Imagine your old phone broke down and now you need a new one. You want to treat yourself by buying the latest model of a super popular brand. So, you don’t mind spending a larger amount of money and you buy it.
Then, a couple of days later, you realize you don’t understand a bunch of features and you need some extra help from the provider.
But somehow nobody replies to your emails. Nobody’s picking up the phone.
Would that impact your purchasing decisions?
Or would you stay loyal to your old mobile phone provider if you knew they offer 24/7 support for delightful customer service?
Apart from expecting products whose quality matches the prize, customers for years now also expect to find the service providers exactly when they need them. If you’re good at what you’re doing, you should even be the one to let the customers know they can count on you. However, make sure you do that before they even think of reaching out to you. So, if you make them choose between a good product and a good after-sales service, you’re not on the right path.
Good products keep customers interested, but after-sales service keeps them loyal
Offering a great product that’s not backed up with at least decent support is a pretty risky business. On the one hand, if you don’t show interest in your customer experience, you’ve lost them for sure. And allowing your business to not address customers’ after-sale needs, you’re ruining the future of your brand.
To make sure your first-time buyers will remain loyal to your brand, you should think beyond just selling a product. That’s the key to delightful customer service: providing your customers with the attention they need. Now doing so certainly doesn’t mean that you should repeatedly bother them asking if they’re happy or if they need anything (although getting in touch with them once in a while would be appreciated).
What primarily matters in providing customer service is your availability.
Your readiness to receive their complaints and deal with them efficiently is of the utmost value. Except, how are you supposed to know if you’re providing a great after-sale experience? How can you improve your current support system? And what are the activities that you could include in your customer support service?
Read on and find out! We’re bringing you some of the most significant examples of after-sales activities that you can implement as well as some use cases that will help your business improve.
1. Offer a warranty that adds value to your product
Even though warranties are not a surprising and unusual way of keeping customers’ trust, many businesses don’t pay much attention to the quality and real value of their warranties.
Customers frequently get rejected after making a complaint due to incredibly strict and narrow warranty policies. This leads to disappointment, which in the long term provokes losses. Practically speaking, it’s not enough to offer a warranty. When you do it, your customers really should benefit from it when experiencing troubles.
Business example: Apple Support.
One of the reasons why Apple remains the best option for a large number of customers all around the world is precisely their warranty policy, included in the official Apple Care support system.
Once a customer purchases an iPhone, the company automatically supplies them with the free-plan warranty services for the next 12 months, repairing and replacement of problematic parts. And that’s not all. Apple even lets customers purchase the extended warranty before the first warranty period has expired, keeping them happy and loyal.
2. Use live chat for customer service as an after-sales support system
An important part of delightful customer service is the support proactivity and talent to engage customers in no time. No matter whether customers are happy with your product or not, sometimes it can be a callous work to make them leave feedback regarding their experience. And that’s why live chat for sales can make a great difference in your communication with your customers, especially if your agents are not only well-skilled but also friendly and pleasant.
If you choose a live chat software that lets you store buyers’ accounts and save their purchase history, you can reach out to them as soon as they receive the order and check if everything’s alright, or offer additional help.
Some other fast ways of getting in touch with customers when you want to hear from them are social media pages and messaging apps, but make sure to do it moderately.
Business example: Glossier.
This brand, worldly famous for its skincare and makeup products, doesn’t only offer amazing products but also an awesome support system.
Their customer experience staff, also known as the gTeam, efficiently collect the after-sales feedback everywhere online (social media inboxes, posts, tweets, comments, reviews, emails, live chat for sales, and so on). Then they process the collected impressions individually and provide personalized feedback whenever it’s possible.
They provide a genuine approach that makes customers feel familiar with the staff and more open to express their requests, opinions, and suggestions. Customers even get to discuss the ways of using products with support agents that use them. And it’s sure that this is one of the main reasons why this company’s last year revenue reached the incredible $100 million.
3. Offer some awesome customer loyalty programs
You may think the loyalty plans are purely promotional assets. Except, they can also be a great value-adding after-sales activity, especially if you want to make a bond with your customers and make them stay with you.
No matter whether you base your loyalty program on discounts, exclusive vouchers, gifts, or another type of privileges, your customers will appreciate it. And there’s nothing that keeps customers excited about your brand like providing them both with high-quality products as well as some awesome surprise gifts.
Business example: American Express.
Introducing Plenti Reward system that lasted from 2015 to 2018, American Express has let their clients earn and redeem loyalty points. Using the points, American Express clients got the chance to win rewards from a diversity of brands collaborating with this firm after each purchase. The best part of it was that it both represented an awesome after-sales program as well as a great way of motivating new purchase.
A good after-sales service is part of a good product
So, if you still think that a good product can have a bright future without good after-sales service, it is high time you realized that sales don’t work that way.
To have a stable market position and improve your business results in the long-term, you should have in mind that you need your customers to repeat purchase. And if you try to copy the best practices from successful businesses, you’ll realize that keeping your customers happy is not as difficult as it may seem.
You should start with the basic strategies that work for all types of businesses. These strategies can include:
A well-designed warranty program.
Real-time feedback collected with the use of live chat for customer service.
Loyalty plans based on various incentives.
Implementing such strategies can help you provide a holistic service to your customers hassle-free.
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Editor’s note: This article reflects the opinions of our guest author.
About the guest author
Jared Cornell is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in the customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.