As your B2B business grows, it’s easy to get lost in all the little things and day to day requirements. But at its core, there is one thing that keeps businesses afloat – the customer.
We’ve heard it all before – the customer is always right. And when it comes to sales and growing a business, the art of acquiring new customers and retaining old ones becomes tricky.
With the extra expenses that are part of customer acquisition, customer retention should be more important to B2B businesses than customer acquisition. It is far cheaper to maintain old relationships than to replace them and your customer retention is a major metric of business success.
A customer who has bought from you once and returns to buy again, is proof that they believe in your product or service. Their decision as a buyer doesn’t stop post-sale. Once they’ve made an investment, they need to see if it was worth it. This is where after-sales service comes in. After sales service needs to be top-notch for every business to maintain their goodwill in the market.
a215],/Chat is After-Sales Service?
Plainly put, after-sales service is the service provided to customers post-their purchase. It’s a really important strategy to implement as it represents your business values and dedication to customers.
Accomplishing the sale is just the beginning, how you deliver the product, the average handle time, and the way you handle the customer and their problems after delivery, is what matters the most to your customer. After sales service needs to be remarkable and personalized. That way, satisfied customers return to place more orders and unsatisfied customers can have their complaints resolved.
After sales service does not directly generate revenue but can be responsible for an increase in sales because satisfied customers will come back. After sales service can encompass the following but the nature of service provided depends on the industry:
3.Customer support for call center digital operation
4.East return or replacement
6.Repair and maintenance
Why is after sales service important?
After sales service plays a pivotal role in your customer service strategy. It increases your brand value and helps strengthen the relationship between your business and the customer. After sales service includes an implemented process that is followed after a sale is achieved. Industry perception can be majorly altered by good after sales service. A brand that offers a good product cannot compete with a brand that offers a good product as well as exceptional after sales service.
Considering the longer length of an average B2B sales cycle, it would be wise to keep current customers happy before, during and after the sale. Focus on customer success and what will help your customer achieve their business goals, if you want them to remain loyal. After sale service is important because it decreases “churn”, i.e. the rate at which customers stop doing business with you.
After sales service is also critical because it helps get more refined and in depth product feedback. The customer journey that concludes with an after sales experience, gives customers more time to engage with you. They have been through the sales funnel and through every step in the customer’s journey. As you build trust along the way, the customer will feel more confident about speaking their mind, giving you multiple opportunities to fix any loopholes in the customer experience.
Encourage detailed reviews, and collect insights across the entire customer journey via emails or provide a call center call recording of support calls long after product delivery. This will show your concern and prove that you are invested in creating a satisfactory customer experience that does not end when the product is sold.
While star ratings look good on your website and are a smart ecommerce marketing strategy, they are not as useful as detailed reviews that help you introspect.
Provide a world-class personalized customer experience
Checking in with customers regularly can be a marketing technique just as it is a customer service necessity. Show the customer that you are a brand that cares. To establish a deep relationship, you need to empathize with the customer’s pain points and cater to them. While your product should be the answer to their problem before they met you, your after sales service should target pain points established during their experience with you.
Marketers have understood the importance of personalizing the entire customer experience. People like to feel important and using their name is a great way to make their experience more amiable. Being aware of the customer’s past purchases, complaints and success stories and tailoring the after sales experience to these factors can prove to be critical for after sales service success.
To be able to delight your customers you have to be invested in satisfying them till they say they are content and do not need your help to proceed further.
Respond to customer complaints in real-time
Digital marketing tools like your website and your social media pages can help you resolve customers’ complaints in real time. After sales service has been completely revolutionized with the advent of the internet and you could use that to your advantage. Time is of essence to your customer, rather than being routed through your call center and given a 48 hours lead time, customers demand immediate answers. For example, you run a software development business and there is a glitch in one of your products. You can use a screen sharing app and show the client how they can resolve the issues themselves, with you guiding them along the way.
Your customer service team could use video conferencing equipment to have a quick chat and make your customer feel heard. Many complaints can be resolved on the spot, if that is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) set for your customer service team. Give them the directive of trying their best to resolve the query while the customer is online. This will help alleviate angst among unsatisfied customers and can be a great way to reclaim a lost customer.
The faster you resolve a customer’s complaints, the more satisfied they are. It is simple math. Depending on the type of business you are and the industry you belong to, you could have to deal with various kinds of after sales issues. Make sure you are equipped with the best software to deal with such matters and keep a record of them for future use.
Happy customers will provide testimonials
Testimonials are the best form of social proof, i.e. they convince prospective customers that your product or service is worth their time and money, simply because many other people have bought it. The happier the customer, the more likely they are to give a positive testimonial. You can use product reviews in your marketing materials, in email marketing campaigns and on your website.
The after sales experience can be great for attracting new customers as well as retaining old ones. Leverage testimonial content to convince potential customers about the benefits of buying your product or service. After sales experience counts for a major portion of the entire customer experience. If you are lacking in this, you will find that not many customers are pleased enough with you to provide glowing testimonials that can increase lead generation or conversions.
Upselling and cross selling
If you can satisfy a customer if they have a complaint or you can help them claim warranty without making the process complex, you can perhaps convince a satisfied customer to buy something else. This is called upselling and it is a unique opportunity afforded especially by those who have exceptional after sales service. Your customer’s entire journey has been made pleasant by your concern and they would be more than willing to buy another product given the past experience.
Most upselling techniques annoy customers but if you were to sell a product that gave an additional benefit to their previous purchase, you are more likely to be successful. This is called cross selling and can be the result of an excellent after sales strategy. An example would be selling a memory card after selling a camera, or selling a VoIP router after setting up a VoIP system for small business.
The ever changing B2B marketing landscape necessitates a customer centric business strategy. You can follow the tips given above to add value to your after sales experience and make it a mutually beneficial investment. Your customer is likely to be retained and you can reap the benefits of providing high class customer service.
You reduce churn, boost revenue by upselling and cross selling, improve customer engagement, gain valuable feedback and receive positive testimonials to be used for marketing purposes. Emphasize on the importance of the post-sale experience so you can make the most out of your relationship with the customer. You spent major time and money to land every single customer, do not let that go to waste.
Those businesses that prioritize current customers rather than engaging with new ones, will always find themselves a step ahead of competition. Spend your time and resources to improve the B2B after sales service experience and you’ll find it is much cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Over deliver in the after sales service department and always go above and beyond the call of duty to become a brand renowned for being concerned about its customers.