Making after-sales more than an after-thought

Providing a good after-sales service can be the difference between being recommended and bought from again, and being forgotten about. Worst case scenario, a lack of after-sales or a bad after-sales experience can mean negative reviews for your business, so it pays to consider how you could build after-sales into your business strategy.

WHAT IS AFTER-SALES?

After-sales is a broad name for steps you and your business can take to make sure customers are satisfied, after you’ve made a sale. In crowded, more competitive markets, a good after-sales strategy can help to cement you as the business customers want to come back to – and want to recommend to their friends.

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?

On a basic level, a follow-up call to make sure the customer is happy and to check if they have any issues is a great place to start. After-sales is about maintaining some connection with your customers, and ensuring they feel they have been given a great service.

After-sales is different in each industry. For example, a car dealer might offer extended warranties or some kind of service/MOT package after you sell a car, to encourage customers to come back again. Some small businesses offer a small discount or other incentive for customers to provide feedback.

THE BENEFITS

If customers feel well looked after by your business, then they are likely to feel increased loyalty and return to you when they want other goods or services you provide.

It also helps to build your reputation and can increase the number of word of mouth recommendations that send people to you as new business prospects.

BUILDING IT IN

If you’re not currently running any kind of after-sales strategy, think simple to begin with. What would you appreciate, if you were your own customer? Start with some basic post-sales contact and ask a few questions that will help you find out what your customers’ experience is. You may take some helpful learning points from this, and you may also work out some other after-sales opportunities that could encourage repeat business.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s a) consistent, b) manageable and c) you can measure or record feedback and results easily. This will help you understand long-term how your customers feel about your service, and ultimately should help improve your business reputation and performance.

Want more? See our guide on dealing with unhappy customers

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