After sales service refers to all the things you do for the care and feeding of your valued customers after they buy your product. This type of customer aftercare is important for any business, but especially for small businesses where every client counts.
It's not enough to say "Thanks" or "Let's keep in touch" after a sale is complete. Long-term success is built on real and lasting customer relationships.
Sit back while Natalie explains precisely what is after sales service, and why it's important for your small business
Top-quality after sales service is good for you because it's good for your customer. When you help them get the most out of your product or service, they're naturally happier with it. That makes them more likely to order again, and to tell the world, too.
To put it another way: the more you wow your customers, the more they're likely to wow you right back with their loyalty and enthusiasm. They'll become the brand ambassadors, reviewers, and trusted voices who'll give you great reviews, sing your praises on social media, and give you honest feedback on new products and features.
Let's look at some after sales support examples that will keep customers happy while driving new business. Or start a demo and learn how Infusionsoft by Keap can help you improve your customer aftercare.
They call it the sales life cycle because it's supposed to circle back for future sales, not end with just one.
In our video, Natalie talks through all 8 ways—and throws an extra in there to make it 9—to delight your customers
With that in mind, here are eight practices that will help you build strong customer relationships that keeps them coming back.
A paper card, in this day and age? You bet! A card in the mail gets your brand into the hands and home of your customer, reminding them of your company as it sits on their kitchen counter for a few days. Pick an moment that will be meaningful for the customer, like a birthday greeting or a thank-you after a sales presentation. Craft your message carefully; be sure to say that you'll be happy to answer questions. This process can even be automated if your CRM integrates with services like Zen Direct or Send Out Cards.
Good-quality, good-looking packaging is always worth the investment. Great packaging can be as delightful to customers as the product, whether that means the sleek sophistication of Apple's clean iPhone boxes or charming and squeezable honey bear bottles. People like to reuse and recycle; design a great bag and you may see customers carrying it all over town. That's a form of after sales service that's good for your customer and (literally) makes your brand look good.
Did you just complete a sale? Why not begin another? Extending a thank-you coupon to a new customer can start the sales life cycle all over again. If a second purchase doesn't fit your business, think of another approach: can you help them give your product as a gift? Or can you create a coupon they'll want to give to a friend or colleague?
The human touch is the heart of customer relationships, so schedule a follow-up call your customers within thirty days of a sale. This is more than helpful after sales service; you may learn key points, good or bad, about your product. Don't try to upsell them here; just listen. If they don't answer the phone, don’t sweat it: leave them a simple message of thanks for their business and let them know you're available to answer questions.
Maybe your product is nuanced, a bit tricky to learn, or has underused features. If so, try creating or hosting a tutorial that makes it easy. Tutorials are a helpful form of customer aftercare, because they help customers as they put your brand back on their radar screen.
Have you asked your customers how they feel? They may want to offer their feedback in regular surveys. Some businesses add a coupon when the survey is complete, so customers can make their voice heard and get value in return.
A timely "happy birthday!" email or gift can be very powerful. It also helps you reach customers months after a sale, when their memory of your brand may be fading. Try pairing a coupon with a genuinely-worded email that skips the sales-y tone and wishes them a heartfelt happy birthday. Best of all, birthday emails are easy to automate and make a big difference.
Holidays are great excuses for rekindling customer loyalty. Tell customers which days you'll be open (or closed) and describe any promotions or sales you're running. Again, it's another opportunity to begin the sales life cycle anew.
The first goal of after sales service is to take great care of your customers.
Natalie explains how you can use after sales service to grow sales
The next goal of after sales service is to build customer loyalty and trust, which is good for business and good for future sales. Those sales can take many forms:
Product and service pairings: Pairings are a natural for things like smartphones, which can be matched with cases, headphones and other accessories for higher sales and happier customers. What can you pair with a sale to enrich your customer’s experience?
Upsell (plus warranties and special services): The word "upsell" shouldn't be a negative. It should mean finding added services or products that will give your customer an even greater experience. Try matching your products with extended warranties, special maintenance services and other useful programs.
New products and services: Your customers, past and present, should be the first to know when you roll out a new feature. This is a case where customer aftercare can also be pre-care for your new product: share the news, then watch as customers engage and spread the word.
Customer loyalty program: Perks and rewards for customers aren't new, but they’re still effective at building customer relationships (and sales). If you don’t already have a customer loyalty program in place, maybe it's time to start brainstorming one.
Don't be afraid to ask for referrals. And don't forget to reward them! Think about starting a referral program with clear, useful rewards, like gift cards in small amounts or movie tickets. You'll show your appreciation and build customer loyalty all at once.
Natalie explains the best approach for getting referrals
A few things to keep in mind when chasing referrals:
Don't push or hard-sell. Be direct when asking for referrals, but focus on the value of your product or service and how a customer can share the benefits it's brought them.
People like to follow instructions. If you ask customers to review your business, many will do so. (Imagine that!) Make sure your instructions are clear and easy to follow so their good will is rewarded.
Don’t copycat. Come up with creative, strategic ways that your unique business can reward customers for their referrals. Make sure it fits your customer’s needs and desires as well as your sales strategy.
So, what is customer aftercare? It's all of these things: delighting customers after the sale, keeping in touch, asking for reviews and referrals, and rewarding customer loyalty.
Infusionsoft by Keap can help, by the way. Our marketing automation tools will help you wow customers before and after the sale.
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