city. Upon unboxing, you find that a cord is missing from the contents. You are filled with rage and worried about the money that you spent on the laptop. You immediately go to the store and report the issue. The salesperson apologises to you for the mishap, asks you to have a seat, gives you a new box of laptop that you are allowed to open at the store, gives you a complimentary USB drive, and assures you that it will never happen again.
Which of the two scenarios do you think is playing out well in the favour of the customer? Probably the second one, Right? The electronic appliance store went a step ahead by offering good after sales service.
Customers don’t expect companies to be clueless after making a sale. A good word from your customer and the customer retention ratio are significant determinants of the efficiency of your sales objectives. Your after sales services will ensure a positive experience for your customers.
Let’s get you some data if you’re still skeptical:
According to a survey by Harvard, 48% of customers who had a negative experience with a company, shared it with 10 or more others. Research also shows that one negative review drives away 22% of prospects, that is around 30 customers. Moreover, it also undermines your business reputation. We have all been there and done that. We immediately strike off options that are rated at one-two stars and make our choices.
Now that you have an idea about the importance of an after sales strategy, are you looking forward to formulating an effective one to meet your sales objectives holistically? Here’s how you can do that:
After Sales Techniques:
Seek For Buyer Feedback
Do you remember the communication process model? It starts from the sender encoding a message, putting it across, the decoder decoding the message, and ends with ‘feedback’. You need to implement that in your after sales service process. We can vouch and say that your customers will be happier with your company if you actively seek feedback from them. When you ask for feedback, you are asking your customers to share their opinion. This practice makes them feel ‘heard’ and ‘valued’.
Effective customer feedback helps you to determine the usefulness of your product/services, measure the degree of satisfaction, and determine cost-effectiveness.
The practice of seeking customer feedback also helps your customers build trust in your company because they know you are there to hear them out. This eventually leads to better customer retention.
Hyatt Hotels has built their entire brand around customer feedback. They actively encourage customers to share their experiences with Hyatt on Twitter and Instagram using #WorldOfHyatt and #WorldOfUnderstanding. The hashtag #WorldOfHyatt has over 54K listed posts on Instagram.
Pro tip: While you seek customer feedback, form a habit to listen actively. Later, incorporate the feedback for product/ service improvements.
Build Personal Relations:
There are a thousand companies and brands out there which offer similar products/ services like yours. If you want to make a customer choose you over them, you have to offer something extra. Building personal relationships with your customers is a must-follow step to implement in your after sales service strategy.
It is a known fact that humans are social beings, full of feelings, and high emotional quotients. As a company/ brand, you have the privilege to resonate with the emotions of your customers. To build stronger personal relations, make it a point to contact your customers on special days.
Reach out to them at festivals, their birthdays, and anniversaries. Offer something special to your customers. A ‘birthday month discount’ could be a great offering!
When you ensure this, your customers know that you haven’t forgotten about them. It helps them to humanize your brand.
Happy Pockets = Happy People. Think about it, How would you feel if you met your sales objectives and saved up on the allocated budget too? Heavenly, right? Well, your customers (even when you are one) feel similarly when they have to spend less.
After a customer has purchased your product/ service once, it is always a good idea to reach out to them in a month and offer an additional discount for their second purchase. The discount offered by you will encourage them to think about the second purchase even when they didn’t have any intentions in the first place.
You can create different campaigns to offer discounts on certain occasions. For example: Offer a discount when your customer visits your page for the first time/ makes frequent purchases in a month/ every 6 months or when they sign up for your newsletter.
Send Relevant Content To Your Customers:
When we talk about after sales techniques, we cannot afford to miss out on his one.
Sure, it is very important to achieve your sales objectives but that’s not all your company should be about. You should be cautious that your company doesn’t fall in the category of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for your customers.
Don’t take us wrong here. We aren’t asking you to keep bothering your customers unnecessarily. We wouldn’t want them to unsubscribe to your emails or messages.
To do that, you need to deliver good content. Do your research, understand what your customers value, and create content that resonates with your brand as well as your audience. Sending relevant content will strengthen your authority on a particular subject.
Content marketing is a great way for companies to keep in touch with their customers without asking for anything in return. This also helps in increasing your brand-recall value for the customers.
For once, you can ditch the sales ads and try sending relevant articles, infographics, and videos to your customers as a part of your after sales service strategy. Click here to know how Swiggy’s exceptional Email marketing worked wonders.
Reward Loyal Customers:
Loyalty is a rare trait and it deserves to be rewarded! When customers exercise brand loyalty, it shows that your brand matters to them. It becomes important for you to communicate that they matter to you too.
Did you not love it when your parents favored you over your sibling? Everybody does. Humans love favoritism. And it is surely not wrong to prioritize loyal customers in your after sales service strategy.
Promote new releases to your loyal customers. This will give them a sense of exclusivity and first-hand access. Apple does this with its customers.
When you reward loyal customers, it enhances a long term relationship with them. Also, both happy and unhappy customers make a lot of noise. So, this practice will surely earn your referrals through your happy customers.
Establish a Strong Customer Support Service:
How will you be able to achieve all of the steps mentioned above? By following this one! Nothing will matter in the end if you are not there for your customers. It is important to establish a strong customer support service system and make yourselves available.
When customers have to deal with unresponsive companies, they feel dejected and unvalued.
Maintaining an open two-way communication channel for your customers is very important to gain effective results from your after sales strategy.
To gain the most out of your products/ services, your customers need to communicate with you. So, make it a point to stand up, show up, and be there for your customers with a strongly established customer support service system.
Never make a sale and assume that your job’s done there! It starts from there. Try to humanise your brand for your customers and put yourselves in their shoes. Think about what would make you want to stay loyal to a brand and do exactly that. Implement the above-mentioned techniques in your after sales strategy and thank us later.
Results first, payment later.