If you’re like the average company, you’ll probably focus the bulk of your efforts into closing your sales. The funnel starts with your marketing team, who’s responsible for generating leads and nurturing them to the point where they’re ready to make a purchase. Then your sales reps step in to pitch your product or service, and (hopefully!) make the lead an offer they can’t refuse. Some companies even enlist the help of external agencies experts to optimize their websites, in a bid to increase their conversion rates and drive more enquiries or purchases.
Where many companies fall short, however, is after-sales support. If you’re not 100% clear on what this entails, it basically refers to any activities that you do to improve your customer’s post-sale experience. Some companies might send their customers tutorial videos that walk them through how to get started, and others might grant their customers access to an online knowledgebase. Either way, the goal is to reduce the friction that your customer faces, and help them get comfortable with your product.
The importance of after-sales support
Why is after-sales support important? It helps companies achieve a myriad of different objectives, all of which contribute to an increase in revenue.
First, companies which provide great after-sales support have a higher chance of successfully upselling or cross-selling their customers. Yes, your customer might’ve only bought a $20 laptop stand on their first visit… but if you play your cards right, you may be able to convince them to part with a few hundred bucks for an external hard drive. Good collateral and smart sales enablement don’t stop mattering when a deal is closed. That’s how you drive up your Average Order Value and your overall revenue!
On top of that, companies which nail their after-sales support typically experience an increase in their customer retention rates as well. The premise behind this is simple: if you’re a trustworthy company, and you go the extra mile to make your customers feel appreciated, they won’t be jumping ship anytime soon. Bearing in mind that it’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one, this will definitely impact your bottom line.
Last but not least, improving upon your after-sales support will also help you get more word-of-mouth business. After having a positive experience with a company, 53% of customers will post about it on social media, and 77% of customers will recommend the company to a friend. You’ll get more brand exposure and referrals, without having to spend a single cent on marketing or ads!
How to implement after-sales support
Want to work on improving your after-sales support? Here’s a handy three-step guide that will help you do just that!
1. Create an automated email campaign
First things first: the moment your customer fills out a form or purchases something on your website, they should receive an automated email thanking them for their purchase. This helps to close the loop, and reassures your customer that their transaction has successfully went through.
How do you do this? Simple – set up an automated email campaign, and create an acknowledgement email that’s triggered at the point of purchase. Assuming you’re an eCommerce store, you can also create other emails within the same campaign to ask if your customer has received their product, and if they need any help with said product. If you’re an SaaS platform, on the other hand, you can create an email within the campaign that prompts your customer to create an account and start using your tool.
2. Offer training if needed
If your product or service requires technical expertise, and there’s a steep learning curve involved, be sure to offer training for your customers. This will help your customers get up to speed, and get the most out of your product/service.
PS: Worried that training costs will eat into your profit margin? Instead of relying on in-person training, you can invite your customers to a webinar, and teach them how to use your product remotely. All you need to invest in is a webcam (if you don’t already have one), and a few hours of your time!
3. Respond quickly
Statistics show that 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. Keeping this in mind, be sure you have enough support reps on standby, and don’t put your customers through an excruciatingly long wait.
On that note, researchers find that customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are often higher than all other support channels. Both the speed and conversational nature of live chat are said to contribute to these higher ratings. If you haven’t already implement a live chat software on your website, now’s the time to do so!
A final word on after-sales support
We’ll leave you with this: great businesses see service not as a cost, but as a sales opportunity. Don’t skimp on providing after-sales support and service; investing in this area will bring you plenty of returns!